Good-bye is a Four Letter Word

Just in time to say good-bye.



That’s just about how much time we’ll have, my daughter and I, as she comes home from college this week, only to turn back around to leave for Guatemala for the summer.



I’m ready to come home 
but not ready to say good-bye” 
she said in a conversation last week.

Boy, do those words have weight in them.

She doesn’t like good-byes.  
I mean, who does? 
Except for those good-riddance ones. 
Luckily, that’s not the kind 
of good-bye we’re having
This time.



Making the good-bye transition with children
is a process that never ends.  I’m learning, though, 
when we keep our hands too tightly on our children,
we don’t allow them to grow in the ways God desires.


God began teaching me this two years ago 
when Baby Girl was considering going to
the-college-over-the-mountain.

“Seriously, child” I thought. 
 “You’ve been accepted to A Good School here in Indiana.
It’s in the middle of a cornfield even.
 You don’t know what you’re talking about.”



And just as audible as I could hear, the Lord says to my spirit,

“I want to work in her life 
but you’re standing in the way.
  Back off.”

Maybe you don’t need the Lord to speak to you 
in such blunt tones,
 but I do.
 I heard it loud and clear, 
“Back off.”

 In that moment,
I knew God was speaking to my child,
and she was hearing Him.

I also knew in that moment if my firstborn was being called to the mission field like she had been suggesting for years, then going to a school beyond the Mountain, half a day away, could it be a stepping stone for her (and us) if she is called somewhere else in Kingdom Come long term.

Why does God have to plan so good?


So, our heart-wrenching good-bye 
at the school-over-the-mountain-where
-she-knew-ABSOLUTELY-NOONE 
was just one step 
the first step


(her brother said, “This is when we just get in the van and drive away” as Baby Girl clung to her dad.)


Step two of saying good-bye 
as she is about to be dropped 
in the middle of the jungle 
is equally as challenging.

(I know it’s not a jungle, 
but I like animation 
as I buy jungle paraphernalia
 like mosquito netting) 


Good-bye, this time,
 is yet another step to a 
longer good-bye 
that may be yet to come.  

One years, two years, maybe more. 
Lovely.

With each good-bye ,
as I watch my child’s faith grow, 
my own faith has been immeasurably stretched.

How can I argue with a child 
who’s allowed the King to capture her heart?  
How can I argue with God about 
His will for my child?

okay, His child.


Releasing to let go.
Not easy, but essential.



In all of this, my mind isn’t far from  my dear cousin whose daughter, too, was a lover of the Lord, serving Him in full-time ministry.  The Lord called her home at age 34 just a few months ago.
A good-bye never expected.
Seriously, Lord?

 Enough said.


“I’m ready to come home, but not ready to leave.”



That just about sums up this thing called life
longing to be with Him,
but not quite ready to leave here.

Where ever your good-byes take you this week,
 may we all rest in the comfort of our Lord and Savior.  
Clinging to the good. 
Releasing the rest for His glory.



This is where we get in the van, and just drive away.    

   (good-bye).










7 comments

  1. Thank you so much, Jessica! I often think of you while she discerns her journey, knowing you are both called to work overseas in some capacity at some point in your lives. May God continue to help discern your timing and season! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much Jessica! When I was at New Paris last year and would talk with your mom, I often thought of you and Kaylee and both of your callings. I didn't know then (or really now) where she was called, but knew the Lord was taking her waway from here! I think of you often when I read your blog and your heart for Peru. May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to discern your call in each phase and stage. Thank you so much.Brenda

  3. Brenda, As I read this post my eyes seriously began to fill with tears as I remember myself nearly three years ago this August. I recall sitting in my room, packing my bags, weighing them, repacking them, and weighing them again. While I was excited to be returning to Peru for a third time, I knew that specific experience would change my life forever. At the time, the length of time I'd be in Peru hadn't been determined. I was excited to go and be used by the Lord to teach English to elementary students and work with the kids at the orphanage, but I was also very sad to be leaving everything I knew behind. It wasn't easy for me, and I know it definitely wasn't easy on my family.As your daughter packs her bags for a summer in Guatemala I will be praying for all of you! I am sure God has great things in store for her there, and experiences await her that will change her forever. I know this time isn't easy for any of you, but I am glad you recognize that this is God's calling for her, and you must let her go. (That's something my family still struggles with.)I hope she has a great summer :)Jessica

  4. Oh, Brenda….I read this with tears in my eyes. Two down and two to go for us, and it never gets any easier. You write beautifully and your sentiment rings true. God Bless You. Ingrid

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