There are lots of hard parts of leaving. The sadness that accompanies packing up a home that holds so many memories. Saying goodbye to people. Finding new homes for beloved pets. Lots of things are hard about it. For me, though, the hardest thing is not the actual leaving. It’s what happens after I leave a place, a people.
Life will continue to happen, for me and the people I know, whether we are in each others’ daily lives or not. Knowing that I will not be present at different things that will happen in the lives of my friends and family is so hard for me it is almost unbearable. I’m not sure if this is something that is difficult for all who move overseas or for all who just move away from people they love. But I can tell you from experience, it is so incredibly hard being on the other side of the world and missing things.
I will miss birthday parties; children I held as babies when they came home from the hospital losing their first tooth, starting school, going to prom, and graduating; deaths; births; Sunday lunches; seeing friends fall in love and get married; hanging out watching football; playing games with a group of close friends; Christmas mornings with family; gumbo and bread pudding and stews in winter.
I could go on and on with all the things I will miss out on. And it’s hard. I find myself already becoming jealous at the thought of friends hanging out with other friends because we aren’t around anymore. Of friends who come over on Sunday for lunch going somewhere else for lunch. I’m jealous of the new volunteers who are working in “my” room on Sunday instead of me, loving babies that I Iove so much.
But change is part of life. Always has been, always will be. No amount of me not liking it will stop it from occurring.
So I press in to the One who is never changing, who is constant and steadfast. I try to learn from Him what steadfastness looks like and how to be that myself. I will cling to the only One I can cling to who will never leave me, never move on. And when I cling, I find hope. I find rest. I find peace. And I find that in the moments when I am sad or jealous that I am missing so much I get a glimpse of the bigger picture and understand that every missed moment is worth it because He is worth everything.
Even the missed moments.