What No One Tells You About…Staying.

Saying goodbye is never easy. To be frank, it sucks. It just sucks. It sucks to say goodbye to the school you’ve invested thousands of dollars in and given your children to. Forever, The Trinity School will be the place we first left our oldest daughter and trusted with her care. It sucks to say goodbye to your church community, who entrusted you with their spiritual care and for whom you’ve sat at beside in hospitals and prayed through difficult times. And it especially sucks to say goodbye to the friends you’ve made in both places and that you’ve given your heart to.

Rochelle and I are confident that God has called us to a new place in this season of life, but it doesn’t take the suck out of it. Even with all the excitement we have about The Vine, there is a bittersweetness about leaving Northern California that I never expected. In the last month I’ve had more brunches, lunches, and dinners to say farewell than I thought possible. So much so, you begin to wonder, “Why are we leaving these people?” Through all the leaving, I’ve learned an important lessons about leaving and staying.

I’ve learned…

  1. Life Is Filled With Swift Transition. Two weeks ago a friend said to my wife, Rochelle, “I just assumed our girls would go to middle-school together. I’ve always wanted to spend more time with you, I just never got around to it.” This woman is someone we think highly of and we too wish we had more time together. There are likely people in your life whom you’d like to spend more time with. Don’t assume they’ll always be there. They may not. Build the relationships you want to build.
  2. You’re Making An Impact. In the last month, people all over town have pulled me and Rochelle aside to tell us they’ll miss us. I don’t even know some of these people and others I’ve barely met. They knew me, though. They knew I was the preacher at Redwood Church. They knew what our church stood for and what we were about. They’d had children attend our free preschool or attending our Harvest Festival. Some were podcast listeners who never darkened our door, but knew of our ministry. Wherever you are in ministry or work, you’re making an impact on levels you can neither know or understand.
  3. True Friendship Knows No Location. Many people are friends because it’s convenient. That fine. Yet there are some relationships that – even when you leave – you know will stand the test of time. These are the folks you make visitation and vacation plans with (I’m looking at you Jody and VJ), and folks you know will go out of their way to see you when you’re close by (Fred). When you tell these people you’re moving, they’re sad, but they’re more pleased for you and they know that your friendship will stand the test of time and distance.
  • Jody

    I don’t think I can express how deeply your family has impacted ours. Each of you have enriched and deepened me, VJ and the girls. It is hard to remember that it was a little over a year ago that we decided to try to be better friends with your family. Now, with you all gone, there is a large hole in our daily existence. How can we possibly go back to no Palmers in our lives? Well, the truth is we can’t and we won’t. Facebook, blogs, podcasts, texts, Skype, phone calls, and vacations will keep us connected. I’ll even come to Texas. Promise! But maybe not in July. We wish you all the best and send you off with love and with gratitude that God blessed us with a year of Palmers.

    • http://www.thepalmerperspective.com Sean

      Jody,

      You, VJ, and the girls are a treasure to us. My heart aches knowing that we won’t have weekly connection. I’m looking forward to St.Thomas – or wherever we end up.

  • Kim

    Oddly enuf we don’t learn all we should about good-byes…until we’re face to face with them. Some are totally unexpected, some are more planned but that still doesn’t take the “suck factor” out of them. Be glad for the impact that you and your family had during your time on the left coast and get ready for the impact you’ll be making AND experiencing when you’re back in TX. Safe travels and hope to see y’all in the fall for the 50th Anniversary.

    • http://www.thepalmerperspective.com Sean

      Kim,

      Don’t know much about the 50th. Am I invited? Would love to be there.

  • Carol

    Sean -
    I have come to learn that the Lord places people in your life and whether they stay or go they have impacted you in some way. I have to say that (again) you and Rochelle had an impact on me and I opened doors that I probably would have passed by previously if not for you both. I admit that I cried when I found out that you were leaving. Not sad for you but for me. I pray for God’s blessings on your new venture’s. We are as close as our computers!!! God bless and I’ll miss you!!

    • http://www.thepalmerperspective.com Sean

      We’ll miss you too, Carol. Blessings.