Love people. Love life.

Those two ideals seem to stand against each other when I’m saying “goodbye”. The kind of goodbye that gives me that sick, sinking feeling. That feeling like there’s a hole in my chest that goes all the way back to my spine.

The past week has been especially hard. I left people I love at home and came back to Togo on Saturday with only a few days left with close friends before they headed back to the states. I’ve spent so much time with Eric and Melissa and their kids that they leave a huge hole in Togo life for me. Especially Melissa with all the time she studied scripture with me and Kenz.

Out here in Togo, in a foreign culture, I build deep, close friendships so fast, and then say goodbye so fast it is jarring. It was the same in France too. You would think with all this stretching and pulling that my heart would become more flexible, but sometimes it feels more like bread dough being kneaded too much –it gets tough. And I start asking questions like, why did I let myself go there again? Why did I let myself love someone who was on their way out as soon as they entered my life?

Because. It. Hurts.

A lot.

Again.

But you know.. I don’t think I would really understand how amazing it is that Jesus said “I no longer call you servants… I have called you friends” if I didn’t have the kind of friends that I have. Friends who break my heart for me to see them go. I hope I never forget how to love deeply. Because as much as it hurts, it is worth every painful “goodbye”.

Thankfully, Jesus is the Love that made our friendship and fellowship so strong and He is the Love that I never have to say “goodbye” to.

Though the seasons change, your love remains.
(United Pursuit, Seasons Change)