Estimated reading time: 6 minutes:-)
I have to say goodbye to a lot of things in the next few weeks.
The beginning of summer always has a lot of goodbyes. A lot of kids get really excited because they can say goodbye to homework and teachers and school and waking up early for at least the summer. But it’s something different entirely when you have to say goodbye to those things forever.
Last week, I took a break from social media and blogging to focus on end of year activities. But this week, even though I’m still in the thick of all of that, I wanted to talk about goodbyes, because there are so many.
Some of you may not be as sentimental as I am, but I have a hard time letting things go. When I move on, the fact that the people I’ve lived with for so many years have shaped me so much and won’t continue to do that anymore is just heartbreaking for me. And there’s no easy way to find the closure I feel like I need.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe not. But either way, goodbyes are hard.
This is how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks:
I feel like time is slipping through my fingers like sand.
Graduation is sprinting toward me and I’m too slow to outrun it.
Pretty soon, I’ll have to say goodbye forever to theater, soccer, and talking with my teachers every day. I’ll have to let go of Mr. H’s snack store and student art shows and high school writing competitions. I’ll have to say goodbye to almost all my friends who are leaving for college and leaving me here in Colorado. I’ll have to say goodbye to school even, since I’m not going to college. I’ll never have math homework again.
Okay, the math homework part is exciting, but the rest is hard for me accept.
Mostly, I’ll miss the people. The little goofy moments, the inside jokes, the two minutes of giggling behind the curtain before our scene, eating donuts in writing club, asking teachers how their weekends were, eating lunch with friends on really uncomfortable bleachers, and saying hi in the hallways.
I’m honestly really sad.
Of course, I’m SO excited to move on and keep growing. I’m pumped to follow where God is calling me.
But all these goodbyes break my heart.
And the funny things is, the Bible doesn’t have many verses that talk about goodbyes. There isn’t any “Ten easy steps to saying goodbye.” Jesus doesn’t talk about how to find closure and comfort in farewells, even permanent ones.
But the Bible does have farewells themselves. And the resounding theme in each of them is overwhelmingly comforting.
Paul ends 2 Thessalonians with this: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all” (3:16).
And he ends 2 Corinthians with this: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (13:14).
Paul didn’t know if he’d ever see the churches he wrote to again. He lived in full awareness that each day could be his last. And this is how he said goodbye.
I don’t want to say goodbye.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re likely someone I have to say goodbye to in some way very soon. And I want you to know that saying goodbye to you is going to be one of the hardest things I have to do.
But the pain in all these goodbyes shows how good God is and how wonderful His blessings are. If I didn’t love all these people God has blessed me with, I wouldn’t have any trouble saying goodbye. So these hard goodbyes are testament to his goodness, in my life and yours.
Psalm 121:8 says, “the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Here’s the thing: I know God will take care of those moving on without me. And I know He’ll take care of me. Though people may part ways, God’s love for each of them never will.
And these goodbyes point to the hole in our hearts only heaven can fill.
Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”
I think a big part of why goodbyes hurt so bad is because they remind us of our temporal nature and they create the illusion that we lack permanence. It’s easy to think goodbyes are forever. But we must understand that we have heaven to look forward to, and only Jesus can fulfill us in the way these earthly joys can’t.
As I look through all the goodbyes in the Bible and all the verses about change, I’m overwhelmed. Because they all have an incredible resounding theme.
My heart is so easily discontented with God’s pacing. Either a season can’t come fast enough, or a season is passing too quickly.
But in every season, God’s love and goodness and mercy and forgiveness will never leave me.
If you have goodbyes coming fast like me, I want you to know that these goodbyes are testament to something greater. I want you to find comfort in God’s permanence, in God’s unchanging love. I want you to find peace in the pace of this season.
And I want you to live each of these precious moments fully.
You only have so many left. The community you have today won’t ever be the same again. And each individual moment can never be recreated.
So live them.
Slow down and stand in awe at the blessings you have now. These moments won’t last forever.
I want to close with one last verse.
Numbers 6:24-26 ~ “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
I pray the same for all of you during this season of goodbyes:-) Love you all<3