The last week or so in Laos was filled with lots of goodbyes. At unexpected moments, I found myself with a big lump in my throat, trying to choke back tears. It's weird what will trigger your emotions!
Writing goodbye notes to teammates and realizing how much I love them and will miss them, having students ask you when you are coming back and seeing their sad reaction when you answer, "I'm not sure", watching the older women (including one of my Lao moms) sing in the church choir for one of the last times, listening to my host mom pray and say, "Lord I don't know if we will ever see each other's faces again on earth, but thank you for the hope we have of being together again in heaven", walking out of Lao church the last Sunday, looking at pictures from the past two years, and seeing my students or friends or roommates or teammates tear up really got me!
I started to think- the physical effects of saying goodbye (that are all too common in my journey, considering this was the fourth continent I was privileged to live on in my 27 years) -with that lump in your throat, nauseous feeling in your stomach, and tears in your eyes- just can't be right. Did God really intend for us to say goodbyes?? I thought back to the garden, and if sin hadn't entered, there wouldn't have been goodbyes. And it really makes me excited for heaven- like my Lao mom said- where those in His family will be together FOREVER... no more goodbyes!!
I'm definitely going to miss my community and friends in Laos. I'm sure I won't even understand or feel the full extent of that for a while as there is a new job to start and other adjustments and distractions initially here in the U.S. However, I think it's good that goodbyes aren't a breeze, because if it didn't hurt to say goodbye- it would mean I didn't truly care about people.
Life in Laos has truly been a wonderful privilege because of the people in Laos.
Thank you, Father!