Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saying Goodbye

For those of you who didn't know, I have been working at Wildwood this summer, literally since the day I returned to the States. It's been quite the ride, as I knew it would be. Most things came easy because of how many years I've already put in here, but there were some things that have definitely been harder than I expected.

Leslie and I started the discipleship program at Wildwood together after working a summer together. However, we went into it not really knowing each other since we didn't actually have more than a couple of conversations all summer. Despite that, we became friends quickly, and were sisters before long. Going through the ups and downs of a two year program and seeing each other struggle as God worked in us made us close. "Sister" barely begins to describe our relationship.

After the internship, I went to Honduras, and she stuck around Wildwood and did different things around the Howell/Fenton area. We got to see each other at Christmas and frequently exchanged Facebook messages, so our relationship didn't waver at all. During this summer, she was again working at Wildwood, but only for the first half of the summer because she was moving to Los Angelos, California to do another internship, this one at the LA Dream Center, where her heart has been for the last couple of years.

Although I knew she was leaving, I hadn't allowed myself to give it much thought, because it didn't seem like a big deal to me. She was going off and pursuing her dream as I had pursued mine. We'd still be closer than sisters, and we'd see each other again sometime. We had to.

Then the day of her leaving came. I felt anxious about the time that we hadn't spent together this summer because of being in different parts of camp and surrounded by so many other people. For one terrifying moment, I thought that I wouldn't be able to say goodbye to her because I was getting the horse campers ready to go on a trail ride and cookout for the next couple of hours, and she was leaving in one hour.

But, God is good, and she was down by the lakefront, right near our campsite. I was on the wagon with the girls that didn't ride and got out there quickly, so we were able to meet on the road to talk. I was in tears before we even got close. We held each other and talked for a few minutes. We told each other we loved each other, and she headed off for more painful goodbyes before she left on her next great adventure. We didn't say "goodbye."

The more I've thought about this over the last few days, the more I realize how different it is to be on the different ends of goodbyes. When I left for Honduras, it was sad, but I knew where everyone was. They were all in Michigan supporting me as I went off on my adventure. I knew where I was going and was excited about meeting new people and having new experiences.

But sending Leslie off was painful. Of course I love and support her, but it's hard to not know what she's doing or where exactly she is. I can't picture the people she's going to be with and the places she's going to. I know that God will take care of her and I know that this is where she's meant to be, so I need to keep trusting in God as she does.

I leave for Honduras in just 2 and a half weeks, when I'll have to go through another time of saying goodbye. I've always wished that I could live somewhere with everybody I love so there's no need for painful goodbyes, but I know that that's not the way life is. I have learned what home is. Home is God. Home is family. I have homes scattered throughout Michigan, in Honduras, and now in LA. I know that wherever people I love are, that is home, so I never have to be alone.

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