Yesterday I turned the key in my bedroom door for the last time. In fact, it was probably one of three times that I ever locked the door to my room at all. I had to go through my keys a couple times to remind myself which one was for my room. For some reason I hadn’t quite connected the key that I carried around with my others with the fact that it could lock the room I slept it. I suppose that’s partly why it felt a little sad when I finally turned it in the lock. For the entire time that I’ve stayed there, I think I locked my door once when I wasn’t leaving for the summer. Not only that, but most of the time I tried to leave my bedroom door wide open. I’ve always figured that an open door is an open heart.
But now my door is shut. In fact, it’s not even ‘my’ door anymore. My key ring has an emptiness about it, with the single car key hanging there lonely, missing his companions he’s had for the past two years. With that turn of the key to my room, I closed the door to this chapter of my life — the Red Deer chapter. I know that I’ll probably still be around, later in the summer, for a little over a month, but it’ll be short and different. And, in some shape or form, this brief period of my life there, with my classes and friendships, is finished.
It’s a little saddening to close a chapter of my life once again. I’ve never been one for meaningful good-byes when it comes to places, even though places tend to hold a special place in my heart. They mean a lot to me. I just don’t know how to say goodbye to them, or don’t really feel it’s necessary. In some ways I feel that the packing, cleaning, sorting and moving involved in leaving a place is often so chaotic that I don’t have time to think about the fact that I’m leaving until I’m gone. It’s a little like coming out of a battle to find a wound you couldn’t remember feeling before in all the mess and adrenaline. Often it’s not until the dust settles that I begin to realise that in the midst of all the activity, I closed a door that I won’t be opening again.
But, where there’s a closed door, there is always an open one waiting — or at least an unlocked one waiting to be tried. It’s scary but exciting to be moving on to the next step, even if it’s a small one and may be a lot like the one before. Sometimes even the small uncertainties of the summer are frightening enough by themselves. But I remember that I’m not the One in control. God has a way of continually changing things, breaking up unploughed ground, pruning back branches and burning away dross. All these things are part of a process, and it’s exciting to be going through it, even when it’s full of goodbyes and closed doors.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11