Good goodbyes.

It’s common knowledge that I am a disaster at goodbyes.

When I was a kid I was moved half way across the world with promises that we’d be back in a year.  We never moved back.  Ever since then I’ve never trusted a single goodbye to be temporary.

One time I had to say goodbye to a dog I had grown attached to and I wept like a baby for a solid half hour.  Couple of things you should know: It wasn’t my dog; it belonged to a friend.  She’d had it about 4 days.  I was 27 years old.  Issues.

Knowing all that, I had been bracing myself for this morning’s goodbye for a little while.

I have friends who are like family to me and they’re moving to the other side of the world for the sake of the Gospel.  They don’t just say they believe in Jesus and His mission.  They have sold their house and all their possessions and, with their 5 month old baby in tow, they’re running full speed to a pretty dangerous place.

This morning I watched them across the airport lobby, checking their bags as I held their son in my arms.  The sister and best friend of another member of their team stood there with me and we passed the baby from one to another.  Next time we see him he will be too big to tuck under our arms the way we can now.

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As we distracted each other with random questions about our plans for the weekend, someone threw out the thought:  imagine how dumb we are if we’re wrong about God.

We laughed out loud.  It seemed hysterical to us: three total idiots – standing in an airport, sending our best friends as far away  as possible to tell people about some magic Santa Claus in the sky.

But when our laughter died down our eyes met and their was a sober joy in each of our hearts.

Because we are banking everything on the fact that we’re not wrong.  And on mornings like this, the ‘everything‘ we’re banking feels a lot bigger.  We’re banking a baby and a family and the safety of some of the dearest people to us in the world on the fact that God is real and His Word is true.

Honestly, it’s breathtakingly encouraging.  Even in the tangled mess of unbelief that lurks in our hearts, we do believe.  That’s why we were laughing.  That’s why we can say goodbye with tears and pain, but not despair.  That’s why the word ‘crazy’ has never crossed our mind and the thought that this is ‘foolishness’ is a joke in an airport lobby; not a real concern.

We’re in.  We’ve put all our chips on the table and we’re in.

Whether we’re right or wrong – we’re in.  No turning back now.  We’re going to spend our lives for this Man who we believe is God.

Turns out, I’m getting better at goodbyes.  In June I had a goodbye where it actually was the end, and I thought that might make today impossible, but it didn’t.  Because this goodbye is temporary.  It may be a year, it maybe be four years or it may be a lifetime, but I will see this family again.

Maybe eternity will be long enough for me to get tired of them.  😉

12 thoughts on “Good goodbyes.

  1. Just wanted to let you know that a girl in OK enjoys reading your post. God has given you a gift in communicating. Thanks for sharing! Have you thought of doing podcasts?

  2. Thank you! I have never been good with goodbyes either and this post hit home. Just this week: I helped put together a care package for one of my 100 ppl friends in East Asia. As we where praying over the box I started crying because I did not want to send a package, I wanted to selfishly make her come home. The ONE and only thing that I took comfort in was that I will get to spend eternity with her.

    1. Sending is supposed to be hard! It makes me think of david saying that he doesn’t want to offer God sacrifices that have cost him nothing.

  3. one time some chick made me this really cool picture frame with a bible verse in it that read, “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed…”

    stuff like this makes that verse really exciting to me and probably to you too.

  4. I liked how you came to that awkward faithless question that we all come to from time to time. “What if we’re wrong?” I become a little more certain of my faith everyday I am being rewritten by the Holy Spirit. Each time that question rolls back around to the forefront on my mind, I ponder for a moment and try to see how any other theory or philosophy would make better sense. The answer keeps coming back no. I remember not so long ago being on the other side of that question, trying to make any idea fit so I could make sense of the this seemingly random life. But in the end (or more accurately, since my beginning), God revealed that the most seemingly foolish idea was in fact the right one. It was foolish because I wanted no accountability to my Creator. I wanted the lie of any other “truth” that would let me keep my idols. I couldn’t of picked this truth, I wouldn’t have. It had to be granted because I had to be broken. Since the day I was first revealed truth there was no going back. The world as I knew it was forever changed, only to be understood through the perfection of His Word. Biblical Christianity once looked like just a foolish idea when I was in open defiance, but now nothing else makes sense without Him. I couldn’t go back if I wanted to. Lord knows I try to run often, but His unconditional love has caused an irreversible faith. Nothing will again fit in the space He occupies, now that I know something (Someone) was meant to fill that space perfectly. And I have peace in no other name. Nothing else continues to satisfy like the Gospel. Nothing else has turned my world upside down.

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