Have you ever found yourself in the middle of the ocean on a day when the waves are pouring in? You go out expecting to float on top of the waves; and instead you find yourself being tossed and turned about for a while. It can be quite an experience when you least expect it to happen; and can send you into a time of searching for the surface (and for the shoreline)—for a little relief from the crashing waves.
If I had to describe what saying goodbye to people feels like, it’s that. There is not an easy way to go about it. It just comes up suddenly and happens again and again. Most of the time, we say goodbye to people one at a time or maybe even a family at a time. But when you move overseas, you say bye to everyone in your present community all at once. And it leaves you helpless as the waves crash around you for a little while. You aren’t sure what to say, how to be, or how to end it. Some goodbyes are a little easier than others. But they all take your breath away for a moment—at least they do me.
I love people in wholes, not halves. It’s how I’m wired. And to put an ellipsis on a relationship requires a whole lot of trust in the Lord that what we are doing is not only for our good but for the good of those who are sending us as well.
The Lord has led us all to this place. And if He has crossed our path with yours, then you have become a patch or square in our quilt. Your fabrics are sewn very close to ours. And we are thankful. We know that He brought us all here together. And this is for His glory—us going, you sending and praying.
And we know that most of our goodbyes are temporary. A simple ellipsis on this chapter of our life. He has so much more ahead for all of us. This is the hope we hold onto. He is hope. And we can trust He is working for our good and for His glory.