Anthem Alumni: Jessi Bee

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

I’ve always hated goodbyes.

Whether they are said with grace and eloquence, or snot and tears, they seem wrong. Hellos, relationships deepened, are Eden-esce, reminiscent of God walking with us, and us walking with God, and all of us walking with each other. Harmony. Satisfaction. Perfection. Hellos represent possibility and life.

But goodbyes seem to ruin it. Goodbyes sever. One of the first goodbyes happened when Adam and Eve left the garden–left the Presence of God. They feel discordant, dissatisfying, and sad.

And yet they are necessary.

Without goodbyes, life as I know it would not exist. My parents would have never left home, never met each other. I would have never traveled the world and never made new friends. My friends would not go off to school in the fall, never make the world a better place. Without goodbyes, the world would die–but with them, in the ruin and severance, the soil for new life is plowed.

New life. I need new life, and desire it. I want to know new mercies and the new thing God is doing. I want what’s around the corner.

And that means changing direction.

Wednesday is our last day in Colorado, and it will spill over with goodbyes. First we will send our family off from a reunion, and then we will part ways with new friends from church. I don’t want to.

I don’t want to look in the eyes of relatives I’ve just begun to get to know and have to postpone that connection, again.

I don’t want to lose the little hands in mine, the little voices that say they go where I go and could I please sit next to them in the car and they missed me when I was gone. Today they missed me; next year they may not remember who I am.

I don’t want to have a last meal with closest friends and know every second is one closer to the end.

I don’t want to embrace each beautiful person, each heart, for the last time, not knowing exactly when we’ll be together again.

Because two months of relationships built cannot all be for not–but it CAN be different for now.

New for now.

New. We started our trip with the hope, the prayer that God would do a new thing, and He HAS. Now, the time has come not to erase, not simply to sever, but to move on and let Him do it again.

So I’ll wake up to new mercies tomorrow. I’ll wake up a new creation. I’ll try to be present, to weight the time so it slows and we truly enjoy. I’ll try to be vulnerable so relationship sprouts and blossoms and sustains past the in-person part. And then, though it feels off, and unpleasant, and hard, I will say my goodbyes and trust the One Who didn’t change when Eden fell, Who, through Jesus Christ, never leaves and never stops doing the new thing, because in Him, every goodbye…

…becomes a hello.

– Jessi Bee