Hello and Goodbye and All The Moments in Between


I said goodbye again today.

Notice the “again”? You would think it would be easy by now. It’s my seventh move.

The cynical part of me says it’s my life. These goodbyes, they are my life.

I haven’t cried yet. Just a few tears in my eyes last night, but not crying, not that “good cry” all the books talk about. Funny how I can cry at such little, everyday things and then when it’s actually appropriate—expected, even—to cry, I bottle up all the tears inside and screw on the cap tight. I say I’m afraid of crying in front of people, which I guess is true, but it’s not so much that as it is simply being afraid to cry.

Because when you cry, you admit the pain. You embrace it. You open yourself up to it. And I don’t want to feel the pain. It’s too much.

Even now as the goodbyes are tearing me apart, I have to look ahead at the hellos. I hate the hellos, as much as I hate the goodbyes, but in a different way. They are so awkward, so embarrassing. I feel like a worm beneath their alien eyes. Walking into a room of strangers, remembering all your past experiences of struggling to make friends and fit in and feel included, knowing here you are, at it again—it’s torture. The hellos and goodbyes—why do I do it?

Just, why do we do this to ourselves? Who would choose this life?

A still, small voice whispers:

Because of the in-betweens.

Yes, the struggle of the hello can last long, and yes, the pain of the goodbye haunts your every step, but neither can drown out the beauty of the in-between moments.

The memory-making, the discovering of each other, the late-night laughter, the lighting up of your eyes when you see them, the inside jokes, the firsts and the traditions, all of it. The delight of a new friendship and the glow of feeling that you belong. It all happens between the hello and the goodbye.

You’ll notice that the hello and the goodbye don’t really last that long, not when compared with all that happens in the middle.

For every bucket of tears, a boatload of laughter.

For every faded long distance relationship, one that lasts and grows stronger.

For every awkward beginning, a thousand ways to a happy ending.

Of course, right now I’m not feeling any of this. Right now I’m hurting because people I love are being torn away and tearing is painful. Right now I’m facing the future with dread because people I don’t know are about to step into my life, and that, for me, is hard and scary. And I’m so storming tired. I’m tired of trying to make friends, of working up the courage to say hello, of gritting my teeth through the loneliness. I’m tired of letting loved ones go, of walking away from my belonging place, of bleeding from new soul scars. I’m tired of it all, and it’s hard to remember the good times. The times when I felt alive, when I felt that it all was worth it.

Because it is. I have to believe that. The beauty of the friendships I’ve made and communities I’ve been a part of are worth the awkwardness of arriving and the heartache of leaving.

Why do we live like this? Because we are not just part of one family or one community—we are part of many, each one ministering to us in a special way . Because every time we leave old friends we make new ones, and the old and the new join together in our hearts to form an ever-growing song of love and joy and encouragement. Because we know the cost of friendship and therefore know how truly precious it is.

Because it makes us brave. Brave, to start all over again—and again and again—and open yourself up to love knowing you’ll have to tear yourself from it in just a few short years.

They could make me bitter, all these goodbyes. They could make me isolate myself from everyone. They could make me cling to my friends and be terrified to leave. But I refuse to live that way.

I want to rejoice in each moment because I know how fast they go. I want to remember and keep in touch with those I have left without relying on them for my identity. I want to face the future unafraid and welcome new people into my life. I want to work at building relationships with joy even if I know we’ll be separated soon. I want to brim over with love and walk in fullness of joy. I want to be brave.

So I’ll whisper goodbye and mumble hello and stumble my way through this messy business of loving other people, and I know that I’ll find light shining through all the cracks and melding them together into something breathtakingly beautiful.

23 responses to “Hello and Goodbye and All The Moments in Between”

  1. This is so true…I’ve felt this. Thank you for sharing, it’s so encouraging. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that was amazing. I really needed to hear that today, thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Hello and Goodbye and All the Moments in Between // on moving and relationships […]


  4. I loved this. It’s so relevant to where I am right now. I’ve written a post on exactly the same feelings over at my blog, and reading this was like someone echoing my heart. Thank you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m really glad you could relate to this, Care. You’re so welcome. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. *hugs* Lovely post, and I wish you all the best on your move. If you ever need someone to talk to, my email and wall are open.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *hugs back* Thank you so much. I definitely will.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful post. I need to remember this. I’m praying for you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is beautiful, Abby. You have an incredible mindset for this move, and a part of it (and this piece in general) touched me much deeper than I was expecting it to… Thank you for sharing this. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sara. That means a lot to know it touched you. *hugs back*

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, so beautiful. Thank you for reminding us all that we do it because of the in-betweens.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for being vulnerable and for sharing this with us. Your willingness to embrace awkward and build friendships is such an inspiration to me. *hugs tight* ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so welcome. I’m really glad it was encouraging. *hugs back* ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Victoria NightSky Avatar
    Victoria NightSky

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ohh Litsa. This is beyond beautiful. I can’t imagine how hard this must be, but you are so brave, and I admire you for this determination despite the pain. You are in my prayers. *hugs tightly*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Nienna. Your prayers and encouragement mean a ton. *squeezehugs back*

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh Abby, this is gorgeous. Know that I’m praying for you and your family; God has you all in the palm of His hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ever so much, Quarterback. And thank you for the reminder; I need to remember that.


  13. Something I really needed to hear as well. Danke. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad. Bitte. ❤


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