Saying Goodbye

22 Aug

ImageYou’d think I’d be good at this by now. One would think, that after nearly 10 years of meeting people, falling in love with people, and saying goodbye to people, I would be good at letting go. But the truth is I still stink at it.

I just spent three months with 30 amazing people, working alongside them, living with them, worshiping with them, praying with/for them, and watching the Lord change us all.

I hate crying. I always feel super silly, like a teenage girl who can’t control her obsession for Justin Bieber or something, so I typically don’t cry publically.  Saying goodbye this time though…sucked. I think it was the culmination of the past several years; from my heart breaking over and over again. But perhaps it was also a realization that if I’m living a truly satisfying life, there’s going to be true heartbreak to go with it. There will always be this gaining and giving up, fullness and emptiness. We can’t feel extreme let down if there is never any extreme happiness or expectation.

So the tears became a symbol of both hurting and healing. They were a recognition that I had the privilege of being part of something amazing this summer; something bigger than myself, I am truly living a life I’m proud of; one that’s satisfying.  They were also a sobering realization that I may not every have the same privilege again.

I don’t want to be one to take things for granted; to assume that moments like this will always be available to me, and I’ll continue meeting people who win over my affections. So I want to say out loud, right now, that I appreciate every single person I worked with this summer and I know what a rarity it is to enjoy living/serving in community the way we did. I learned a lot from you guys. I can only hope I was a blessing to you as you were to me.

I’ll thank my God every time I remember you (Phil. 1:3)


Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


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4 responses to “Saying Goodbye

  1. Lindsey

    August 23, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Wow. I’d love to hear about your summer, friend! Also, if you haven’t already read it, I recommend a book I think you’d like: it’s called Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. Her passion for Jesus is SO inspiring! Love you!

  2. Melody Williams

    August 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Beautiful Gretchen! You are a blessing in my life… even long distance! Love ya!

  3. j.t. drake

    August 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    gretchen,   my email to you yesterday being mainly about how your blog enabled me to sort out the goodbyes in my life (thank you again),i’d like to throw in my two cents worth about the goodbyes in your life.   most people, i think, try to grab hold of the divine energy or get stuck trying to hold onto moments for longer than they can. your life has been a testimony to what can happen if you let go of those things and follow where G-d leads. this is not the life for everyone, as so few seem to live it, but i think it is what Jesus meant when He told His disciples to give up everything–attachments, aversions, and whatever else impedes spirtual growth– and follow Him. living such a life must make one more keenly aware of the “fullnesses and the emptinesses” that happen to her when she fully becomes engaged in living life as G-d directs it. so hard to do, and not without tears, but as you have said, you have been part of somthing amazing.   i think it impossible that you will be granted the same privilege again, but i am quite sure that you will continue to be granted privileges because you have opened yourself so much to allow G-d to lead you to them. i am reminded of the section in Luke (?) where the angel of the Lord appears to Mary and tells her that she will conceive of the Holy Spirit and she says, “Be it done unto me according to your Word.” no hesitation, but a willingness to put complete trust in the completely Trustworthy. i have met only a few people in my lifetime who do that, and they use the same or similar word that you used–satisfied.   i hope that the happiness of being part of something bigger than yourself increases and that the heartbreak of parting decreases.   also, BEAUTIFUL picture. i have been letting that scene soak into me.   i am sad to say that i am unable any longer to open the video of you and your friend singing in the coffeeshop.   looking forward to reading about your next adventure.hope the two cents was worth at least two cents.   love and regards from your old friend,   jeff

    • ohgretch

      August 24, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Thanks Jeff. You are always so encouraging to me.


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