At some point in my life I’ve heard that you should never say “goodbye” just always “see you later” – I guess it’s to help you feel better if you act like you know that you’ll see someone again instead of not. Over the past few years I’ve realized that the truth is we never know if we’ll see someone again – not on this side of heaven – and while I am ever so thankful for the knowledge and hope of eternal life through Christ Jesus, it still is difficult to say goodbye here.
While no one in my immediate family or circle of friends has passed away recently, this has still been a rather intense season of goodbyes for us. We said goodbye to our family and friends in MS to return to Madagascar and if you’ve kept up with us through the blog then you know that was a "little" bit difficult for me. Six weeks after being back, our friend, teammate, and housemate – Tessa – flew back to the States after living and working here for 5 years. And now, this week, Doug & Nathan (journeymen who have served here for 2 years) will be traveling back to the States to begin a new season in their lives.
That’s a lot of transition. The people here that we are saying “goodbye” to are not just teammates. They are family. They have lived with us, eaten meals with us, celebrated with us, struggled with us, done ministry with us, and the list could go on and on. They have thrown themselves into our lives and loved us with the love of Christ. Between the 3 of them, they have logged countless babysitting hours, numerous long road trips, several holidays, and have really just done everything families do together.
Living here presents unique opportunities of course, but the one I wasn’t expecting was this love for the other Americans here. The bond that the Lord has placed between us that allows us to see each other at our worst and hopefully at least occasionally at our best, all the while encouraging one another, laughing with (and sometimes at) each other, and praying one another through. These are the ones that you don’t have to explain a hard language day (or week) to & they understand that culture shock has no time boundaries and can hit on any day, and at any moment. They laugh & totally relate when you just can’t think of the English word anymore because the Malagasy one just makes “more sense”. They have each become a part of our family.
Tessa – you are missed...greatly
Doug & Nathan – I’m trying my best to go ahead and prepare myself J
know that you will each be missed so very much!
Thankful that the Lord chose to put us all in one another’s path over the past 2 years, I have treasured this season and I look forward to seeing where He takes you over this next one. I love you all.