Thursday, April 11, 2013

{Out of the Blue} A Good Goodbye

When I graduated from college in 2001, I was ready to say goodbye to Murray -- a small town in far western Kentucky that had been my home for three-fourths of the previous four year. I liked this town I had stepped foot in twice before moving my stuff into my dorm room in August of 1997. I liked college. But I was ready to be done. And gone.

I had my sights on a copy editing job at a big city newspaper. First up, it was an internship as a reporter, mostly covering the police beat during the night shift, at the Lexington Herald-Leader. Then I took a nine-month temporary job at The Associated Press in Louisville. Lexington. Louisville. Now these were the places I could live. 

Trouble was, I fell in love. With a boy from small-town Murray. He proposed marriage ... and a move back to his hometown Murray when he finished law school. Inside, I was hesitant. Hadn't I said a good goodbye to this town that had served me well?

But I said yes to Greg. Then I found a job at a newspaper in a town smaller than Louisville or Lexington but bigger than Murray, where I could work for a year while my college-boyfriend-turned-husband finished law school. We lived our first year of marriage in Lexington and have been back in Murray for the past 9 1/2 years.

And guess what? I like it here. Surprise!

Continuing with surprises, this week Kristen asks: How did a goodbye surprise you by increasing your joy or make a difference in your life? At the time, the goodbye might have been easy or difficult. Either way, you can look back and see how God’s grace used the then goodbye for the now good.

I was happy to say goodbye to Murray the first time, but that move started a God-orchestrated domino effect that surprised me more than once. I left friends in Murray when I had bigger cities in my sights. And while working and living in Lexington for three months, Louisville for nine months and back to the Lexington area for 15 months, I got to be closer to a college friend in Murray through email messages and phone calls.

Jaclyn and I were friends and had a larger circle of common friends when we both lived in that small town I was ready to leave. But once out of college we found ourselves in the same seasons of life. We were beginning careers we believed we were created to do and we were planning weddings to the boys who stole our heart when we were studying these fields. I was a journalist. She was a teacher. But we both wanted to please people and meet high expectations, really, to a fault.

But that year of swapping stories and asking for advice solidified a friendship that I'm not sure I could live without. God knew I'd need her then. And he knew I'd need her now.

When I said goodbye to my first year of marriage and loaded up the moving truck on our anniversary, I got to say hello to living in the same town as Jaclyn. She had stayed in Murray after graduating from college the year before me and I was so thankful to have a friend in the town I wasn't sure I wanted to call home.

Murray is now home, in part because Jaclyn is here. We have relatives here. We rooted ourselves here and God created our family here. And God gave us some of the dearest friends possible in a town I wasn't sure would ever offer new friends.

I leaned on Jaclyn, her infertility experience, and the hope that her baby boy embodied as I cried out to God when Greg and I couldn't get pregnant. We've gotten through the hard days of marriage and careers and motherhood together. That's right, motherhood. We both walked through seasons of infertility to come out with five kids in five years between us. She's going to start working full-time again and I'm adding back in some freelance work. I'm sure we'll need each other to figure out to balance yet another new season we'll share.

That goodbye to Murray in 2001 meant hello to a deeper friendship with one of the most important people in my life. I said goodbye to thoughts of big city life a couple years later and hello {again} to that friend. She's my neighbor now. We do this small-town but awfully full life together because some goodbyes really are good.

I'm linking up today as part of the "Out of the Blue" series at Chasing Blue SkiesWant more? Subscribe to get "Insights" in your inbox. Like 152 Insights on Facebook. Or follow me on Twitter and Instagram.


  1. I love this, Kristin! You really show how God sees our tomorrows and orchestrates our todays to make the whole picture beautiful. And *so* thankful you have that sweet Jaclyn in your life ~ we all need those true blue, safe heart friends!

  2. KristinHillTaylor4/11/2013 3:29 PM

    Thanks, Kristen! We serve quite a creator. So glad he has plans for us.

  3. Kristin, this was beautiful to read! I love how God works! Blessings to you. Thanks for sharing.

  4. KristinHillTaylor4/14/2013 8:05 PM

    Thanks, Beth!