It is that time of year again: "PCS" season, which I have at this point in my 13 years of military life come to conclude stands for "Pouting, Crying, and Sobbing", because that's what it makes me want to do. It seems that no matter how good one gets at packing, saying goodbye never gets any easier. In this round of military moving I am a leavee not a leaver; so, I am at this moment, gazing out my window watching a friend's household goods get prepped and crated for the long journey to the motherland...
Making friends quickly is a necessity in the military (for adults and children alike). You have to be willing to make yourself vulnerable by opening up right away and by realizing these new friends may have to leave (or you may have to leave) with very little notice. And so, you throw yourself into the deep-end of friendship knowing full well that, inevitably, you and your new friends WILL go your separate ways.
I lived nearly 23 years in the same town, and I went all the way through elementary school and high school with the same group of people. If a new kid came to our town (which rarely happened), he or she would immediately get a nickname like "Chicago" or "Cali" (you get the idea). So, it wasn't until I left that small town that I experienced the way God works, arranges, and plans divine meetings of souls. Please don't misunderstand; God arranges meetings of people in small towns too... (Have I mentioned my husband and I met on our elementary school playground?) But over my years, "away from home," God has poured out his love on me through numerous Christian brothers and sisters that have ministered to me in every way you can think of from talking to me when I was a wallflower at a party to mourning with me over the losses of my sons to laughing with me about my latest crazy idea. You see, to me, this is one of the greatest blessings of military life. I am way, way, way out of my comfort zone. (I am as introverted as they come!) But, in putting myself out there, in being willing to be a friend-and have a friend, I've seen God do some awesome works in my life and the lives of my friends, which in turn, has given me a greater understanding of God’s sovereignty and his love for us! I have experienced that He is a God that not only cares about, but is involved in the details of our lives!
…And, do you know what's great? These goodbyes are temporary! Someday we will all meet up again. It will be like when I see people from different times in my life that don't know each other commenting on one of my Facebook posts (and I get really excited because I think of how much they’d like each other)...except ...way, way, cooler...
Until we meet again friends, thank you for how you have individually touched my life! I do feel like you are carrying pieces of my heart with you!
A special thank you goes out to my friend, Melissa Riehl, for singing with me in the video. I have so enjoyed serving with you on the PWOC and ROCK worship teams and playing guitar and chatting, shopping, hiking, going to lunch and all the other awesome things we were able to do together, except that one day when we saw the rat and I ran and you laughed at me...NOT COOL!!! In all seriousness, you are a beautiful person inside and out and I thank you for being such a great friend to me! I miss you already!
As You Go
Words and Music by Rachel Harvey Hill