Say Hello Not Good-Bye

A couple of months ago, church was just hard. I had to say good-bye to dreams and learn how to welcome reality.

I walked to church that morning because we had car troubles. The sun shone brightly for the first time in weeks and it felt good to stretch my legs. My family had gone other ways since the car broke down so I was alone. I contemplated the morning ahead of me: helping out in Sunday school and running away from the question that was sure to come. The question that I would have to say no to. The question that hurt me so much. Are you going to Mexico?

~~~

Before I turned into the parking lot, I saw a little girl dash out of her door dressed in pajamas. She began to unravel the Christmas lights from a little tree in the yard. I don’t know why, but this caught my eye.

~~~

For some reason, I stuck around after church. I don’t know why I did it. I’d already made my decision not to go to Mexico so there was really no point.

“Are you coming to the meeting today?” my youth pastor asked as I finally went to the foyer to┬áleave.

“No,” I replied. “I-I’m not going to Mexico.”

He looked disappointed. “Why not?”

“I just don’t really feel called to go. I don’t think God wants me to go this year. I’m not needed and I don’t need it, as much as I want to go.” I said. “And believe me — I want to go to Mexico more than anything. But I really just don’t think He wants me to go.”

“Well, that sounds like a good reason. We’ll miss you though,” he said.

“Thanks,” I said through tears. I watched the others enter the activity room where the meeting was to be held. Some of them had gone before, some of them were new. I envied my friends and asked God why. “Why can’t I go back? I’ve dreamed of it for so long? Why can’t you call me back? Please God! Why do I have to say good-bye again?”

But the Good defeated the bad and I heard His voice loudly and clearly…

“Don’t say good-bye. This is not the end. New things are coming. Good things. Say hello, not good-bye.”

I smiled. It was true. Yes, He was right. I put on my coat with a happy heart. Just because I wasn’t going to Mexico didn’t mean that God had forgotten about me. He was calling me somewhere else. Somewhere better for me. And who knows? Maybe I’ll go back to Mexico someday. It doesn’t matter though. Saying good-bye is irrelevant. Hello is the word to use for the future He has planned out.

~~~

As I walked back, I saw the girl who had been unfastening Christmas lights earlier. Now she was drawing a chalk house in the drive way. I was reminded of my younger days of chalk castles and neighbour friends and I felt the nostalgia and sadness come back. But only for a moment.

“Hello,” I said, smiling at the girl as I went.

“Hi,” she replied, looking up from her chalk.

I grinned. I’d said hello not good-bye. I can do this. I really can.

~~~

I wrote this post back in February, but over these last few months, these feelings have become even truer as I prepare to graduate and start a new life at university in the fall. While I am very excited to begin this new life, I am also apprehensive. I don’t want to say good-bye to everything I’ve known and loved.

But God is showing me once more that life is about saying hello, not good bye. Today, I was officially accepted into university after months of second guessing and debating. With enthusiasm, I said Hello and Thank you, God!

God has a wonderful future planned out for you, too! Don’t ever forget that He has your very best in mind. He loves you. So say Hello and not Good-bye.

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6 thoughts on “Say Hello Not Good-Bye

  1. Awwwww, this post made me smile. I know how hard it is to say “no” to things you love, and how easy it is to be frustrated with your faith as a result. I remember, back when I was in public school, I was a very good singer and a very good actress. I was one of the leads in Seussical in the school theatre program in the spring and we were scheduled to do Annie in the fall. Everybody assumed that I was one of the top choices for the lead role, considering my hair and how petite I am. Well, over the summer, my medical issues flared and nobody could figure out what was wrong with me. It broke my heart to have to tell my director that my doctor said I had to be sidelined for the play. I was so angry that I couldn’t sing on stage anymore. . .but little did I know that God had another card up his sleeve. If I hadn’t left that theatre group, I would have never been able to leave the school. And if I hadn’t left the school, where I was locked in a relatively destructive group of friends, I would have never started taking college classes and I wouldn’t be graduating this month! I discovered new passions and new loves by saying “hello” to God’s future, just like you will. :)

    Congrats on your university acceptance!! Are you staying in Canada or coming down to the good ol USA? :D

    • Thanks for sharing, Kate. That must have been tough…especially since you couldn’t do anything about it at all! Oh, I did Seussical, too! What role were you? I was Mrs. Mayor and a Wickersham brother. Congratulations to you on everything you have accomplished! You must be so proud to be graduating at 14!!!

      And thank you! I am really excited (most of the time). I’ll be staying here in Canada for now. :)

      • It was tough. But it made me stronger and helped me move on with my life!

        And oooh, fun! I was the lead Bird Girl. Our director expanded nearly all of the roles (he was a weird guy) and so I got a lot more screen time than I would have expected, as well as a solo, so I was delighted. Oh, gosh, I have fond memories of working with the Wickershams. We had one female Wickersham, the rest were guys–and the girl totally kept them in check!–and we had a ten second mic change after the first number. Yikes!

        Thank you, Liz! Well, I’m fifteen now, so not as impressive. :P Haha, thank you. I’m just blessed with opportunities that have allowed me to do this. Congrats on your upcoming graduation, as well. You are very, very wise for someone so young.

        Ah, well. Canada IS nice. But you simply must come down to the US one of these days. San Francisco, Washington DC…so many fun places!

        • Yes, those experiences are good in that kind of way! Thinking back, if I hadn’t stopped horse back riding (something I used to be passionate about) I doubt if I ever would have started writing! God definitely has big plans for us…bigger than we could imagine.

          Wow, that’s awesome! The Bird Girls are a great part (actually, that whole show is great ;)) and having a solo with it must have been fabulous! Yes, being a Whick was fun! It was hard because I’m totally not like that in real life…but a good challenge at the same time. :)

          15 is still impressive! Don’t sell yourself short – you’ve done an amazing thing, Kate!

          Don’t worry, after all this schooling is done, I’m sure to travel. I’d love to see the world! :)

  2. What an awesome post!!!! I love this! You are so right saying good bye is not always what God wants us to do. :) I am so proud of you for getting into the university. I knew you could do it, and I know you are going to have a great journey ahead of you this fall.

    Love you!

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