Sarah’s Story: Leaving (Again)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

leavingI cram more things into the suitcase, carefully wrapping breakable items in shirts and sweaters.  Piles of our life slowly disappear into the large box that will zip closed and be wheeled through the airport.  The items of our life pushed and squeezed into 10 pieces of luggage: We are leaving tomorrow.

I have trouble carrying the weight of this.

We’ve known the date for 12 weeks and yet it still seemed to surprise us in the end.  The rush to buy the last-minute items, to see if we had all that we needed.  Did you buy a gift for that person? Do you think we need an extra one of these?  The careful planning and eleventh-hour buys all jumble together, pushed and prodded to make space. read more

On Trusting God with Those We Leave Behind

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It must have been around the time we left for Africa. I can’t tell you exactly.

In the midst of weighing (over and over and over) plastic bins and duffels, hauling kids for immunizations, and making decisions on an African rental, sight unseen–a phrase from my mom sticks in my mind.

She referred to my sister: Just remember that even though you’re losing a lot, you’re going toward something. read more

Make It Count: The Art of Saying Goodbye

Reading Time: 5 minutes

art of saying goodbyesI grew up overseas. In fact, I attended 15 different schools by the time I graduated high school. So you could say I’ve experienced my share of saying goodbye. (Usually I was the one leaving.)

Now that I have a family of my own and have lived in the same city and the same house, for an amazing thirteen-year stretch, I’m now experiencing more goodbyes where I am the one staying behind. Recently I visited a friend during her final week as they loaded up their tilting piles of cardboard boxes and their kids to take a new job four states away. Before I arrived, I sat in the parking lot of a shopping plaza, scrawling her going away card. It felt like my pen also flowed with my own memories of bittersweet goodbyes. And I thought, What makes for the best goodbyes?