G.A.P. s – God Appointed Partings and Vinaigrette

God is moving, and I’m sad. Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m thrilled that God is up to something new. His kingdom is moving forward, and His sovereign will is being accomplished. I just don’t happen to like the particulars.

Two people whom I love very much are moving west. A precious niece and nephew are being led by God through circumstances and confirmations to move west. They haven’t left, and an ache already grows in my heart—I miss them already.

Our lives intersect periodically—not often enough. Katherine has already been gone a while. She and her husband, Andrew Ehrenzeller, have been leading worship and doing public ministry for years. They have written powerful songs, cut albums, and had impact. They have powerful testimonies of healing. They are taking a huge leap of faith and moving westward (most probably). It feels Abrahamic—getting up and leaving all. I feel certain we will see them less. There is change—a growing gap.

My nephew, Jon David Conolley, has accepted a job in San Antonio. He is a multi-talented, sociable man with great wisdom and a godly heart. His cheerful countenance and determination to know truth and develop a Godward heart has been awe-inspiring. Two weeks, and he’ll be gone. He has assured us that he will be back often over the next six months due to some previously planned singing gigs with a music group. Still, he won’t be living down the street—available for a chat or attendance at famly game night. He will be in southern Texas.

God is behind both moves. I know it. But I don’t have to like how it impacts our extended family–or me.

I will still, however, rejoice in God’s unfailing love for them, as well as the people they are going to touch. God is good. They are on an adventure. A God-sized adventure, and I’m happy for them, but sad for me—for all those who remain here.

Those left behind feel the fragmentation of the separation more acutely. We dematerialize as loved ones leave, marry, become ill, suffer, or die. I feel the impact of the fall in my own life daily (sin, pain, grief). But the grief of absence—of the tearing of hearts from one another—reminds me of another part of the fall. Mortality. Dissatisfaction. Absence. Death—the final separation from living humans.

All of it will be redeemed. There will be, for those who know Christ, an eternal fellowship with no more longing or sorrow. No more parsing out time stingily. No more breaches in fellowship. Not to mention, we’ll experience total satisfaction and joy in the presence of our Lord.

I’m thankful it will be redeemed, but for now, there will be a hole where they belong—a gap at the table of fellowship and family.

A hate those GAPs, but I have to live in the midst of them anyway.



Sorrow and Joy – an odd chemistry whose elements do not form solution

Emulsifying instead, like oil and vinegar – one soothing – one acerbic.

I shake them together desperately, hoping that they might meld into one sweet union –


They refuse.

Without debate – it is poured like vinaigrette on my life –

Compelled to consume the bitter-sweet potion – I must choose.

Die; or eat and live.

Linda Barrett



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3 Responses to G.A.P. s – God Appointed Partings and Vinaigrette

  1. Britta Lafont says:

    This post is well written and relatable. Sorry for your GAP!!! 😢

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Oh, Linda! I am so sorry for the pain of those we love moving away! I can resonate with all of my side of the family living in Pennsylvania. It is truly painful, and even more so, when we it’s a change. You have been used to the gift of these precious lives close to you and how you will feel the GAP. Your writing is beautiful as always! I vinaigrette metaphor is brilliant! Blessings to you!

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