I don’t like saying goodbye – and I’m not any good at it.  In fact, I’m the one who cries and makes a fool of myself at those ‘goodbye, we’ll miss you parties.’  And I’m not the chick who cries those cute little tears that manage to trickle down and never blur the mascara – nope, not me.  I cry those big, ugly tears that somehow manage to mess up my makeup from my eyebrows to my chin.  Mascara makes its way around my eyes until I look like a bad Alice Cooper impersonator (and if you don’t know who Alice Cooper is, don’t tell me.  I’m having an ‘I feel old today’ day – and also, for the record Alice Cooper is before my time (mostly) but who can forget the guy who made streaking mascara a fashion statement.  I bet he’s an ugly crier, too.

 Back on track – I hate saying goodbye and I’m going to have to do it very soon.  A fairly new, but very dear friend is moving.  She and her husband, our minister of education, are taking a church in Lake Mystic, Florida (cool name, isn’t it?)  Now, Beth and I have become pretty good friends, fairly quick and it’s been a huge blessing in my life. 

 I met Jeff first and immediately like him. I met Beth later – and I liked her even more.  It was a God thing.  We both love women’s ministry.  She has great ideas for events – and I like to go to events. Beth owns a chocolate fountain -and I like to stick things in chocolate fountains.  Now, you tell me who doesn’t want to be friends with the chick who has her own chocolate fountain?  The minute she told me she had a chocolate fountain I thought this is a woman after my own heart.    

 Beth and I are very different – she’s the quiet, composed thinker and I’m … well, I’m just me.  I don’t think anyone has ever described me as quiet or composed.  But don’t let  Beth’s composure fool you; she’s a hoot and tons of fun.  We went on a women’s retreat to the mountains and had a blast.  She showed me the outlet mall ropes – and I’m hooked!  

 The Lord dropped Beth in my life at the perfect time – I was dealing with some bad friend “stuff” (don’t you just hate bad friend “stuff.”)  I knew the Lord didn’t want me to close myself off from new relationships, but I was struggling with trust.  Beth became a bit of a security blanket as I fumbled my way through the maze (figuratively and literally) of learning a new church.  I will miss my friend.  It makes me sad.  

 I know the Lord has something wonderful down the road for Jeff and Beth and their children.  I know that they are following His lead and that’s all any of us can do.  I know that the Lord will bless their obedience.  But I don’t have to like it.  

 So, I’m saying good bye to my friend very soon.  I know that the Lord has plans for her — great plans and I know this new church will be a blessing to her and she to them.  Her heart for ministry and missions is evident in all that she does.  

 For we are His creation – created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:9-10

 I’m sad that Beth is leaving, but I’m excited for her next step in this journey of life.  I know that the Lord has a good work for her – and I know that she will walk in this good work with the Lord’s guidance. 

God’s plans aren’t my plans and while it’s never easy to say goodbye to a friend, I know that this is the path for her and I wish her and the family all the best. 

God Speed, Beth and Jeff.