Pilgrims and Goodbyes
We'll see you soon.
Until next time.
We'll be sure to stay in touch.
We'll miss you.
Blinking away the tears, we waved goodbye this morning to close friends who have been in our city for as long as we have. Their kids have been good friends to our kids, they have spent many sleepovers, afternoons that turned into sleepovers, birthdays, meals in and meals out, they have shared favorite Chinese street food, taught my boys games and daughter to crochet.... They have pursued the Lord together and have committed to journeying together, for life. They have challenged us to think hard about our faith. They have modeled loving Jesus and loving people so well. They have been a joy.
It's hard to say goodbye to that. Life as we know it, especially my kids, will never be the same. There won't be 3 extra kids around our table most weekends. My oldest son will not have that spur of the moment Risk game phone call, he won't have as much to look forward to on the weekends.
I am crying for him mostly. This is hisf irst really big goodbye. He's 14 years old and he's losing two of his best friends. He told me it hasn't really hit him yet. It will Monday, when he thinks about Friday and remembers that they're not here anymore. He tells me he'll eventually be okay. That hurts me to hear, because I didn't want him to have to feel the pain I have felt so often in the many goodbyes over the years.
We're pilgrims. On a journey. I know that. It's hard to remember in the moment, in the pain. In that place where we live, on earth, but we're heavenbound. I've been thinking about that recently. How much simpler my life could be if I just remembered that. I'd live with less burden. Less stuff. Less weighed down by the here and now. But it's the people that we say goodbye to along the journey that is hard.
I have been sorting through my dear friends' home this past week. Another friend who didn't mean to leave, but had to. A sudden diagnosis of cancer for their daughter and our youngest son's best friend last summer, left their world and ours in broken pieces. It's hard to sort through someone elses stuff, no matter how well you know them. Being sentimental through and through, it's hard for me to choose what to keep and what not to.
Our son has 2 other close friends here, there used to be 5 of them, now there are 3. They'll band together until the next goodbye. I hope he continues to live with a soft heart. That he won't be afraid of new relationships because of the potential goodbyes. That I wouldn't limit my love for others based on the smallness of my own heart. The Lord can expand your heart's boundaries, Jenn. My mom reminds me of that often.
Goodbye for now. Heaven isn't far away.
Father, keep my eyes on You.