Did you find yourself singing this song from The Sound of Music as you read that? Me too! It causes me to recall the children singing and the whole movie summed up in a few seconds. That movie is a family favorite, and the charming song of farewell warms our hearts.
But goodbyes are rarely heart-warming. Many of us struggle to some degree with those big farewells: kids moving hours away into a college dorm, the husband in his uniform being deployed, grandkids heading back to their home hundreds of miles away with no idea when they may return, a family member with a new job moving to another country. Even things like aging parents moving out of the generational family home and into an assisted living, severe illness, abuse, or addicted family members can cause us to have to say goodbye to memories, our way of life, or our expectations of what we thought would be.
How do we handle these emotional transitions?
If we know Jesus and trust that God is in control of our lives it helps make these times easier. What do we need to keep in mind?
- God’s plan for His world includes each of us. He manages the world and allows the people, places, and circumstances of our lives to carry out His plans, not just for us but for others we impact. This goodbye is for purpose.
- When bad things happen to us we keep in mind that walking with the Lord does not guarantee an easy journey. Joni Erickson Tada has said, “God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves.” We must choose to walk through it with our eyes on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-4)
- God loves us and has promised to be our strength and our refuge. (Psalm 46:1) When we have said “So long” to a family member, we put them into God’s hands and trust His love and provision for them and for us. We can run to Him in our tears and loneliness to find comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
- Life is an adventure! God is taking us on this great adventure to new lands or new situations. Some may be scary. Some will delight us. Some may stir up doubt and worry. But just like riding a canoe down a flooding river, we hang on, paddle like mad and trust Him to get us through. When we come out on the other side we will be exhilarated with the thrill of it all, and boy will we have a story to tell! (Isaiah 43:2) Embrace your adventure!
- Faith triumphs over fear, worry, or loneliness. When the time comes to say goodbye, those negative feelings may overwhelm us. It is usually an attack on our heart by the enemy. We must prepare in advance for battle by staying in God’s Word and must oodbyechoose to trust God every minute, then we set our thoughts on the proper things to make it through the lonely days. (Philippians 4:8) Set your mind on the things of the Father.
I don’t know what “Adieu” you have said recently or what “Goodbye” is looming for you in the near future, but I know that we have a Father who loves you. He is walking through this time with you, He has a purpose in your situation. Cling to Him, the One who will NEVER leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) There are no Goodbyes in Him.