Families, Children & Marriage, Spiritual Formation

Where is the good in good-bye?

Just a few more days, and a whole new life begins for us. The boxes are piled high. The goodbyes are pouring in.  It’s bittersweet – change always is.  Bitter for the loss of the daily sharing of lives with people who have become cherished friends, for family who will now be far beyond a car ride away, for cornfield sunsets and quiet roads.  Sweet for the adventure that is to come, for the new experiences that will shape our hearts and stretch our souls, for the miracles of our needs being met, for the little house nestled snugly between the mountains and the sea.

At a good-bye party the other night, a friend gave me some great words on goodbyes.  Quoting the Music Man – where is the good in goodbye? – she reflected that even though goodbyes can be sad and hard, there is still good within them.  It was so touching, I wanted to share it with others who face their own good-byes.

So where is the good in goodbye?

The good is in claiming new territory, moving beyond either of your homelands to stake claim on the left coast where diversity is normalcy (hallelujah) and where you may be the conservative ones!

The good is in the not knowing and the uncertainty. In losing control of all the details for awhile, you’ll have to lean more fully on God.  That’s always good.

The good is in your new locale.  God proclaimed everything good at creation, and no doubt he was especially proud of his work on sunny, southern California.

The good is in the gift of community in your new home that no doubt you will find refreshing and different.

I can find good in the confidence that our paths will cross again, no doubt with me in shock at how tall your children have become.

The good is in God himself as he leads your westward caravan. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.”

There is good that comes from knowing that you are following the Spirit’s leading and going to serve where he calls.

I will be sad to walk by your house and know that someone else resides there, but the Word promises that God’s goodness will follow you all the days of your life.  And that is the ultimate good in goodbye.

I was struck that this is really the story of us all – that good-byes are filled with sadness AND goodness, that the Lord leads and we follow, that His joy will be our strength, even when everything changes.  I’m not really one to quote Christian music, but this Jars of Clay song has showed up so many times in the past few months, I can’t help but close with it’s theme:

Set us free
Trust the mystery
Until our eyes are clear enough to see You

Where You lead us
We will follow
Where You lead us
We will follow You

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