I’ve been reflecting on leaving a lot lately and it’s kind of tiring. Partially because I know I’ll end up missing Pipeline within hours of leaving, but mostly because I’ll be leaving my church, friends, and family.
I finally announced my decision to join Mercy Ships to my church at large yesterday and it felt like it made it all the more real, which is good, but it’s hard to leave people you love. And this time it’s harder because it’s most likely goodbye for lots of them. I may never come back to Spokane; even if and when I do, so many people will have moved on to other places.
And life continues when you’re away, people grow in new and (sometimes) exciting directions and the relationships you once had are often lost forever. It’s not enough to cause me to reconsider what I’m doing, life is a series of comings and goings and I’m used to that aspect of things. It is enough to make me reflect on my time here over the past two years since I got back from France and consider how much time, how many resources, and how many relationships I squandered while I was here though.
Not to get too down on myself but the last two years were really hard for a number of reasons, and I wasn’t the easiest friend to have at times (or most of the time). It makes me grateful for the people who were patient and gracious with me in the midst of my malcontent and frustrations, because had they not I wouldn’t have been left with many friends. And that causes me to praise the Lord because He truly has surrounded me by better friends than I could have asked for.
And so I sit, and reflect, and turn a bit melancholy as I prepare to leave again and this time say goodbye. It was both a reminder of God’s present provision and my impending separation from my friends that the last song before I made my announcement was “It is Well with My Soul.” Not to say my family is going to die in a shipwreck but the idea of loss, separation, grief, and ships were all entwined within the music and it reminded me vividly that whatever happens the Lord has me.
Still sad to leave you all though. And of course I’ll miss peanut butter, Mexican food, and Pizza Pipeline among other things. Seriously, there’s no good peanut butter or Mexican food across the pond.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.