both happy and sad.

Charlie, the main character in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, once said, “so this is my life. and I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

the grieving process is difficult and it’s different for each person. some days are much easier than others and some are just plain miserable.

and here we are – August 6, 2013. I’ve missed Michigan the most today and this same day last summer. I miss Grand Rapids and my family and my high school/college communities and my wonderful group of friends and I miss Joel.

it’s hard to know what the “right” feelings are today. I miss my best friend like crazy, but I also love my job, my crazy coworkers, my wonderful roommate, and everyone/everything else that make living in Cincinnati so beautiful.

so, like Charlie, today I’m both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.

goodbyes.

goodbyes have never been easy for me. sure, they tend to come with new beginnings, but they also involve leaving things behind.

I’ve been involved with Northminster since the moment I arrived here in Cincinnati. I absolutely love all of the people I’ve met and I cherish all of the memories we’ve made together. but now that I’ve moved to Cherry Grove, it’s hard to justify the drive…

friends from Northminster, thank you for the ways you’ve touched my heart and changed my life. your love for Jesus is beautiful and so encouraging.

but with goodbyes always come hellos — so I’ve found a church that sounds perfect and I’m really excited about checking it out.

it seems fitting, too, that I’m writing about goodbyes at this time. my best friend, Joel, passed away three years ago this coming Tuesday. it was sudden and unexpected, so there wasn’t a true goodbye… and that’s the worst kind, I think. when things are drastically different. when there’s all sorts of loose ends that you just can’t tie up. when your entire life changes with a tear-filled phone call from one of the strongest boys you know.

three years have passed and things tend to be a little easier now. the pain lingers still, as I’m sure it will for a very long time, but I’m finding strength and courage and joy knowing that, because of Jesus, this ‘goodbye’ is really just a ‘see you later.’

and man, I cannot wait to be reunited with my Soulja Boy-lovin’, Civil War reenactor of a best friend.