Saturday, May 11, 2013

hello is sweet, but goodbye is bitter.

It's funny how people come in and out of our lives. It's funny how your very closest friends can be some of your most distant friends in a matter of a few months. It's funny how life can become completely different when someone moves to another town, when you change schools, or when people change, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. Things are constantly changing. And I don't think that's a bad thing.

Most people hate change. It makes us feel uncomfortable. I am one of those people. However, through experiences I have had, I have come to find that change can be - and often is - good. Yes, it makes us uncomfortable - and if life is about being comfortable, then by all means do your hardest to rid your life of change. But that's the thing. Life isn't about being comfortable. It's quite the opposite, really.

Things (life, people, times, etc.) are constantly changing, constantly moving; and if things are constantly changing and moving, they must be going in some direction. It is not so much important to notice that things are changing, but rather to notice in what directionthey are changing.

I've only lived a short 18 years, but there is still a large handful of people who have come into my life, have had some sort of impact on me (I believe that every person with whom you come in contact has an impact on your life), and then have walked right back out, not because they have decided they didn't want to be in my life but because circumstances have led them out.

I think back to times that I was so close to these people, times I said goodbye to these people, and I chuckle a little. I thought it was the end of the world. I thought I couldn't live without them, but my heart kept right on going and never missed a beat.

Sure, I miss them. But there comes a point in time where life changes, new people come in, you have a new routine. Their lack of presence isn't so obvious. I hate to think about losing the tenderness of missing someone. It is an excruciating thought. But it's okay. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. He brings people in at the right time and, as awful as His timing sometimes seems, He takes away at the right time. [Sometimes the Lord gives us someone that we wish He would just hurry up and take away, but His timing there is perfect too.] He often gives us a few great friendships that will last a lifetime but we all have those friends who we are close to, but not enough to where we will stay close to in the years to come.

So, when the Lord takes them away, we hug and we cry and we say our goodbyes, if we get the chance. Sometimes He takes them away suddenly with no time for goodbyes. Sometimes He takes them away slowly, in a manner in which we don't even realize a goodbye is in order and we miss our chance.

But when we do say goodbye, we do all we can to pretend it's not real. Promise we'll hang out. Promise we'll talk on Skype. Promise we'll visit each other. And while we want to mean these things, and we even think we mean these things, we often don't. Somewhere not so deep inside I know that it's all fake. It's all because we want something in which to put our hopes.

A few nights ago was my last soccer game. Yes, we said tear-filled goodbyes. Yes, we agreed to hang out and we agreed to visit each other. It makes us feel good. Most (not all) of us probably won't hang out or have visits. I told them all how much I would miss them, and I was serious, but if we're being honest, a year from now I'll go days, maybe weeks, without even thinking about the soccer season. I'll miss them for a while, maybe even cry a few times. But while they'll always be so dear to my heart, the Lord is taking a lot of them away and I'll unconsciously come to terms with that.

It's cold and it's harsh, but it's reality. People leave. People change. Circumstances change. Acquaintances become friends. Friends become acquaintances. We're scared of the new, but one day the new will be old. Life is moving, and I think right now my life is moving fast, but in the right direction. At one point in my life I was scared of this new, I was scared to say hello to these people because it meant saying goodbye to other people. Now I'm at it again. Scared to say hello to the next people because it means saying goodbye to these people. And that's why I'll continue making fake summer plans and I'll keep skipping "goodbye" and I'll just say "see ya later" instead. It feels so much better.