I hate goodbyes. After years of moving around, I am still not any good at them. And this week, I learned that a friend will be saying it soon.
My lovely friend’s smile—back when she was just a stranger—was one of the first faces I knew when we joined Mission Aviation Fellowship. Back when she had a little blond-haired girl who fit in a stroller. Our friendship started in California, at MAF’s headquarters back then, continued onto Java, Indonesia, then finally to Kalimantan where we both live—her with her three kids, me with my two, including my own little blond-haired girl who fits in a stroller.
I am happy for them, as they finish some seven years with MAF, serving the people of Indonesia. But it’s sad, too, as I’ll lose one of only a dozen or so friends who really get my life as she lives it with me.
These last few weeks have been like that. Lots of sun. Plenty of rain. Gifts and hard things, all in the same day sometimes. That is life here on this tropical island, and I've been here six years. But I am still learning how to breathe through it all.
Visits by special friends. Hard conversations on our team.
Hopes of seeing family soon. Uncertainty that it will actually happen.
Amazing stories of Brad’s flying in the jungles of Borneo. An Indonesian friend admitting she just had an abortion.
Hearing my friend’s daughter get hit by a motorcycle in front of my house. Watching my son dance with my daughter in our kitchen.
Missing my husband during a hectic schedule that doesn’t seem to end. Then special late-night conversations where we share about our days and our hearts.
I don’t know where to be. The circumstances coming fast with its news of some things that change and many things that never seem to be any different. And sometimes I smile when I want to cry. Or I cry because a smile isn’t enough to express my joy. And sometimes I wish it would all just stop. But it still comes.
In the midst of the baby cries and the traffic and the roosters and the wrong choices and the things that just happen and the tickling and the unwrapping of gifts and the bread baking and the dinner burning and the subtractions and the additions, I stop.
And then I remember what I need to be. Be still. And know. He is God.
photo credit, ~~~johnny~~~