The Gift of Saying Goodbye
To say the last few weeks has been emotionally draining would be an understatement.
Roughly a month ago Brandon and I made a major life decision to change the course of our life, to leave family and friends, and to move to a new community. Once we made that decision, we then had the burden, and the gift, of sharing our decision with those friends and family. That process has been heart wrenching.
It is hard to explain to people why you would change something that seems to be going so well, but that really isn’t the focus of this blog post. What I would like to focus on is what I have learned over the last few weeks. It is interesting how God chooses to speak to us. I was inspired by a man from our congregation who recently passed away and how he faced
the end of his life with grace and truly waited upon the Lord, seeking God’s wisdom for each step of the journey and trying to experience life fully even as he was approaching death. His journey of saying goodbye to this life has inspired me to try to live in the same grace and presence as I say goodbye to this stage of my life, to the people who have been daily figures within it, to the ministry that has been my source of inspiration and joy, to the teens who have challenged me and supported me through the past five years, and to a congregation who has displayed true hospitality and community as we have shared life together.
It is easy to become overwhelmed during transition. There is a lot of buttoning up when moving from one ministry to another, from one community to another, from one house to another. Yet, I am grateful for moments when God is able to speak through the insanity and tell me to breathe and enjoy the moment. The brief moments of laughter with staff members, the reminiscing with congregation members about shared ministry, just taking moments to sit and connect even in the midst of major changes.
I have learned that change is constant, and that sometimes that transition can be a gift in itself. The gift of telling others how important they truly are in your life, or thanking them for the role they have played and how they will continue to impact your life. The gift of acknowledging that change is often accompanied by anxiety and that friends help to ease that. The gift of truly connecting, embracing, and saying goodbye.
So thank you members of PPC. Thank your for your spirit, your laughter, your faithfulness. Thank you for your willingness to share your lives with us, to challenge us, and for loving us. Thank you for honoring God and for trying to love God with your whole selves and to love your neighbor. Thank your for saying goodbye in such a gracious way.