It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye…..

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The best Christmas present we got was the completion of our requirements on a loan for our farm. We have money to work with now! And now the market is slow with very few options…. Ever feel like you just can NOT win?!?!?! Good grief. This has been such a long, drawn out, frustrating process that I’m at the point of throwing my hands up in the air and really not caring anymore. The repetition of the roller coaster ups of anticipation and excitement down to disappointment and more waiting, back up, then back down, up and down, again and again, has taken it’s toll. And I’m done. The real excitement will ensue when we get to move into our new house and start working!

Having said all that, I realize I’m just trying to protect myself. I tend to be a very upbeat person always looking for the silver lining and the “sunny side of the street,” but last year really dragged me down. And yet…. (you knew this was coming…) it is pretty satisfying to be where we are now, I must say. To finally be able to see a big dream coming to fruition is pretty exhilerating after all that anxiety, if I can let myself feel it. 🙂 We actually went to see a pretty promising property yesterday and I’m trying very hard to suppress my excitement. I want to enjoy this process of finding the right place for us, but I really don’t want to be let down again…. Here we go!

This reminds me of a lesson I learned a long time ago. My family would spend four years in Africa, then one year here in the US, back to Africa for four years, then here for a year. We did that four times. Over a period of twenty years, we spent a total of sixteen years in Africa with a one year trip to the US after a four year stay in Africa. Think about the impact of that on friendships and relationships with family. I remember that at the end of ninth grade we were headed back to the US to live in Kentucky for a year and I really dreaded it. I had decided not to make any friends because it was just too painful, knowing I would have to say goodbye in a year. Besides, how close can you really get to someone in just one year when you’re in the tenth grade? This was my logic.

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It proved to be a very difficult year for me, for many reasons. But the funny thing was that I ended up making some friends, one of whom I am in touch with again, 20 years later. Those friends were sweet to include a stranger who they knew would only be there for one year. And my best memories from that year were with them. By the time we were headed back to Africa I realized that it doesn’t matter how long you have with someone, investing your heart in people is never a wasted effort, no matter how painful it might be. You can always learn something from people and they can learn from you. Those lessons and heart connections are so valuable that the painful goodbyes are a bittersweet indication that your time was well spent and what you took away will be with you the rest of your life.

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So the investment of all my thoughts, preparations, discussions, prayers, and emotions in this farm of ours is, in the long run, worth every moment of excitement AND disappointment.

When you zoom out from all the details and look at the big picture of your life story, all those ups and downs are making you who you are. All my experiences are shaping my life and who I am. I definitely need to trust and rest more instead of getting so upset when circumstances aren’t going my way. The process of waiting with both anticipation and patience is an important element in shaping who I want to be. The anticipation and step by step process towards a big dream makes it all the more precious. And practicing patience and forgiveness with people I love is never a wasted effort. I am sure there will be more of that to come. 🙂

Onward and forward!!

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