I knew it wouldn't be easy. Saying Good-bye to friends never is. I thought I would find more than a huge lump in my throat and tears ready to spill from my eyes. I thought I would be able to hide my sadness and say some appropriate words to communicate the joy I really do feel.
But all I could muster was a big hug with eyes brimming which held her face and spoke from my heart just how painful their move is for me.
Our church was saying Good-bye yesterday to Erik and Jenn and their 3 precious children. They're moving to a new assignment and it's rather far away. I'm excited for them. They'll be blessed and be a blessing there. It's God's plan for them. It's not the end of the world and they'll sometimes come back to visit. But for some reason, I'm sensing deep personal loss in their decision.
So I've decided to express my gratitude for how they've blessed me in the years I've known them. With gratitude will come joy. And joy will help me overcome my selfish feelings - those feelings that would prefer keeping life safe, stable, certain but which are actually devoid of the joys which come from following God's path.
|On the altar steps at Jesus Savior Baptist Church in Chisinau, Moldova - August 2006|
So thanks for being part of Moldova Team 2006 Erik and Jenn. (They are in the upper right of this photo.)
Another element of gratitude comes for Jenn who started a photography business and has provided me with some of my most prized family photos.
Thanks, Jenn, for studying that craft and being so good that your work brings continual joy for those who see your results.
|Four generations over Christmas in 2007|
|My Mother whose lifetime commitment to Jesus shines through her peaceful expression in this pose.|
|Three generations over Christmas 2009.|
The hardest part is leaving.
Arriving will be filled with excitement, freshness and lots of promising possibilities.
I'm happy for you. And I'm very grateful that Good-bye is not forever!
Maybe your new church will join our church and together we'll take another mission trip to Moldova. That would be so sweet! Let's start praying about that!