There's this word you see. This word that I dread saying more than anything else. That one word that I put off saying for as long as I can. Yes, you can butter it up or try and make it as happy as possible, but you can't take away that sorrowful connotation. Some of you may have already figured it out.
We've all heard that saying, "It's not goodbye, it's see ya later." But does that take away any of the hurt that goes along with that? If you're anything like me, it seems to just hide the pain that we all really feel. Just a mask for the hurt and the sorrow we amplify by giving that final hug and waving that last farewell.
I had to do that today. I had dreaded this goodbye all summer. I put it off anytime I thought of it. Busyness kept it off my mind for sometime. This past week was quite a bit calmer and left me plenty of time to think. It wasn't a bad thing necessarily, but those adios's replayed over and over in my brain. I questioned why I had to be the one left behind. Yes, I know God has a perfect plan. Thank goodness for His promises never to forsake us. But oh the thought of loneliness threatened to overtake a thousand times over.
Believe me, that goodbye seemed to almost kill me. One of my best friends for over 14 years is leaving for college. I know we'll always be close friends and sisters due to our bond in Christ. But no more spontaneous Starbucks runs, no more stupid impulse shopping trips, no more just hanging out to watch movies and paint our nails. I'll be driving over to bug her all the time. She'll be so annoyed with me.
And this isn't the only goodbye. Three other of my dearest friends are leaving. Two to begin their sophomore years at college and another to serve for 9 months in a foreign country. I love these girls. I would do anything for them and I have done everything with them. These are my dear sisters in Christ who have been there for me countless times. Girls who I trust and love with all my heart.
Thank goodness for Sundays. The text preached just yesterday included this verse that I shall hold near and dear to my heart as I struggle to make this adjustment: "And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age." Matthew 28:30b. The LORD is with me to the end of the age. What better promise could I ask for to cling to? Praise God I have an amazing family and good friends to keep me company. I am blessed with a church who seeks God in everything they do and strives to reach out to every person in attendance.
In just a week's time, I'll be with my wonderful CollegePlus! friends who are diligent seekers of our great God. It will be a time of refreshment and encouragement that will be much needed and met with gratefulness.
God is good. Change is hard, but God remains the same through it all.