A long week came came to a close tonight with the above photo. Hands down it was the hardest night I’ve had a in while–surprisingly hard. We all look happy, and we are, but just a few minutes later everyone in this photo had tears in their eyes (minus the babies). Happy hearts turned to bummed hearts because we had to say goodbye to one of the families. Due to a great new job opportunity for the husband, the Lord has willed that they move across the country. We really don’t know if they will every move back to California or what the Lord would have, all we know is that tonight would be the last night we would really see them for a while.
I actually didn’t think saying goodbye to them would prove to be so difficult. It’s not that we haven’t known for months what God’s plan was. We even made arrangements to spend the last four days with them, just to get our time in. And it’s not that we don’t trust God’s sovereignty, because I believe we all do. The truth is we are friends, and in many ways we are closer to these people than our families. We have grown together, laughed together, worshiped together, camped together, ministered together, and enjoyed our families together. These are the kinds of people you let watch your kids, and you do the same for them. They are kind of people you give your house key to, and the ones that loan you their truck when you’re moving across town. They are ones that let you live in their place for six months before you get married (rent free) just because they want to bless you. They are the ones that open their home up once a week so a college-aged Bible study has a place to meet, complete with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. They are ones that invite you over to watch the World Cup and cook bacon wrapped hot dogs. They are the friends who you share struggles with, joys with, and the unknown with. They’re the ones you ask to pray for you and know they will. They are friends who love God and love people, and the kind of people you want to be around. That’s why it was so hard.
I don’t know what the future holds for my friends, but I know that I can’t be selfish with them. I’m sure there are other people across the country who need them and maybe God has sovereignly moved them just for that? Sad or not, I have to be OK with God’s plan. I need to learn more and more to trust Him even when it’s hard. I hope and pray God will use these good friends in their new home and new community to bless others the same way He has used them to bless me.
One reply on “On Saying Goodbye to Friends”
Friends,Sorrow and Goodbye???
It has been a strange couple of months with those I dearly love no longer being near. To be perfectly honest its been difficult struggling through the joy and sorrow of it all. I think those who don’t know our Saviour would miss the perfect plan of all of it. He desires for us to know Him more and he accomplishes this in the joys and sorrows of our hearts. You see our hearts are not big enough to hold all our joy or all our sorry. Think about it, have you ever heard of someone whose heart had been filled up with sorrow? As soon as a heart is full of sorrow it overflows. It is the way our Saviour has made us and our first instinct is to share our sorrow with another. Our hearts just aren’t big enough to hold our grief and God created these wonderful relationships with our brothers in sisters in Christ so we would have another heart to share a portion of our grief. What makes this picture even more beautiful is that the same holds true for our joy.
When our hearts become full of joy it is our nature to share it with another. When our hearts become full of joy it is as if it overflows in streams to the hearts around us. And when the streams stop flowing our hearts stop being full. A truly full heart is a heart that overflows.
With this in mind I think we should all take a moment to consider those relationships in our lives. The one’s to which our hearts overflow in splendid streams of joy and sorrow. It is in these relationships that the Lord is teaching us to love and need Him more. We would be good to remember that as our hearts overflow outward they are also overflowing upward and it is the overflowing joy of knowing our Saviour that puts our earthly sorrows, griefs and joys in the light of our redeemers love.
That is the God I know, the God I serve and the One who I know is being glorified even in my sorrows.