The cost is real.
The endless goodbyes. The missed birthdays and holidays. The wedding vows said outside our hearing. The eulogies spoken without us in the pew. The fellowship and friendship circles that go on without us.
The cost is so very real.
In this week of focusing on goodbyes at Velvet Ashes, we want you to know that we get that you have said goodbye to a lot. Goodbye to family, friends, co-workers, and yes, even pets.
We say goodbye to a lifestyle, to routines and rhythms, to familiarity.
We say goodbye to favorite places that evoke memories and a sense of belonging and comfort, fun, and togetherness.
We say goodbye to shared experiences, those everyday moments when inside jokes are born, secret smiles are shared, knowing looks are passed between sisters and friends.
We miss out on those little conversations mostly about nothing that create a whole lot of something between two people.
We miss our best friend or sister’s bad hair days, and for a while, we’ll have to live on the fumes of the fragrance of a life-giving friendship that dwells in a different corner of the planet.
We get that. The cost is real.
Somewhere in the midst of your goodbyes is a sacrifice that you and God have wrestled over. You laid your Isaac on the altar and there was no ram in the thicket to rescue and return your sacrifice. Your “yes” stands. Your sacrifice accepted. And not just accepted, but rejoiced in, delighted over, honored by Jesus.
So, as you tearfully separate from your support system,
as you walk to the car hand in hand with your loved one,
as you hug your nieces and nephews a little tighter,
as you promise your fiancé you’ll be back in ten months,
YOU ARE DECLARING THE WORTH OF THE ONE WHO CALLS YOU.
My goodbyes this month include leaving my three all-grown-up kids on this side of the ocean as I return to the foreign land where they did all that growing up.
I’m saying goodbye to my heartbroken Dad still grieving the loss of my Mom.
I’m – again – waving goodbye to daily interactions with family by returning to a place where time zones interfere with “a funny/cool/weird/amazing thing just happened” calls and texts.
I’m saying goodbye to fresh air and blue skies and the freedom of driving.
The weight of those goodbyes seems a little heavier this time around. So, I am trusting our Father to step in with heavier doses of His grace and peace and comfort. And I’m remembering He delights in my willingness to pay the very real cost of following Him to faraway places.
The sacrifices we make do not go unnoticed. “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10
Did you catch that? We show God our love for Him as we serve others. Our willingness to lay all else aside for His name’s sake is taken very seriously by God. He takes note and makes crazy promises to those who obey His call.
This week I am at our organization’s training with dozens of new co-laborers as they prepare for cross cultural service. And I’m so touched by their stories of commitment. I’m inspired by their surrendered love for Jesus. And I’m so humbled by the cost they are willing to pay to see His name made great among the nations. Their “Yes” boldly and emphatically declares His worth.
Your “Yes” courageously and beautifully declares His worth.
In every goodbye you and I whisper, we loudly and clearly declare His worth.
What do your goodbyes look like in this season? Are you sensing His delight or feeling the weight of those goodbyes? Or both?