“The most painful goodbyes are the ones never said and never explained.”
Growing up as a military kid, goodbyes are (an even bigger) part of life. I’ve moved around since birth; whether it was down the street or across the world. I’m moved multiple times a year to once every two years. Long story short, I’ve had my fair share of goodbyes.
I’ve been hanging out with my sister Emma, helping her stay awake so she can sleep on her flight to the states in a couple hours. ((My whole immediate family is moving to Texas, while the hubs and I finish out our contract in Stuttgart.)) During the course of the night I’ve been thinking about all the goodbyes that life has brought my way. There are so many different kinds of goodbyes. Temporary goodbyes, final goodbyes, painful goodbyes, relieving goodbyes, harsh goodbyes, peaceful goodbyes…etc.
I fooled myself into believing I was a veteran of saying “goodbye”. I’ve moved away. I’ve been left behind. I’ve ended relationships. I’ve had relationships ended with me. But the truth is, I’ve just become an expert at hardening my heart towards goodbyes. I’ve become an expert at protecting my heart at all costs. If I can see any kind of pain looming in the near future, my heart goes into full-force self protection mode. The walls go up, I push people away and act like I’m totally fine and untouched… But the honest-to-goodness truth is: I hate saying goodbye. And they always hurt.
I came across that quote up at the top not too long ago on pinterest (I’m an addict), and a couple of emotions swept over me. (1) Conviction..because I’ve definitely been guilty of leaving without a word or a single worthy explanation. It’s cruel. And it’s not Christ like. (2) Sadness…because I’ve been on the receiving end of an unexplained goodbye, and wow, does it suck. Lastly, (3) Determination…to always take the time to say goodbye, no matter what, even if it hurts.
I’m thankful beyond belief for this last year God has given me to be close to my family. I got to see my youngest brother start High School and survive his freshman year 🙂 I got to see my little sister win Senior Homecoming Queen and finish out her 4 years of Volleyball and Basketball. I’ve been able to just “be” with my parents and my brother Hayden (who moved back home temporarily). It’s just been a really sweet time for our family. God really has blessed my heart this past year. So as they pack up and leave for the airport, I’m grateful to send them off with a joyful heart and a peace-filled goodbye. Yes, I will miss them. Yes, I’ll get to see them again soon. But this time I’ll let myself cry if I need to. I’m finally learning that it’s okay to let your heart feel what it wants and needs to feel when it’s time for a goodbye. It’s not weakness. It’s strength to feel.
I’ll be seeing you,