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Editor’s Note: Current missioner, Misty Menis-Kyler invites us into the process of hearing God’s voice through times of transition.

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do, especially when it’s not something we choose. We shove our hands deep in our pockets and look down at our shoes. We shift our weight back and forth or drag our feet as we walk to the door. Our hearts are heavy and our eyes sting with tears. We don’t dare speak in case our voice shows our fear. When the time to hug comes, we cling to them hard, not wanting to let go. We smell deeper, hug tighter, close our eyes, and hope time will stop. But, in the end, there is nothing we can do. At some point we have to let go. We have to step back, wipe the tears away, put on a smile and say “Goodbye.” We have to pick our bags up off the floor and walk out the door. We don’t dare look back. Just keep walking.

For me, it’s not about when I have to say goodbye because I know it will come. Rather, it’s the fact that it is not my time to say goodbye. I know in my heart of hearts, all the way deep down in my soul, I know that this is where I am supposed to be.  Every day God has been whispering in my ear and in my heart, “Misty, stay. Misty, these kids need your love.” Who am I to tell God “No”?

I realize my contract time with FMS in Guatemala is almost over. So much has happened during my time here at Valley. I fell in love with these kids with all my heart. I made friends with people I never imagined I would befriend and they have been my greatest support here. Yes, there have been times when I felt totally alone, especially when the trust of those I counted on had been compromised. That being said, I would not change one second of my time here. Through loving deeply and learning to let my walls down, I have grown so much. I am proud of my mission service in Guatemala and am open to God’s call to be here as long as He wants me to. God’s will be done.

Reflection Question: When have you experienced a particularly hard goodbye? Where do you see God in that situation?

Misty’s participation in volunteer experiences and service trips during college deepened her desire to live among and serve impoverished communities. She then spent two years teaching at St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana, with Cap Corps Midwest, a Franciscan volunteer program. In alignment with her Franciscan spirit, Misty’s path led her to overseas mission to accompany those who are marginalized, uncared for, and forgotten. Originally from Rochester, Indiana, Misty studied pastoral leadership at Marian University.