The process of leaving – it’s not an easy one. If I’m (Amber) perfectly honest, saying goodbye is something I dread, something I put off. I get extremely emotional, sometimes to a ridiculous point, and as I’m trying to tell my kids that we are going on a great adventure to Thailand, my tears just confuse them. They only understand tears as sadness, when really the tears I shed saying goodbye to people are tears of joy, tears that symbolize how I treasure the people in my life, tears that express how blessed I am to have incredible people that I love and that love me back. For years now, Matthew and I have said that we never want it to be easy to say goodbye. If it ever becomes easy, it means that we haven’t connected with people, bought in relationally, and rooted ourselves there. And people are the whole point (a lesson that’s taken me longer to learn). It was hard to “goodbye” earlier this week, but I’m grateful for that.
With the parting completed, we’ve now said hello! Hello to a whole new city and country, hello to an amazing new group of co-workers and friends, and hello to a lot of unknown. We cannot express how different this experience has been from our last big international move. From the moment we exited the baggage hall, we have been blessed with friends, people to come alongside and help with bags, tell us where to find what we need, set up mobile phone contracts for us, offer gift baskets, and do runs to the store. We have been welcomed in a way that is so meaningful to us, I don’t think our words will ever be able to express our gratitude.
I am filled with so much hope and anticipation for what is to come here. There is certain ease I feel this time around. I’m not fooled into thinking it will be easy, but maybe it’s more of an ease within myself. I feel very sure of what God has called us to. I know my only priority right now is to help my kids adjust and become at home in their new setting. I don’t feel the need to rush this process, I just want to do it well.
So with all the goodbyes said, we continue to now say hello.