Saturday, June 29, 2013

Five-minute Friday: In Between

“Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.” ~Richard Bach

So, I just found this blog challenge to write for five minutes, unedited, on a specific prompt each Friday.  Not sure if I will continue, but today's (well, yesterday's for me) prompt seems appropriate.  So, here goes ...

Today begins the in-between. 

Today, after two weeks of suffocating under the weights of goodbyes, our community attempts to pause and catch its collective breath.

For two weeks we have been saying farewell, whether we wanted to or not.  Whether the words actually came out of our mouths or, like my own so often, whether they were only thoughts that got caught up in our throats and died on our tongues.

Whether we drove out to the dirt airstrip and gave up hugs and tears in person, or whether we stood on our front lawns and waved frantically as the single-engine plane carrying our besties, our buddies, our co-workers, classmates, or confidants banked left and soared into the next chapter of their lives while leaving us behind to carry on without them.

She didn’t see me waving from my yard, by the way.  I asked later in an email.

Almost everyone who is leaving has already left.  This week I spoke with one graduate who does not leave until next week - she's still in the in-between.  She said it was hard being the last one, having to say goodbye to all of her friends, but that she was grateful for the extra time with her family.  Because this gal spent her grade 10 and 11 years in her passport country, her family has decided that she will be fine going home and getting started in university with only the help of her stateside brother and grandmother.  But, as the mass exodus of entire families so far testifies, this is not the norm.

So, here we stand in the in-between.  While the community breathes a bit more easily this weekend, we begin to feel the giddiness of anticipation because in the next few weeks goodbyes will be replaced by “welcome backs” as people who have been gone for six months, one year, two years or more return from their furloughs en masse. 

Exodus is replaced with influx.

Tears are replaced by joy; mourning is turned into dancing.

It’s a time of celebration.

It’s a time of breathing deeply once again.

Five Minute Friday


  1. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your in between!

  2. Welcome to Five Minute Fridays!

    When I first read this post (and had no idea what was actually going on, i.e. you are a missionary in Papua New Guinea), it resonated with me as a military child. We moved so frequently that there was never a mass exodus, but occasionally I would find myself in the odd position of being the one “left behind.” Such difficult, beautiful goodbyes.

  3. When one door closes, another one opens. Exciting opportunities lie for those who embrace change. God be with you 'til we meet!

    A sister in Christ



We are missionaries serving God and the task of Bible translation by serving the missionary community in Papua New Guinea through Personnel Administration and MK Education. We thank you for your prayers!

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