I wasn't really planning on doing a post tonight.
In fact, I wasn't thinking of doing one until Tuesday: tomorrow afternoon at the earliest.
I have so much I'm doing and anticipating at the moment, that I didn't feel I could do a blog post with any amount of equanimity and sense.
But here I am after all.
And it's because tonight was a night of goodbyes.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love and hate goodbyes?
They break my heart into a thousand pieces, yet also have this grand aura of hope and chance about them.
Goodbyes are seldom an ending, just a new beginning.
This doesn't mean they don't hurt, though.
I'm saying goodbye to so much- good and bad- today and this week.
The hardest part was tonight, though.
Many of my good friends- most of them from church- are leaving for college this week, and I won't see them again for a long time.
It's a strange thing, these goodbyes. More like a prolonged "See-you-later" that's been left fairly open-ended. Perhaps we should be saying "Until Christmas!" or "Au-revoir!"
The only problem is, I can't be certain if that's ever true. If not because of my change in circumstances, because God changes the circumstances. He has a way of rewriting our plans- however much to our annoyance- for the better. We may dislike or disapprove at the time, but His timing and His knowledge is perfect, His mercy and grace unlimited, and His giving spirit unmatched.
So although I do not need to worry about if and when I will see my friends again, it still doesn't mean that the goodbyes weren't heartrending and sad.
This Summer has passed in a whirlwind of activity and color and sensations I never would have expected.
It felt strange to wander down the neighborhood sidewalk today and notice a few of the leaves on the trees had turned orange.
Strange to review the past few months, look forward to the next ones.
Strange to stand on the threshold of a whole new era and not have a single clue as to what is to come.
But I am simply trusting Him who will never fail me.
And I am praying that all of my friends- the ones going to college and the ones staying here- will do the same.
It's not goodbye, dear friends:
It's "Until we meet again."