Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Saying Goodbye: Again.
I am including this post on my personal blog instead of my missions one because it is... well... personal. I seriously thought that I had said all my goodbyes when I flew out of St Louis. I had no idea that God was going to place someone in my life that I would love so dearly, and be with so shortly.
Tanya and her husband Everett arrived in Quito at the same time our family did. We all moved into the same temporary quarters when we arrived in Loja. I didn't have a coffee maker, so each morning I bummed a cup off of Tanya, and we chatted as I had my coffee. I knew that her family would only be in Loja for 2 months, but at that time 2 months seemed like forever.
And now that forever ago seems like 10 minutes ago. Tanya and her family leave this afternoon to travel back to Canada. I am overwhelmed with the probable permanence of this. I have never been to Canada. I am not likely to go to Canada. This separation is likely to be a veryyyyyyyyy long one. So, my heart is heavy with this.
Tanya was a gift to me when I needed it the most. I had just said goodbye to my two best girlfriends. I had said goodbye to my sister and mom. I had said goodbye to my pastor's wife and my cousin Lindsey who had become like sisters to me. My world was recently full of goodbyes, and God gave me a wonderful HELLO.
Tanya was brave. She was contagiously brave. I did things with Tanya I never would have tried with anyone else. She dragged me into the shops and we fumbled our Spanish as we tried to find things for my new house. Because she was so willing to venture out without the "tried and true" missionaries, I was able to move into independence so much earlier.
Tanya would try anything new. "What is up those steps?" She would wonder, and then up she would go. Tanya is a natural born explorer and I loved tagging along.
Tanya was seemingly fearless at new things and at new relationships. She would make friends with the Ecuadorian young people with complete abandon. Last night the cafe was flooded with young people who had come to say goodbye. She gave of herself so freely. She prayed so freely, laughed so freely, hugged so freely, and cried so freely. She taught me to be a better person. She taught me to be a better missionary.
And I will miss her.
But I won't forget what she gave to me. I won't forget that the God who sent her to me at just the time I needed her, will not leave me hanging. I will remember that God will continue to meet my needs, and not just the physical ones.
So. I love Tanya, and the goodbye is hurting like crazy, but I will remember that God is good, and although goodbyes are terribly hard, that I will hang on for the new hellos that are coming my way.
I refuse to harden my heart and grow crusty in order to avoid future pain. Like Tanya, I will throw myself into new relationships with abandon, because there are good things in store for me.
I am going to cry.