There is a strange place that exists between farewell and goodbye.
It is that moment between saying goodbye to someone and actually walking out of sight.
It is letting go from the embrace and stepping back and turning around and walking away.
It is that lingering gaze where no words are possible.
This limbo is an uncomfortable place to be, and it is where I am living.
In four days, my mom will be in the same country (and city and room and hug) as I am for the first time in four months.
In five days, 23 people who I love deeply and passionately and fiercely will leave the country.
In eight days, I will say goodbye to the Guatemalan families that took me in and loved me and treated me as their own daughter.
In nine days, I will say goodbye to the beautiful country that has become so familiar to me.
In nine days, I will say hello to a new country, full of new faces and new possibilities.
In 68 days, I will step back onto Minnesotan soil, where the air is crisp and English is everywhere.
I have always been one to live in the moment. But now I am consumed with the past and with the future. Nostalgia and fear and hope and regret are battling in my heart.
I know that these days will pass as quickly as a breeze and simultaneously as slowly as eternity itself. My longing is not that time slow down or skip ahead. I just want to live, not plan or reminisce. While absorbing the current moment is my modus operandi, in these recent days I cannot seem to pull myself out of past and future and into now.
Like I wrote before I came on this trip, the hardest part of saying goodbye to someone is turning around after the hug. Psalm 139:5 says, “You hem me in — behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.” God is before us and after us and in front of us and behind us. No matter whether we are embracing someone or walking away from them, God is with us and his hand is on us.
Right now is a good place to be, no matter what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. Limbo is a lie. Now may feel awkward, and it may be a transitional time. However, even in the midst of transition that leaves rubble and dust all over your life, God is with you and his protecting, loving hand is on you.