I had to say goodbye.
The boys had been in my Sunday School class for a year, and it was time to move on. They were grown up now. Bigger. Wiser. So I told them I loved them and sent them on their way.
I left the church, locked myself in my bathroom, and cried.
Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye.
I think about how some people are only meant to be in our lives for a certain span of time. Life is all about seasons. People come and go; that’s just the normal flow.
I think about my brother and his family, who must move to different military bases every few years. Friends who send their children off to college or boot-camp. Relatives who put loved ones in special living facilities and can’t visit often.
All around, I see goodbyes taking place. And I think about how the end of a season can be so painful. And I grieve the loss.
I think back to all the children I’ve loved over the years, and how I wish I could do more. Many of them have terrible stories about parents dying, family in jail, or living in foster homes. I wish I could mother them all.
Then I feel a whisper in my soul saying I must leave them in God’s hands. I can trust Him to take care of them. He placed me in their lives for only a few moments to plant the seeds of His love.
He understands how hard it is for me to watch them go.
But He wants me to learn to be okay not knowing the end of their stories.
The thing about seasons is that new beginnings always come. I now have a new group of boys to love, and all too quickly it will be time for them to move on as well.
When we love, it can be hard to let go. But letting go doesn’t mean the love stops. We love, and when it’s time to part ways, we grieve.
We don’t stay in that place of sorrow – there are others who need our hearts. We find someone else to love, focusing on the future rather than what we had to leave behind.
“Above all, love…” 1 Peter 4:8