i've always been bad at this.

I've never liked saying goodbye. It's a mixture of hating change and also just being a deeply emotional person - but i've always hated it.

At the beginning of July, my friend Kay PCS'd to Texas. With all of the COVID craziness, her PCS had been delayed multiple times. If you know anything about PCS'ing, then you probably know that even without COVID, it's a super stressful time - especially if it's overseas back to the states. You're trying to sell your car, deal with your household goods shipments, find a new house in the states, desperately hoping there's a spot on a plane for your pets to fly, and so much more. So to add COVID on top all of that, well, it's safe to say that it was extremely stressful.

Somehow, though - Kay handled everything with so much patience & grace. She acknowledged that not being in control was hard- but she never doubted that God would take care of all the moving parts. Kay was one of my first friends here in Oki. I couldn't do much when I first got here, but Kay always went out of her way to make sure I had a ride, lunch plans on my birthday, or just someone to talk to. So obviously, saying goodbye to her was tough for me.

Friendships in the military aren't easy - there's almost always a goodbye around the corner. But Kay (Shoutout to you♥️) really lived this out - that as followers of Christ, it's our job to keep entering into the lives of others. It's our job to invite them in - to make space for people. It's not about how long we'll get to be friends with someone, or what they can do for us. It's about really getting into the waves with people. Celebrating them, and making them feel seen & known. Even when it would be easier to shrug them off because 'they only have 6 months left here' or 'I have too much mess of my own' or 'I don't have time to give up', etc.'

I'd encourage you to be the friend that dives in anyway. I look at the friendships I've made here, and so many of them - it's hard for me to imagine that there was a time in my life that I didn't know them. That's what happens when you choose relationships over fear. It's not easy going to the event alone. It's not easy to invite over the coworker you don't know well. It's not easy feeling like the odd one out. Trust me, I know that none of these things are easy, but I can tell you that it really is so worth it. I've made friends here that have been life-changing for me, that have given me an entirely new perspective on friendships. I've found a family in my coworkers - friends that truly want nothing else but to celebrate you.

And to think that there was a moment in time that I wondered if any of it was worth it. There was a moment where I really though it would be better to keep my distance in order to save myself from all the goodbyes.

There's always going to be a goodbye around the corner. Someone will always move - or maybe you'll be the one that leaves. But i've learned that God does incredible things in the space between the goodbyes. He does amazing things through the waves of change - and he'll bring you your people to wade with you through it.

All my love,