Check this out first or read it at the end (the link is also at the bottom of this post):
I’m not a fan of making a big deal out of goodbyes. I don’t enjoy or see much value in goodbye parties. I’ll go, but when I’m there, I don’t really waste time getting sappy thinking this is the last time I’ll ever see the person or anything like that. I meet people knowing that I’ll eventually say goodbye, because I’ve said many, many goodbyes. Goodbye to extended family members I’ve only met a few times in my life, not knowing if/when I’ll see them again. Goodbye to friends when my family moved from Texas to South Dakota. Goodbye to friends when my family moved from South Dakota to here. Goodbye every time I’ve switched schools–6 times. Goodbye to the many dear people I’ve met on the various trips I’ve taken–too many to count.
Call me cynical, but I don’t really buy the whole “oh, we’ll stay in touch!” conversation that inevitably happens. I tend to believe we won’t stay in touch, we’ll stay very much out of touch. And maybe someday, we’ll run into each other again. And maybe some of us will beat the odds and truly stay in touch. But we’ll probably all go on with our separate lives, making new friends, getting caught up in new distractions, creating new memories. And that’s okay.
My issue is that I tend to compartmentalize people: “out of sight, out of mind.” I’ll keep praying for the people I was close to, whether they’re near or far. But I’m a pro at moving on b/c practice makes perfect. I’ve seen people who just can’t move on, but I tend to fault on the other end of the spectrum. Sometimes I think I move on too fast. I mentally kick people out of my life and think that I’m doing them and myself a favor in the process. And I don’t flinch a bit. Just to clarify, I love people and wish they would all stay in my life forever…I just tended to let my practicality take over and assumed that it would be easier to let them go instead of trying to keep them in my life when they may not want to stay. I’m strange in the sense that I give, give, give during a friendship, but then I’m used to and comfortable with completely backing off the minute I think the friendship is coming to an end. I don’t get sappy or say goodbye, I just skip straight to the part that comes after goodbye. I can go from being super close to someone for months to having little to no contact with them in a matter of weeks. I usually don’t even realize how I’ve withdrawn until the Lord or someone else brings it to my attention. I think my initial intentions were pure (don’t want to be a distraction to them, don’t want to be distracted by them and forget the other people in my life, and so on) but I took it a little too far.
I’ve gotten better at this recently, realizing that if the Lord is the foundation of the friendship, it most definitely can last…(cue Michael W. Smith’s “Friends are Friends Forever“). And that cutting the person off isn’t the better alternative to getting sappy. It’s healthy and beneficial to maintain friendships with people even after some big change (usually a move) occurs. The friendships that have lasted (probably mostly because they have been persistent in staying in touch with me) through my moves across the country, trips around the world, transition between schools, etc. are all very valuable to me. The gospel binds us together. We’re united at the cross. No matter where they go, no matter where I go, we will always be friends because we belong to the Body of Christ. They’re proof to me that true friendships rooted in Jesus will never end…they will go on for eternity.
Anyway, I don’t have any specific conclusion to this. I guess I’ve succumbed to using a blog to vent. 🙂 But the whole purpose of what was supposed to be a very short post, is to have a link to Brock’s tumblr post. I read his thoughts this morning, liked them, and figured I’d pass them on!
thank you, Jesus
God’s grace in my life today:
Knowing Jesus changes how I maintain friendships. By His grace, I’m getting better at that. And by His grace, He’s given me people who were good at it for me. I’m thankful to Him for them and really value their friendships and love.