I’ve been warned about this. But being on the mission field just a short time, I haven’t dealt with it much. And you can never really know what something is like until you’ve experienced it yourself. They say it comes with the missionary life – and it’s the hardest part of it. They say it never gets easier, saying goodbye. And I completely agree!
I had to say goodbye to one of my dearest friends today. I met her and her family almost 3 years ago at the cross-cultural training course for our organization. They came to Papua New Guinea around the same time as I did. And I quickly adopted them as my second family. Her boys have brought so much joy to my life (and shame, as they always beat me in Mario Kart). And Susan has been a sister to me.
Now they have “gone finish” (the phrase we use when someone is leaving us for good), back to life in California. A piece of my heart left with them! I know I can see them again someday, maybe go to California when I’m home on furlough. But it just won’t be the same without them here! This was something I never expected, but there’s a unique bond that comes with going through similar things together… and I guess that’s what makes it so hard.
This does remind me, though, that my true home is not on earth. This journey brings many amazing people into our lives, and one day we’ll all be together in heaven… never having to ever say goodbye again!