Moving to a new place, a new town, a new life comes with its blessings. But it also necessitates goodbyes. I have had to say many goodbyes to dear friends and yes, family, throughout my life.
Leaving home for the very first time and moving onto the campus of Spring Arbor University was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I cried. A lot. There were many hours on the phone with my mom. Many lonely Tuesday mornings as I was alone in my dorm room room on my later-class-day. I knew things would never be the same.
And I was right.
Despite the pain of saying goodbye to my sister, my mom and dad, my grandma, my closest friends, there was beauty that came from that change. New, deep friendships–the kind that can only come from living in community. Dating the guy I am now joyfully married to. Expanding my perspective to include global issues and thought-provoking theological discussions. I loved every minute of those 4 years.
But even that came to an end. We graduated. We said goodbye to the people who had become our family. We moved on. Because we had to.
We made our first home together. I decorated and baked and cleaned. And learned what it means to be a wife–that it’s so much more than housework and saying, “I love you.” We met new people, found our place among them, expanded our family by 30 (teenagers.)
And God called us forward. onward. higher. deeper. He tested our obedience–that He might display His faithfulness.
Thus, we sad goodbye again. It was a beautiful night–our Going Away Celebration. A dear friend, Brandy, put on a lovely party. All of our “kids” were there, plus some. The church family gathered. Immediate family and my dear friend, Brittney, made the journey. As sure as the the sky is blue, tears fell. But laughter prevailed. Memories were made–sealed away in the deepest corners of our mind, forever cherished.