Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Time to Say Goodbye

In 2 days, on early Saturday morning, I leave for Belhaven College. 2 days. It seems as though time has flown by so quickly. I've known this day would come for quite some time. It just didn't seem as though it would be here so soon.

This whole summer has been a hard one, as I've seen this day approaching. Ever since I graduated, almost everyone had the question "When do you leave?" I could answer that easily enough, but it was inevitably followed by "Are you excited?" This one was hard to answer. Each person seemed to expect excitement, and I tried hard to show some, but I couldn't honestly answer that I was very excited to leave. I'm sure it will be easier once I'm there, but change and goodbyes are hard.

This whole time in between high school and college is a bit weird. You know you're leaving, but you know it won't be for a while. You're preparing yourself to say goodbye, yet still have a few months to wait. And, understandably, everyone you see wants to know when you leave, where you're going, and what you're majoring in. It shows they're interested in your life, but it's still hard to always be talking about leaving.

I don't know why I've felt this way... most people going to college seem excited. Maybe I just haven't tried hard enough, though I have tried.It was a hard decision for me to make, and, even after all this time, I still don't really want to go. But I've learned that my feelings shouldn't dictate my actions. I've prayed nearly every day for God to give me His joy, because I just don't feel much joy of my own right now. And, He has been faithful.

I know that it is God's will for me to take this next step, and I know that everything will work out according to His Sovereign plan. I know that I'll learn a lot at college, and, as everyone's been telling me, probably have a great time. But that doesn't make the leaving any easier. Letting go can be necessary... but painful.

I danced my goodbye on Sunday, dancing to the song "The Potter's Hand". The words of the song are very meaningful for me, especially as I enter a new stage of life. The first verse is beautiful: "Beautiful Lord, Wonderful Savior, I know for sure all of my days are held in Your hand, crafted into Your perfect plan..." The chorus is my cry: "Take me, mold me, use me, fill me. I give my life to the Potter's hand! Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me. I give my life to the Potter's hand..." Then it was time to say goodbye to all those at my home church, people that have been friends and shaped me through the years.

There are a lot of things I will miss about home, and this week before I leave has been full of lasts. Each day has been the last Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday at home. On Monday I made the last of my weekly batches of bread. On Tuesday we had some close family friends over, the last time I'll see them before I leave. Today I'll wash the kitchen floor for the last time before I go. Tomorrow I'll see the Hart family, and my dear friend Miriam for the last time for weeks. Tomorrow for supper, I'll cook for the last time in what seems like forever!

One thing I'm having to remember is that, though it seems as though many things in my life that I enjoy are ending, there is hope of them again in the future. I'll be able to cook and see family and friends on breaks and in the summers, God willing, and after four years of college, I'll be able to do them on a more regular basis. Four years seems like an extremely long time, but I know that it too will pass quickly.

There are things at college to look forward to. God will go before and prepare me for what lies ahead. There will be new friends to make and new things to learn. Though I have a hard time leaving, I know that God has good things in store. Change is hard. Leaving is hard. But there comes a time to say goodbye. And though always hard, trusting God helps me get through it all. He is faithful, and will be with me every step of the way.


Ella said...

Oh, my dear friend, I have been praying for you so much this past wekk! I know how hard it must be for you!! Change is hard and doing things you aren't that all fired up about is hard too, but remember His faithfulness!

Miriam Rebekah said...

Anna, I am going to miss you so much! I'm going to miss you're being here to keep me straight (I'll be in trouble constantly!) =)

I'll definitely be calling you after you've settled in.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow night.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I know this has to be hard for you! I would feel the same way. I did one year at college but had the wonderful blessing of being able to live at home and commute. But you are right, you will have vacations and breaks and the four years will go fast. I realized the other day that if I had of gone to college full-time, I would be a senior this year - I couldn't believe the four years would be almost over! Remember too that with all of today's technology, it is even easier to keep in touch with loved ones. I will be praying for you - and missing you too. It has been a great year getting to know you. God bless! Andrea Kay

Lauren said...

Hi Anna! I just wanted to encourage you - I've learned that sometimes the things we don't want to do, the hard things we do, turn out to be the best things we've done. God has an amazing way of taking a situation we see as difficult and making it a huge blessing in our lives. I will be praying for you as take this huge step of faith in your life.



eliasboudinotismyfriend said...

Oh Anna,
Though I do not know you personally, my heart went out to you through this post, and I wished that I could give you a hug. I too have been having some of these thoughts, even though I will still be living at home while attending college. I know I'm going to miss so much by being gone half of the day, whereas as a homeschooler you were there for every little thing. Every little scraped knee that needed a bandaid, the first teeth lost, the interesting conversations at lunch. :) I am struggling with the change too, and the thoughts of "this is the last normal Thursday, this is the last _________ before school begins." I understand what you're talking about, I will be praying for you this week! :)

Oh, and you're not the only one who is not terribly excited about going to college... ;-)

Hugs through the computer,
The other Miriam Rebekah

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post Anna! I've been reading your blog for awhile, but I think this is my first time commenting. I can really relate to this post. On wednesday morning I will be moving to the dorms at Michigan State University to start my first year of school. That decision was mostly based on my chance of competing in division 1 athletics (gymnastics). Anyway, I can definitely understand knowing that it's best to go, but at the same time not wanting to. It seemed like yesterday that I had the whole summer ahead of me! Anyway, good luck with your move, I really hope it goes as smoothly as possible!

- Jennifer

Father's Grace Ministries said...

I've had you on my heart lately.We will look forward to reading your posts from your "new season" in life, just as we've enjoyed your current ones. Relax in the Lord, He goes before you.


Jody said...

I'll miss you. And I absolutely understand - I did the same thing! "Lasts" are sad; but think about all the "firsts" you have coming up! You are a bright, sweet young lady. May God richly bless all of your future endeavors!
Mrs. Jody

Elisabeth said...

I hope that really works out for you! I was considering going to Belhaven for awhile for their theatre program. May the Lord richly bless your time there.

Sammybunny said...

Anna, I too, want to encourage you to know that God wants the best for you and all things work to the good for those who love the Lord. I truly think that you will love being at college. Though we can't always follow the "Trends" or the "fads" that may occur there due to our Christian faith, it is a truly unique experience full of growth (both spiritual and mental). I know you will miss your family, but look at this as a time to grow closer to God in a more intimate way--without those closest to you around. Also, don't worry, there are PLENTY of ways to be a homemaker in training in school. I often do my beau's laundry because I enjoy it and I don't mind the extra loads. :o)

Anna Naomi said...

Thank you all for your comments. I am trusting God in this season of life - it's a hard thing sometimes, but I know that He is faithful. Once I get there I'll probably be okay - I have more trouble leaving then settling into a new routine. The lasts are hard, but there will be new firsts as well.

Anna Naomi said...

Also, I hope that I didn't sound too unhappy or depressed in this post - I'm not. God has given me peace and joy, though the leaving will still be hard. I try to write posts for Maidens of Worth that are encouraging, but I also want to be real and honest. This is one thing that is hard in my life right now, and I thought others of you might be able to relate. I just want to keep things real and show that I'm definitely not perfect - far from it!

I do need to focus more on what's ahead rather then what I'm leaving. Thanks to a lot of you for reminding me of that!

sydney said...

Anna, you have been on my mind and heart lately as well. I can tell you that when people ask if I'm excited about college, I can honestly say that I can't really tell and don't exactly feel terribly excited. It's a new adventure with the possibility of doing more and different hard things for God's glory...that part is exciting. But, I understand exactly what you mean. You are in my prayers dear sister-in-Christ. Remember that not only will you miss your family and friends, but your family and friends will miss you too! :-) In this time of life, let God take and use you (like in the song) to be an encouraging and uplifting friend to all those you come in contact with at Belhaven. I'm glad that you have felt God's peace and love during this hard transition time. He's so wonderful about those kinds of things, isn't He?! :-)
The "other Miriam Rebekah" was so right in saying, all the scraped knees and band-aids, lunch and dinner conversations you will miss out on...even for me and I'm commuting only 15 minutes away. But, that's what makes your strong family relationships so much sweeter and cherishable! I love having a cell phone on a family plan so that I may call my brother, 2,000 miles away at LETU any time I need or want to. We talk to him a LOT when he's at school. So, he at least stays pretty updated on the 'little' goings-on. :-) Again I'll be praying for you. God bless...a hug to you!

Shalom! :-)

Bonnie S said...

Aww... All the best for the future! You'll be in my prayers, and I will really look forward to 'hearing' from you, through this blog! I'll miss your posts!!


Kelsa said...

I understand how you feel Anna! Last semester I went away to college for the first time. I was terribly sad to leave and indescribably nervous about meeting so many new people. I was so worried my room mate wouldn't like me!
But God was SO good to me!!! I met 3 girls the first day who I ended up being very close with all semester, AND I got the best room mate ever! =)
I had an amazing time away at Bible college, but I missed my family WAY too much and I felt God calling me to return home. So that's what I'm doing.
I know you will be fine. If you are doing what God is calling you to do then He WILL be faithful!

Maria Pauline said...

God bless you Anna! I will be praying for you.

Maria Pauline

Sylvia said...

I had the exact same feelings you described before I went off to college, and I ended up liking college a lot. I'm praying that you come to enjoy it as much as I did.