But today we say goodbye. We end this chapter of our lives, unwillingly. Yet, we have to trust that the Lord knows what he's doing in the midst of this. What other option do we have?
Yesterday we were able to say goodbye to some places. It was sad. Nothing was the same. Goodbye to the pizza place down the road that hasn't been open for weeks. Walk through a barricade. Goodbye to our street, lined with trash and words painted on the pavement. Goodbye to the bakery that only stays open in the morning. Goodbye to the grocery store that we didn't even bother to walk to because of the barbed wire across the side walk. Goodbye to what used to be a busy, bustling street that now feels vaguely like a war zone. This isn't what goodbyes are supposed to look like.
Today we will say goodbye to our apartment. To our furniture, to the carpet that we all love because it means be capable of rolling around on the floor. Goodbye to our beds and closets and bathroom. Goodbye to our building, to our complex. It's funny how we do these things for the kids, but we maybe need it just as much as them. We just sense the impact that these goodbyes will make, whereas they don't.
Our hearts grieve the friends we leave behind. Too soon. At least it feels that way. But again, we have to choose to believe that God is faithful and he's doing this for a reason. He doesn't need us here. We need to remember that.
So at 11:00 am we gather to load our suitcases to make the journey to the airport. We leave many loved ones behind and there will be many tears. 3:30 feels like an eternity, yet it can't come soon enough. These few days have been a torturous time. We feel so torn between wanting to stay and soak up as much time as we can, but also knowing leaving is inevitable and we must start a new chapter. Broken. This world is so broken. One day that will no longer be true. Until then, we wait, we hope, we expect that Jesus will one day make it all new.
So it is with very heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Venezuela. You will forever have a special place in our hearts and nothing can ever change that.