Tonight is the last night before my closest friends and I begin to separate for the summer. The first, Kyle, leaves tomorrow morning.

I feel this odd sense of bittersweetness. I have never experienced a community like this where one can grow to love people so deeply after knowing them for such a short time. God is alive in the people here, and he has challenged me, tested me, and taught me so much. My chest hurts with how much I care for my brothers and sisters here on campus, and I can’t imagine being separated from them.

As I watch the seniors walk on Saturday, I know I will think about this fall when their empty seats will be filled by the next crowd, faces unknown to me. As people disappear from my life, I will no longer glance up to see them as they walk in the room or hear their voices calling me from the plaza. Their physical presence will abruptly fade from my life.

My roommate is leaving for a California internship where she will engage in ministry to young girls coming out of sex slavery. I will not see her for seven months. I have to clean up, pack up, and walk away to head home.

 I can’t bear to leave, but I must.

Things are changing, and it’s far easier said than done. We grow out of our years into new ones. It’s inevitable, but a hard pill to swallow, and God doesn’t throw us into situations we can’t handle. I’ve been in so much prayer. It’s so hard.


I have something wonderful to go back to: home.

My family, a new job (or two), friends coming to visit, refreshment, time to process, church, ministry. It will be a great summer–I know it. The Lord has so much in store. It’s just a different kind of life for a few months that I will have to embrace.

All this makes me think of heaven. We were not created to have to say “goodbye”; our citizenship is in heaven, and our hearts are restless for full fulfillment in the presence of God for eternity. It’s shattering to realize that we, as believers, will actually be together forever. These “goodbyes” are not by any means permanent. We WILL see one another again, for we are in Christ. It may seem like it’s over, but it’s not.

God has a plan, and the roads ends in glorious eternity with him. The flickers of love and fellowship I experience here will be completely real when I am with Jesus, for I will no longer see through a glass darkly but will be fully known and fully united with him and my brothers and my sisters.

We may be parting ways now, but we have a hope that is an anchor for the soul. Only now have I begun to understand what that means, and praise God for it. I must remain in prayer and not lose or forget what has happened here for me in Chicago this past school year.

As we lift our eyes to the One who will never leave us, may we be reminded of the eternal Home that awaits us where we never have to say “adios” again.