It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

I stood in the dark living room reminiscing and thanking God for His provision. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. This house meant so much to me. Countless hours of renovation and tender care believing I’d live out the rest of my days in this beautiful home; family intact. But it just wasn’t meant to be. After 36 years of marriage, separation and eventual divorce I relinquished any claims to the place we called home for so many years which was now being sold. I came back to get our daughters childhood belongings along with countless memories.

Now hear me, I’m not bitter, angry, resentful or jealous of the outcome. I just always believed that God said, “you’ll be back again”. And I am back, but not in the way I thought. I was back to say goodbye.

So often we find ourselves in situations where we need to say goodbye. Whether it’s to a friend, a family member, a pet, a career or a home. When I stood in that living room, I chose to thank God for all the monumental moments with our daughter, our parents and in our marriage. There was much to thank Him for. It wasn’t a time to focus on the negative. The “enemy” would have relished me doing that. Nope. It was all about God’s amazing provision and His love for me and our family. The precious memories of those years that will be reclaimed again in heaven. When all things become new. Heck, maybe God will give me this same dream home but with an ocean view this time. How cool would that be?

Colleen and I just saw the new Disney movie, Mary Poppins Returns. It was a whimsical, fun and entertaining film. This quiet song – The Place Where Lost Things Go – is sung by Mary (Emily Blunt) to the children when they wake from what they believe is a nightmare. Mary consoles them, saying the things they’ve lost are still with them in some form.

Do you ever lie Awake at night? Just between the dark and the morning light – Searching for the things you used to know – Looking for the place where the lost things go.

Do you ever dream or reminisce? Wondering where to find what you truly miss – Well maybe all those things that you love so – Are waiting in the place where the lost things go.

Memories you’ve sheared gone for good you feared – They’re all around you still – Though they’ve disappeared – Nothing’s really left – Or lost without a trace – Nothing’s gone forever – Only out of place.

I couldn’t have said it better. Nothing’s gone forever – only out of place!!

At the renewal of all things, God right-sizes everything. We reunite with people we’ve “lost” along the way. There’re no tears in heaven. As hard as it is to say goodbye to earthly relationships and possessions, that often remind us of those relationships, in eternity we rekindle them all. We even make new friends. Think about the conversations with Paul the apostle or maybe even Paul the Beetle, not to mention John, George, and Ringo. Who knows.

Colleen often refers to her backyard on the renewed earth as oceanfront – where she calls dolphins to take her for a spin. In her front yard, there’s a safari waiting. When I visit, I plan to summon a Golden Eagle for a ride around the planet. How about you?

Goodbye’s in this world are hellos in the next. Enjoy what you have. There’s pain in loss but there’s gain in understanding. Understanding that God has a plan for the here and now and a plan for each of us in the midst of that pain. At the restoration of all things, we experience renewal. No pain, no sorrow, just unconditional love. The way it was always meant to be. The best part? We’ll never have to say goodbye.

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