Blog posts that provide encouragement for marriage and family success.

How do you say goodbye?

Updated: Jul 7

I love getting hooked on shows. I'm sort of old school - binge watching isn't my thing. I like the anticipation of a new episode, then knowing I have a week to wait for more. I love seeing the story unfold and the characters grow.

What I do NOT love is the series finale. You know, the one where it all ends. I hate them. I will go out of my way to avoid watching them. That way, in my crazy mind, the show never really ends. I realize that may make no sense, but I hate saying goodbye to the show, the characters, and the story.

courtesy of Renee Fisher and Unsplash

I also cry every year at my birthday. I've done this since I was a child. I mourn the loss of another year. I hate saying goodbye to that time - that age - so I mourn a bit.

I also struggle to say goodbye to people. The whole "it's not goodbye, it's see you later" is nice in theory but it's really goodbye. If nothing else, life teaches us that anything can happen at any moment. We need to realize the reality that it could indeed be the last time we see that person. And that makes me sad.

Endings, in general, are sad to me. This month I turned 50, left a job of nearly 20 years, my youngest will end his time at the small private school he's attended for 10 years, my oldest went to his first and only prom, he'll also turn 18, graduate, then head to a summer job where he will live for 2 months. Lots of endings - I'll be crying a lot. But in that process, I'll be grieving the loss of time. That mourning will make room for new beginnings, though.

By crying at my birthday, I realize I can fully embrace being 50 (after all, I had a year to prepare).

I cried as I packed the last box at my office and walked out - ready to embrace a new teaching environment and the hope of building my speaking opportunities with Write.Speak.Relate.

As I am sad to see our youngest leave the school we've been affiliated with for 14 years now, I am excited to see him step into high school where he will begin learning about the field he thinks he wants to enter.

While I (repeatedly) mourn my oldest and all his changes, I embrace that he is an amazing young man with a solid plan and a kind heart. I can't wait to see what God will do in his life.

So, endings accompany beginnings. When I mark the ending, I find it easier to step into the beginning, free of regrets.

We see some good examples of this in Scripture:

  • Abraham was called to leave his father's family and go somewhere. He said goodbye to his family and went where God called. His obedience opened the door for God to make a nation through him.

  • Ruth chose to say goodbye to her family and support network to accompany her mother-in-law (Naomi) to live with the Israelites. That tough goodbye paved the way for her to be in the lineage of Christ.

  • Mary had to say goodby to Jesus - twice. Once when He left home to begin His ministry...then again at His death. I can't even imagine her pain. But saying goodbye allowed her to see Him be the Savior she knew He was destined to be.

  • The disciples had to leave their families and jobs to follow the Man they (hoped) was the Savior they were waiting for. They thought they made a good choice - until He was killed. It was only three days later that they finally stepped into the blessing of a true new beginning.

As you can see, at some point we all need to say goodbye to something we love...whether it's a person or a season. Marking the occasion by allowing ourselves to feel what we feel and intentionally stepping into the new normal will make embracing the upcoming blessing so much more meaningful.

Praying for blessings in this season for you,

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