So long, farewell
After years of having to say goodbye, you think I’d be good at it, or at least comfortable with it. The truth is, I’m not. As I face the end of yet another chapter in my life, I find myself in a bit of denial as I know that all too soon I’ll be saying those two words laced with tears. I suppose it’s a good thing when one stays “soft,” at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Reflecting back there are certain goodbyes I distinctively remember.
I’ve had to say goodbye to my parents & siblings as I’ve left the continent, unsure if I’d ever return to call Canada “home.”
I said goodbye to my best friend/boyfriend (now husband), as I went to the opposite end of the world just days after we started dating.
I’ve said goodbye to friends from around the globe, not knowing when, where, or if our paths will ever cross again.
I’ve said final goodbyes to two grandparents who graduated to heaven.
My husband & I have said goodbye countless times as he or I have left the other for days at a time to take work trips.
I’ve said goodbye to besties who have relocated.
Each of these goodbye has been significant & painful in its own way.
Despite these various situations of having to say goodbye to some of my nearest & dearest, I have a feeling the round of goodbyes coming up could quite possibly be one of the most painful. In just over a week I will be saying goodbye to my church family as my husband & I continue the crazy adventure we’ve on together. I’m aware that people leave churches all the time, be it because of discontent, unresolved issues, or relocation; what we’re about to do is nothing out of the norm. However, I’d like to suggest that our departure will indeed be one of great sadness as we are in fact leaving on a good note, yet a difficult one. I’ve been on staff at our church for over 5 years… 5 of the most difficult, wonderful & stretching years of my life. I’ve grown in countless ways & learned that there’s a lot that wasn’t actually taught to me in Bible College, that or perhaps I was just to naïve to take notice of that which would prepare me for real life ministry. We’ve gone through rough patches, as well as some good. Numerous times the thought crossed my mind to leave earlier, yet I always felt that the timing just wasn’t right & now there’s peace as my notice has been given & my final day is in sight.
Our church has not only been my place of employment, but it’s also become a second family to us. We’ve created relationships with young & old that have made an eternal impact on our lives. We’re so thankful for the laughs, tears, coffees, lunches, dinners, desserts & fun we’ve had the opportunity to share with those have accepted & loved us. We've both grown & matured in countless ways. We've been empowered & released to do what God has called us to in ministry & in our everyday lives.
I know that more goodbyes will come my way over the years. I also know that this isn’t a final goodbye, as I’m certain we’ll visit this “home” of ours often. When we encounter those who are a part of this family we’ve grown with, our interactions will not be awkward or unfriendly, rather we’ll embrace with warmth & fondness. Not only are we moving on with a blessing, we will leave one as we go & although you'll hear goodbyes from our mouths, in our hearts we'll really be saying "see you soon."