I’m starting to import the posts from my older blogs, publishing them according to the original post dates, but also indicating the re-publish date

I think leaving is a significant part of people’s lives, especially when they leave for someplace far and for something new. Different places often represent different stages of life.

For example, in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, we start at Gateshead – the beginning of Jane Eyre’s story and travel to Lowood where she grows up and then to Thornfield where she matures and then end up at Ferndean where she settles and the bildungsroman ends. She encounters challenges at each location peculiar to the circumstances she finds herself in. That is what makes her life story interesting.

I now embark on my own journey of discovering that elusive phantom called ‘the self’ and I am hoping the adventure to be an exciting one – fraught with thrills and dangers, sadness and gladness. After seeing so many pictures of friends leaving the country, I am almost numb to that sensation of departing – that mixed emotions of anxiety and anticipation.

Yet in my last few days in Johor Bahru, Malaysia; in my last few farewells, I find that leaving will be difficult. Saying goodbye – though we have facebook, skype and whatsapp to ensure that we stay connected, will not be an easy task. Perhaps all these emotions will fade as my plane brings me inexorably away from home and to a fascinating new environment.

I don’t know what awaits me at Durham University. I don’t know what awaits my family who are still in Malaysia and I don’t know what awaits my friends who are either going overseas or remaining here in Malaysia. Yet there is comfort. I know that we are united in Christ and that ultimately we will see each other and be with each other in Christ. That is the great gathering – the great banquet feast that will, I hope, help me remember that I’m not alone, I’m not separated from the people I love – not because there is social media, but because of what Christ has done for us ‘but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.’ (Ephesians 2: 13).

The true separation is no more, and leaving will be merely a temporary parting of ways, till we return to the one who gave His life to save us.