A lot of things become apparent when you move. First of all, when you move you become highly aware of all the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. Stuff you never use or haven’t even looked at since last time you moved. Stuff that seems ridiculous when you’re headed to a place where people live in mud huts and the only shirt they own is on their back.
This time, the other thing that has become apparent to me is the stuff that really matters.
People. Relationships. Love.
I can’t say that I’ve suceeded in any of these areas of life, but I can say that I am truly thankful for each person, each relationship, each display of love. So as I get ready to move, this time to a place far away from anything familiar, it’s apparent that every bit of stuff I had means nothing. Every blessing of life and love through people means everything.
And so they begin… the “goodbyes”. I wasn’t sure what they would be like. Instead of sadness, I have surprisingly felt joy. Joy for the countless lives that God has brought together with mine. Most of all, I feel thankful. Thankful for each life, each heart, each smile, each personality, each friendship, each hug, each word of encouragement and support. Each life joined with mine in a different, special way. Each for a purpose that I may never know or understand. I thank God for each of these people who have shown me love.
So as the goodbyes begin, there have been tears, but not my own. Instead, what’s come from deep inside my heart is a smile. A genuine and thankful smile. A smile that is a reflection of joy, a joy that comes from love, a love that comes from Jesus. They don’t seem like goodbyes; to me they are like the ribbons that tie up beautifully wrapped gifts. Each gift is a relationship I have truly been blessed by and am forever thankful for. They are gifts that will keep on giving, even across an ocean.