I have said it a million times in my life: "I'm not good at goodbyes." It seems like every time I am faced with a situation where I have to tell somebody goodbye, I freeze up. I suppose the reason I hate goodbyes so much is that I finally have to face reality - I will be separated from this person. I can vividly remember telling my parents goodbye as I hugged them for the millionth time and then boarded the plane headed to Chicago. I was going to college. Life was changing forever and I was being forced to face it. It all seemed unreal..... until I had to say goodbye. A few years passed, and it was time for my husband and I to head to China. What an adventure! We packed our suitcases, arranged our passports and visas, and headed for the airport. As we pulled up to the departure terminal, I whipped out my phone and called Mom and Dad.
"Hello?" I heard from my Daddy.
I couldn't answer. A lump had formed in my throat which prevented me from speaking. Finally, I mustered up enough courage to say, "I was just calling to say goodbye. Next time we talk, I will be in China." Even as I write this, I choke up. It was another difficult goodbye.
Since my husband is a youth pastor, it seems like all I ever do is say goodbye. Every year a few amazing people graduate high school and leave our youth group. It is hard. We have to watch wonderful teenagers that we gave our hearts to grow up. They graduate, get married, and move away. It is such a painfully sweet thing to see. As hard as it is to let them go, I know that they have such great things in store. They have so much life to live. Over the last 2 weeks we have watched 3 of our best teenagers graduate. My heart breaks a little with each graduation service as I realize that I will not get to spend time with these teenagers like I used to. Goodbyes have not gotten any easier over the years. I am still "not good" at them. I still struggle with them. However, I know that with each goodbye I say, I will get the joy of a reunion later on. I am excited to see what God has in store for all of our amazing teenagers! We are so proud of you, Mike, Rosa, and Greg!