Bittersweet – pleasure mingled with pain. The bittersweet of parting comes with so many emotions, and I thought that I had experienced that in my life before – but I never truly experienced it until these past two weeks.
My last weeks in the state that I have called home for 25 years of my life. My last weeks in the city that was my home for the past 5 years. My last weekend at the church that was my home for the past 2+ years and that gave me more than I could have ever asked for.
Friends that touched my heart and my life in different ways all joined together these past two weeks to give me the most loving send-off ever. Someone said this past weekend, “goodbyes are usually very simple and you move on pretty quickly from them. But goodbyes between your Christian family are one of the most painful and sweetest goodbyes you will ever encounter.” And I can see why.
Each person that was present, that texted me, that met up for coffee with me – they all impacted my life more than anyone I’ve met the past 25 years. They saw Tania; pre-Christian Tania and they saw Christian Tania. They truly accepted me and loved me unconditionally despite the flaws I had. They pointed me to the gospel day in and day out. They encouraged me when I was starting to doubt, they supported me when I needed a boost, they brought truth to me when I needed to hear it the most – even if it wasn’t what I had wanted to hear – they welcomed me with open arms and hearts overflowing with love.
And as someone said during prayer on Sunday night at my send-off, although we don’t know what this next stage will be like – where it will take me and those around me, we have peace knowing that God already knows how it will all play out and that there is a day coming where we will reunite in His kingdom praising the Lord.
There are two words that I can’t say enough to everyone from the past two years, from these past two weeks – THANK. YOU. Truly, from the bottom of my heart and from a heart that is overflowing with your love and encouragement to see me go across the country – reminding me to keep my eyes on the cross first. Each and every one of you have genuinely shown me what a friendship in Christ is like and what it’s like to die to self.
But it’s not goodbye! I can’t fathom the idea that I will never see y’all again, so I’d much rather say it’s see you later because whether it’s a visit from you to CA or me coming to NC – I am at peace knowing that one day I will see you at the Heavenly gates of our Father’s kingdom and we will REJOICE that day.