“All we ever do is say goodbye….”

I swear that John Mayer song was written for Mark and me. We are moving…. again. This will make the 8th move in 7 years. Why…. I seriously don’t have time or space to explain but it has all been under the Lord’s leading. Our journey has just involved a lot of moving.

Needless to say, I have gotten used to saying goodbye. But I don’t like it. 

I got really frustrated last year…

Mark and I had just moved back to our hometown and were attending our home church. It was really nice and very comfortable. I am very thankful that we do have a place to call “home”. But after 6 months of living with family, we decided to move 40 mins. closer to the city so he could be closer to work. He was working really odd hours. But this also meant a new “area” and a new church because we really could not be as involved as we wanted to be in a church 40 mins away. 

Although I knew this was what we needed to do and was the best decision for our family, my heart ached. I was tired of starting over and I was tired or meeting new people. I wanted familiar and I wanted comfortable. I was so nice to walk the hallways of our church an be flooded with tons of memories. I loved seeing family and friends who knew me from “way back”. 

[ Side note: I don’t know about other people but I don’t always have 100% confidence in the next step that God has called us to do. Sometimes I may not even want to do it at all. But when I know He is in it, I have peace-tremendous peace! And with that peace and assurance, I can have confidence enough to at least take the next step…. even if my heart isn’t there yet ] 

Anyway, we were moving in to an apartment, another temporary living situation, and I had half a mind to just quit. I was tired of making friends and leaving them. I was tired of starting new. I was tired of the emotional roller coaster. I had no guarantee that God would not move us again in a year (and…. ha ha…. what do you know, I was right. He did). So I just wanted to withdraw, go through the motions and just kinda wait and see where He was leading us. When we had bought a house and really established some roots I would make some new friends.  

But luckily, I have an amazing husband who doesn’t let me turn into a cat lady. 

The first day we visited a new church we went to their small groups connection night (we had done lots of internet stalking with this church prior but we still jumped in quickly). We met some great people and ended up in small group with them for the last year. We got involved in the church and enjoyed serving there. 

The Lord revealed to us early this year that we would be moving back to the Savannah area but we had no idea the timeframe or exactly when. I was tempted again to withdraw and not allow my heart to feel that pain that was all too familiar. But instead by God’s miraculous grace we were able to actually plug in more to the church and community. It was weird and I didn’t understand. It felt like God was not interested in protecting my heart from more pain. 

But as I look back over the 14 months we lived in Atlanta I am so so so very grateful for our time here. Our small group was a messy and a logistical nightmare with all our children, but we made it through a year. We learned a lot and I met some friends that have forever changed me. Even if we never talk again (which I hope would never happen), they have forever left their “footprint” on my heart. 

I had the privilege of being apart of a “neighborhood” Bible study with college friend. I got to reconnect with some old friends and make some new ones. Most importantly. I got a front row seat of watching the Lord work in these ladies lives! I would not trade that time spent with them for anything! 

And we had some awesome neighbors! I loved the time in our apartment in Atlanta so much. It was a nice apartment in a great area – We were on a big hill right by the river, five minutes from the city. It was like being in the mountains right in the middle of the city. But we had some awesome neighbors and I think that was the best part. 

So many blessings but don’t be fooled there was a good bit of hurt too. There were tears. There was anger. And all of these different relationship required a good bit of time and sacrifice. 

And here I am saying goodbye…. again. Its hard. Its really hard. I don’t understand. I have decided, however, its worth it! The pain and the sorrow of “goodbye” is worth it. Even if this next destination is temporary (which I don’t think it is but just metaphorically speaking), it is worth it to put myself out there and build relationships, friends. Because like it or not, we were not made to be alone. God made us for relationships. We have that inner-wiring. And even though people can really hurt you, it is through good friendships and other people that we see God. I can count the hurt but I can also count the friends who were ‘tangible kingdom’ to me and our family! It’s those times and those people who make it all worth it! 

So Lord help me say “goodbye” but even more so…. Lord help me say “hello”. 

 

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One Comment on ““All we ever do is say goodbye….””

  1. I love that last line. You are right. It would be so easy for us to always be looking back, with both fond memories and difficult memories, and not allowing ourselves to look forward. Thank you for the reminder that we are called to “put ourselves out there.” Again… and again… and again. We’re sad to see the Tanners leave Atlanta, but we are so happy to have friends who put him first, who step out in faith to change lives, who follow Him when “it doesn’t make sense,” and who love people openly along the way. You and Mark have some new people to love in Savannah, and I pray that His presence and peace bring you many sweet surprises along the way. Know that you will be greatly missed, but we cannot wait to see all that is in store for you in this next chapter. You can be sure you have friends who count it a privilege to be celebrating with you in the good times and crying with you in the bad. You are awesome, Trisha, and a very bright light. Thank you for everything you have taught me so far, and all that is to come.


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