Sunday, January 24, 2010

Perfecting the art of saying goodbye…or trying to

One thing I’ve come to realize about my life is that it is continually full of ‘goodbyes.’ Some of them more permanent then others, but the reality is that they are always there—whether in Ukraine or the US, I can’t escape the fact that either I or the people around me seem in continual motion.

No matter how many times I come and go from ‘home’ (even that word has started to have multiple meanings) I still have the same feelings surface as I have to pack up my bags and again say goodbye to some of the people I love the most- as I did a week ago. Tucking my sweet nephew in for the final time, that final trip to the airport, that last tearful look towards my mom as she waves me on through the security line and I do my best to remain composed…- it’s as if in these moments all the emotions boil to the surface and there is this little part of me that is tempted to run back and say, ‘Okay! I’ll stay.’ Suddenly that tiny part of me that would rather stay in the safer place wants to burst out and run back into the arms of ‘home’.

But somehow, when I find myself alone, seated on the tarmac, engines starting, with some stranger sitting next to me, I close my eyes and I hear that familiar still small voice whisper ever so gently, ‘trust Me, you are right where you are supposed to be.’

I can’t tell you how many times in moments like this I have opened my Bible and the words that seem to find me are these: “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

Believe me, I’m not trying to paint myself as some saint because I know I am far from it. But the reality is that when I read those words they are just so tangible to me. The people that Jesus lists in that passage are real and have faces of people attached to them- faces of people that I love. Which makes reading that passage even harder at times. But reading those words and reading the promise helps to remind myself of why I’m living in Ukraine. It has to be because of Jesus. And ultimately that helps puts these quick earthly goodbyes in perspective.

But in all actuality I prefer to say, ‘I’ll see you soon!’

Some sweet moments from my time at home...

Christmas morning
weekend with some of my dearest friends of the hardest parts of saying goodbye! I mean- look at those eyes!! :)


Heidi and Felix said...

Always love your blog entries Karen! And you are right about those eyes!

ukrainiac said...

Those verses really do speak to those of us on the field. Thanks for this expresses what we all have felt!

Of course, the flip side is that we do get a lot of "welcome home" hugs on both sides of the pond.

See you soon.

Evie's Story said...

Precious friend
thanks for sharing your heart! I KNOW the feeling of that lump in your throat. You indeed are storing treasure in heaven as you make these poignant sacrifices here on earth. Thank you for the eternal perspective that you keep.
So, when we gonna have that chat? I leave for India on Wednesday:-)
Your nephew is ADORABLE and SO big!!!!

Natasha said...

LOVE your post, sister!

Don't be shy - you ARE a saint!!! I admire you and what you do in Ukraine for those precious kids. One of them was Oksana...I saw the way she hugged you when she saw you a few weeks ago...made me a little jealous for a moment! :)
Love you, friend.