I’m not fond of goodbyes.
Let’s be honest. I don’t like them at all.
We’re finishing this cycle of folks whom I and my team have worked with for a year. Because we go deep fast, we get to know people well in a short amount of time. We get to hear people’s back stories, who and what has been in their lives to mold them into who they are today.
The bigger picture.
I’ve never been scuba diving, but I’ve read enough Clive Cussler to know that when you dive deep in the ocean, you need time to adjust coming back up. To equalize the nitrogen in your blood so you don’t get decompression disease. The longer a person is under water, the more time they need to decompress slowly as they surface.
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know quite a few people well this year. Gone deep. And now that it’s over, they’re leaving.
I haven’t had enough time to decompress. And it hurts.
I always have the best of intentions. “We’ll call.” “We’ll find a time to get together down the road.” “We’ll make this work.” Because they are valued friends. More than people who’ve crossed my path for a year.
Reality will hit in six weeks. When the next cycle of people come through to begin their year of refreshing, reconnecting, and restoring.
I’ll put on the gear and go deep again. Fast.
I’ve realized how hard it is to communicate with others when you’re under water. When there’s no mechanism to automatically connect you to someone else. No amount of yelling can make others hear if they’re not under water with you.
It’s a conundrum. I want desperately to stay connected to people I care about. And yet time becomes my enemy. Time and energy.
I’m limited by both. And that sucks.
Being confronted by my limitations means I have to make choices. Ones I don’t want to make. I’ll not have time to connect with those who’ve become heart friends in the way I want.
Which makes goodbyes all the more difficult.
That old saying, “All good things must come to an end”? Don’t like that either.
That’s life’s reality.
What we have here won’t last forever. Goodbyes are inevitable, whether people move or die or fall out of relationship. Learning to say goodbye well is a discipline, a process. It takes work. Intentionality.
Relationships don’t end when geography separates friends. But it does take more work to maintain.
Jesus gets all of this. It’s why this life isn’t it. This world isn’t home. Our experience on earth, good or bad, isn’t all we’re left with. He’s given us an option that allows us to excuse time as the culprit.
Knowing Jesus personally gives us eternity with those who know Him. A forever family. With no time limit on enjoying one another.
And no disagreements.
On many days, I’d love to see the fat lady out of a job. No more goodbyes.
I know what’s coming is better. And lasting. Even if I have to wait for it.
So sing away, dear lady. Your song isn’t the end at all.
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