My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Saturday, October 26, 2013


My dear friend, Robin, has talked to me so many times about how hard it is to say goodbye to the many visitors, volunteers, and friends that wander through Ghana each year. She fully feels each goodbye, mourning their going with tears and deep emotion. A beautiful expression of God's work in those relationships.

My very pat answer about goodbyes had something to do with it getting easier with time.

But, I realized this week...it doesn't get easier with time. It can be very hard. And I am not very good at saying goodbye. And I wish I knew how to deal with saying goodbye a little easier.

Today, I reflected on my goodbyes this year.

Leaving the States and family and friends.

Kathy. And Emily.

And how I said goodbye to my family when they came to visit. 

And Victor and Kristin this week.

And the common theme with them all was withdrawal. 

The past week, I pulled away from conversation and time alone with my friends because it was time to put up the walls again and let them go well.

The same thing with each of these goodbyes. I feel somehow safer if I withdraw. I am able to protect my heart. Deny anymore vulnerable interactions, because they are leaving and I am staying.

I am frustrated by my relational withdrawal. But, I haven't figured out how to change that.

I realized today that as much as I love people and intimate relationships...the change of those relationships is something I just don't deal with well. I don't like showing emotion in public. I don't like that rawness on display. That brings fear...I don't know why...but it's there.

But, I also don't like seeing this in me. Seeing the withdrawal and the walls and the closed door to deeper relationship.

And I am praying that God would break down the walls...even if it brings fear.

And I am praying that I would able to experience the emotions of goodbye so I could be fully present during the time when people are visiting.

And that I can be more like Robin, experiencing all parts of life with a full and open heart, even if that means that I might experience more pain. It is only with pain that you also can experience the full extent of joy.

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