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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.