Living life overseas as a missionary, there’s one thing you get used to fairly quickly. Honestly, it’s my least favorite thing to “get used to,” but it takes the top of the list nonetheless. This life contains a lot of goodbyes.
Teams come and go. Interns come and go. Other missionaries come and go. Even those we work with locally come and go. It’s a pretty transient life in a lot of ways–people are always coming and going, so goodbye is a word we use a lot. We ourselves are always coming and going–saying goodbye to Thailand for the season we head back home for a visit, then saying goodbye again to home and friends and family as we return to our overseas home. Goodbyes are an inevitable part of this life.
Goodbyes are tough. I prefer to call them “see you laters.” One such goodbye I’ve been both anticipating and dreading is finally here.
For those of you who’ve followed along on this journey, you’ve likely heard by now that I’m in the midst of co-authoring a book with my good friend Kate. The Lord led her out here nearly one year ago, and I’ve had the honor of sharing my home and my Thailand life with her for a total of 9 months.
When Kayla and I first felt the Lord leading us to take on this project of the Braverly book–a book that will be used as a discipleship tool both to the women here in Thailand, and we hope to women across the globe–Kate was the one and only person the Lord brought to mind.
“It has to be her,” Kayla and I declared.
So over a Facetime about a year and a half ago, we threw the idea out to her about coming out here for a while (cough, cough…6 months to a year). We thought for sure we’d lose her when we told her the length of time, but the funny thing is, Jesus was already speaking to her about this too. He’s pretty cool like that!
And now here we are, having journeyed through 9 months of Thailand life together. We’ve adventured to countless waterfalls, taken more motorbike adventures than I can recall, and have traveled thru some cool new cities together. We’ve sat in tons of different coffee shops sipping caramel macchiatos while brainstorming book content, writing a book proposal, and editing various chapters and chapter outlines. We’ve powered through plenty of English camps, fumbled through trying to use our little bit of Thai in markets and restaurants, and have logged plenty of hours watching Netflix cooking shows.
Most of all, we’ve built deep community together and with these women of Braverly, opening up our home to them twice a month for nights of dinner around the table and good conversation. We’ve sat on the couch or across the table from one another for hours on end, unpacking life’s ups and downs and the things the Lord is speaking to us. We’ve recounted the Father’s faithfulness time and time again as we consider this journey He’s had each of us on. We’ve seen Him truly do the miraculous all around us and our view of who He is and how He works has only grown deeper.
These moments, a true gift from the Father.
Kate, it’s been such a deep honor to do life with you here in Thailand. I’m thankful for every single moment, every conversation, every adventure. I’ve been deeply challenged and encouraged by your walk with the Lord and how much your faith has grown in this season He’s taken you through. I’m anxious for what is ahead for you and all the Lord will speak into motion as you say your very next yes to Him.
Thank you for serving well. Thank you for loving well. Thank you for pouring out all of yourself–not just part–into me, this community, and this book. I’m excited for how this adventure continues from here.
If you want to follow along with Kate’s journey and continue to hear more about this Braverly book, you can follow along with her at www.kateberkey.com!