3 Things I've Learned from Saying Goodbye
When I was a kid, my dad always wanted to move to Florida. It wasn't a pipe dream; we went to the Sunshine State at least four different times to search for a part-time or permanent home that would nourish us with warmth and the ocean breeze, rather than the horse farms and chilly winters that Kentucky provided. I, however, may have been the main reason we never moved. Every time the topic came up, I kicked and screamed and sobbed about the thought of leaving my friends, my dance studio, and any inanimate object that I wouldn't be able to take to Florida.
You could say that change was not my middle name.
We did move once in my life - from the house I was born in to the house my parents still live in - to a property right behind my first home. When we made the "big move", I took door knobs, ratty stuffed animals, and memorabilia that my parents are still trying to purge 16 years later. It wasn't about the thing itself, it was the sentimental value that I couldn't part with.
Knowing my aversion to change, it's interesting that God planted me in a town where people constantly move and leave. In my 3.5 years in Colorado, I have said goodbye to far too many friends, clients, and apartments. The military calls people away right and left, and the promise of a "better" or different dream somewhere else pulls others into a new season. Goodbyes haven't become easier for me, but they are far more natural than I ever thought they would be.
Even though it's painful, I know that my recent experience with letting people go has been an incredibly transformative process in my life. Goodbyes have taught me that life comes in seasons, and nothing can stay the same forever. I don't stay the same, my relationships evolve, and the people who walk in and out of the doors of my business leave a permanent imprint that I could never have anticipated.
Secondly, goodbyes build strong faith. I'm not a military wife, but I respect the women in this community more than I can say. I have to say goodbye to my husband regularly, as he travels for work, but it's not a 9 month deployment, and for that I'm grateful. Being on your own requires a level of independence, even within marriage, that forces you to lean on God and form friendships when you aren't able to come home to dinner with your spouse on a regular basis.
And most importantly, goodbyes have taught me that there will always be new beginnings, and God is a God of surprises. I am always plagued with the lie that things will never be as good as they are right now. It's rooted in my fear that God's blessings will run out, which is a ridiculous thought but one that is crippling, all the same. But, with every difficult change, God has provided a new person, experience, or perspective that has helped me see that He isn't done yet.
I will never be a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of girl, even though my husband would love that. I'm controlling, I overthink, and even the quickest transitions can feel like moving through sludge. But, I'm starting to realize that holding on to the things I can't control doesn't make the inevitable any easier. I no longer let my brain live in the next season, where I think about moving on or leaving behind the place I am right now.
At 25, the concept of "blooming where you're planted" is finally beginning to hit home, but only through the realization that other people need to follow their own call to bloom somewhere else.
This is my spot for my season, and I plan to make the most of it. Goodbyes are made easier when you realize that they aren't the end of the story.