Sunday, July 31, 2016

Day 31: Joy in Goodbye

We said goodbye to our pastor today, who has led us personally for the past five years, but our church for over 11.  It was a bittersweet day filled with emotions.

Early into being under Troy's leadership, I wrote about the impact he had on my family.  You can read about it here, where I speak of him being one of three wise men who've led me spiritually in my life.

As I sat down to write today's post, my final "31 days of joy," it came to me that I began my joy challenge six years ago, writing about my Grandpa the first wise man, and ended it today writing about Troy, the last.

Since that post back in 2012, Troy has seen our family through so many milestones and has helped to shape us more than I could've ever imagined when we first walked through the doors at EHBC.  His words of wisdom, whispers from God, have helped us heal in loss.  His calm presence has been with us in times of need.  His prayers have no doubt held us together as we've walked through life.  Under his care, we've seen our family pews expand in size and spiritual growth.  And his family will forever be an example to us of what it means to be good and faithful servants.

I'm terrible at goodbyes, as emotions overcome me, and in the midst of hugging a few words is normally all I can blubber out.  Such was the case today.  But I've learned how important your presence is for letting someone know what they mean to you.

I will never forget the winding line of people who came to say goodbye to Austin and the impact that had on our family.  Since then, I make it a point to attend farewells, whether they are goodbyes of this earth or goodbyes due to distance.

Since being at EHBC, we've said our share of goodbyes and I've learned that no matter how much you'll miss the person, there is joy still present because you know they are answering God's call.  Wherever it is He is taking them, they will do great things and touch many lives.  In the path of Troy and Kim, I'm just grateful God allowed us to be along for part of their journey.

As followers, we must expect change and movement and be open and willing to go wherever God leads.

As a Christian, I know that earthly goodbyes are also just "see you laters" because we'll hug them again in eternity.  And so, despite the pain that comes with losing someone, there is joy because you know where they are and that you'll someday be reunited.

Goodbyes are never easy.  But the only time a goodbye is truly painful is when you know you'll never say hello again.


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