My daughter’s best friend moved to New Zealand this week.
In the light of this, many emotions faced my sweet nine year old. You see, these girls are special BFFs. They both share an unusual name – Emmalynn. Having the same name bonded them instantly. They both have the same nickname and have been tagged – Emmy and Emmi – since the start. They are creative, outgoing, spunky, driven, spiritually aware, musical and full of energy. They are princesses together. They are kindred spirits.
Our friends decided to move to New Zealand to plant a church and move closer to family. They made the plan last summer so it has been a long time coming. Finally, the last week had arrived and we could hardly believe that the time had come. The familiarity of seeing each other every day has now come to an end and they are on an airplane 1,000s of miles south of the Pacific.
As we had the last sleepover at our house and we talked of the last times that we were spending together, I noticed my Emmi was acting aloof. She made comments about how she didn’t want to see Emmy and that she didn’t need to have her over for a playdate. My Emmy said she had new friends now. She said each sentence with such assuredness, but underneath I could see how much she was hurting.
Have you ever run away or hurt someone you love because you didn’t know how to deal with the feelings?
Funny . . . isn’t it? Oh, how we humans try our hardest to self-preserve and not FEEL! My sweet, lovely girl just wanted to stuff those emotions and even tried being mean to her dear friend, just because she couldn’t figure out how to FEEL. She was afraid – really afraid to be sad and see her friend leave her side.
“New Zealand is really far away, Mom!”, she said more than once. “Yes, yes, it is!” I would reply.
God’s reply is in I John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear . . .”
Emmi was afraid to love anymore because she knew she would have to say goodbye. It reminded her of when I had cancer and she pulled away emotionally from me. She thought for a season that I was going to die. She pulled away from me to protect herself and it took months for me to bring her back. I had to put in hours of alone time with her to win her heart again.
The day came to say goodbye for the last time. There were promises of writing and of skyping, but we all knew it would be different. Together we held hands, cried and said goodbye, but goodbye is only for a time. We will see them again. But we do mourn this season that is gone. They will never be nine again, in this stage, seeing each other every day, sharing life . . .
God replies Ecc. 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven”.
Have you ever mourned a passing of a season of life?
So that day was hard. Both Emmi and I had to discuss how we felt. I made her put words to the feelings inside. This was the teaching moment. Then we focused on the things to thank God for. Otherwise, the sadness would overtake us. Being thankful lifts your spirit more than anything else.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thes. 5:18
We are so grateful for our friends. We are grateful that God entrusted us with them for “a season”. We are thankful to have been loved by them – in the way God loves us. We are excited for them as they embark on their new adventure and we will pray for them. We are looking forward to saving up points to visit New Zealand some day. We are grateful for you, Emmy, Cyndi and the whole Weeks family. You were a good idea. We are so grateful God thought you up. We love you! Go and save New Zealand!
Share with us a time when you had to say goodbye, how did God use it to draw you closer to Him?