Sunday, December 13, 2009

Exits

The missionary life is full of exits. Leaving. Saying goodbye.

We leave our friends, homes, families to enter the mission field. We leave the mission field for our furlough in the States. We leave the States to go back to the field. Mission teams come down for a while, and then they leave. Missionaries have to deal with a lot of leaving.

Let me say that it doesn’t get any easier with practice. I suppose that’s a good thing. If it became easy to say goodbye, if it didn’t hurt, then that would mean that my heart was calloused. I don’t want that to happen, so I pray that God keeps my heart soft – and that He heals the hurts quickly.

There is some comfort in knowing that when we say, “Goodbye,” here on earth as believers, it’s not permanent. It is not an eternal separation. My friend Julia used to say about her daughter, “I told God that He can put her wherever He wants her here on earth, but in heaven I want her mansion right next to mine.” It’s comforting to know that, as believers, our goodbyes aren’t forever.

Sometimes that’s not much comfort. On Wednesday, Evie’s best friend, Damaris, is leaving. Additional bummer: Damaris’s mom is my best friend. Ricardo and Cristina and their family are returning to Southern Mexico to live and work. I told her I was going to punch holes in her tires so they would have to stay another month.

That would only prolong the inevitable, though. God is calling them to ministry there, so how can I argue with that? So, instead of whining, I thought I’d post this little note. Now that I’ve found the useful page translator, Cris will actually be able to read this post. I know I won’t be able to say what I want to say in person, simply because I can’t quit crying long enough. I probably won’t be able to say everything I want to say here, either, but at least she’ll know how much I love her and how much their family has meant to us over the past 3 years.
Ricardo and Cristina have been our friends since day one.

Evie and Damaris connected immediately and have been inseparable ever since.

Jaziel has been our favorite toddler since he learned to toddle.

Ricardo and Doug share a passion for the Lord and a love of pizza -- they've worked, played and prayed together a lot during the past 3 years.


Cristina and I are sisters. She accepted me as a friend before I could even communicate that I wanted to be one. I don’t have to finish my sentences around her. She translates my dumb jokes so that the other ladies can understand what I’m trying to say. She helps me find the life application in our Bible study. I’m going to miss her. A lot.

Cristina, go with God. When we get to heaven, I want your mansion right next to mine!
Te quiero mucho, hermana mia!!!

8 comments:

Kathleen said...

Oh, I know too well the pain of goodbyes--the hardest part of being an MK/missionary!! Still hate goodbyes even after so many years of saying them.

rachel said...

We are saying goodbyes here too. We were just given a great homechurch a few months ago where everyone is just like us and now we are leaving. It is the only thing that makes me pause and say "should we go"?

I sent another important question to your email btw.

Ursula said...

Ooooh, I feel your pain. I am sorry you are saying good-bye to a dear friend. That is sooo difficult. I agree, it is one more reason to look forward to heaven.

I will look forward even more to our time together, knowing I may be able to offer company at a good time. Blessings my friend.

Hillary Hipps said...

I never thought about that as being a very real part of the mission field.
That is hard! It was very difficult to say goodbye when my brother left overseas with the possibility of never returning in the back of our heads.

Fruitful Vine2 said...

So sorry. Here's a hug. ((HUG))

Faith Imagined said...

What a beautiful note for your friends! I am sorry that they are leaving but I am glad you have such a special connection with them. I like the statement that your friend has about having a mansion next to her loved one in heaven. I will be using that line with my children!

strokeofliving said...

Isn't it fun to have friends that understand your goofy jokes? How tough it must be for you to leave a place you've been so long and established bonds. Bittersweet I'm sure.

God bless you and your family greatly.

Scrapping Servant said...

:) the end of this post made me smile :)

I never thought of the location of my mansion :)