The Thing about Goodbyes

Goodbyes are the summation of all that has occurred since the first, “hello”. It is the high fives, the low blows, and the mindless shrug of our shoulders. It is the, “How are yous?” that were neutralized by a quick and expected “fine” or forever changed because you were the first to ask.

There are often goodbyes that never needed a formal hello. Somehow God bestowed a gift I never took time to appreciate. Even if I had time to spare it would not be enough. We have had it so long, that when it is time to release it we find difficulty because we love it. It has become a member of our ever-expanding being. Seven years and many meetings, now it is over, if but for a time. Lord, but for a time.

There are goodbyes to people who have allowed me enter into their hearts. I didn’t even know I was there. Oh, but it was not me. It was Christ in me. It was Christ through me. Humbled. Who am I that God is mindful of me? Who am that people are aware of me? Kind Lord, as I depart let not your Holy Spirit depart from them. Stay close. Abba stay close.

Then there are the goodbyes that singe at the heart, because you are releasing someone who said goodbye long before you expected. I realized this on Saturday when I was on the sad side of a “Mean Girls” experience. How do you recover from that? Press forward sweet soldier. Press on. Let not your heart be troubled. In this time they will not miss you, but know you have done your job. Forgive the past. It was unkind. These goodbyes hurt because you know that while their mouths will say, “I’ll miss you” their lips lie to their own heart. You cannot miss what you did not cherish.

Then there are goodbyes that are simply temporary partings. I will still shed tears, but I live with the expectation that we will meet again. Time and distance cannot separate the Holy Spirit. We will stay connected. He will answer the midnight cry from the hot lands of Houston with His angels and His children. My brother and sisters in Christ are never too far.

I say goodbye not to you, but to this part of my life. God has done a great work. He still is. I cannot look back, but I press forward.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3: 7-14

Selah and Amen

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