It’s time to say goodbye once again. In under two weeks, my sister and her family will be leaving us to live in another country for three years. They have lived state-side for twelve months, and we have done much of life together during that time. But just as we quickly adapted to incorporate them into every area of our lives upon their arrival, so we will just as rapidly have to adapt to their absence.
It’s a process I love and hate. I love having them be near us. I love having my nephews over for sleepovers, my husband being able to grab lunch with my brother in law during his lunch break, and my sister nearby to tackle life with me. I love being able to call or text my sister in order to coordinate plans for the next day or following week (it’s very expensive to call where they live overseas). I love how we cooperate together so that between the two of us we can get our grocery shopping done, our kids napped and fed, and whatever pressing need that may be on the agenda that day. Life–especially when you have kids, is work, and it’s great when you can share it with a friend.
As much as I love them coming, I hate that it also means having to say goodbye. Although 99% of me knows that life will soon find a purposeful cadence after they leave, I struggle. We weren’t meant for goodbyes, for separation. Living in community with others is hard work, but it’s also satisfying because it’s a little snippet of what life might have been like before the fall. Communing freely with God. Living in grace and peace with one another. Sadly, some live in turmoil and drama their whole lives, never experiencing this. Sin so easily entangles, but through His Spirit we can extend grace and love to one another. We can speak truth in love. We can focus on the log in our own eye instead of the speck in the eyes of our brother or sister. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
The following verses have been pressing on my heart these past few days. Maybe it’ll be my mantra for the next few weeks or months.
“‘Awake, O Sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:14-15
The goodbyes are coming. It’s a sad time for all of us. But we do not live as those who have no hope! So I won’t be foolish and dwell on it too much. I want to make the best use of the time. I’m praying for who the Lord might have me disciple or reach out to. How can I serve or bless? How can I open my home up to others?
May the Lord fill my schedule how He pleases.
In the meantime, goodbye dear sister, brother in law, and precious nephews. I love you guys dearly. You are never far from my thoughts and will never be anywhere other than close to my heart. You are doing a GOOD work and are faithful servants. You are always in my prayers.