Saying Goodbye

As my sister Holly’s time on earth comes to an end, the time comes for goodbyes.  I don’t like goodbyes and I typically avoid them.  I struggle to find words to express my great sadness at the thought of saying goodbye to Holly.  There’s something that makes this so much more final…ultimate even.  Most normal goodbyes involve a sense of not seeing the person for a longer period of time, yet in normal cases, with a little effort, we know that we could see or talk to our friend again.  This is different.  Once Holly is gone, I can’t talk to her or see her no matter how much I want to.

It’s easy to get trapped in this way of thinking and then I don’t want to think about it…I want to run away.  As I pointed out in my earlier post, running away isn’t the answer.  We need to run to God.  That seems so hard in times like this and I’ve been wondering what that actually looks like.  How can God give us wings like a dove in times like this?

As I drove home last night I was pondering goodbyes and I kept coming back to the fact that this goodbye, as final is it seems, is not the end.  Holly has a true faith and we know that she will be going to a place made for her in heaven, and if we share in this faith, then we will see her again.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”
-John 3:16

In this context you could read that verse as:

For God so loved the world that He was separated from His Son, so that families that believe in Him would not have to be forever separated from each other by death.

This makes me cry for a whole different reason than before.

I’m not saying this makes it easy.  It’s still easy to choose to run away down the dark spiral where I so naturally go.  I need to learn to choose to take the wings that God gives and to meditate on the promise that one day we will all be together again.  As I spend my time meditating on this thought, the dark fog begins to lift and a small ray of hope shines through.  It will be the greatest of family reunions, and there will be much happiness and laughter and many stories to be told…and even better, God will be there with us.

7 Replies to “Saying Goodbye”

  1. Tim, I wish you strength as you say goodbye to Holly.

    I am thankful that you are finding comfort and strength in God’s Word, and would only encourage you to seek more.

    Thinking of you, Rich and Semula

  2. Although we have never met, I do wish to send you our love, support and prayers in these difficult days and weeks ahead. Holly’s sister, Bethany is dating Nathan Bosma, and he is my Nephew.
    As we share in the joys of our Heavenly Father, we share the heartaches with fellow Christians. It is our sincere desire that you, and your family feel the “stillness” of God’s promises. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is our God, even to the end.

    Regards, Mike and Emma VanderVelde

  3. I’m praying for your family, Tim! It breaks my heart that you are having to go through this, and I’m sure it takes all the faith you can muster to trust the Lord in all of this. All I know is that He loves you, and Holly, and your family, and her husband, and her son so very, very much that He died for you! You don’t have to try to understand what He is doing. You just have to lean on Him like a child with no strength does on his earthly father!
    Hugs, love and prayers, from Mrs. Shelley, and the rest of the Shelley family!

  4. Not saying goodbye but till we meet again, that’s what my father said the last time we saw him. It is still hard seeing someone so dear to you go to their heavenly home and that is why we also think of you and pray that you find God’s hand holding yours through this time and afterwards as well.

  5. Your posts have touched me deeply. We don’t know each other, but your pain and sorrow resonates with many out here in cyberland. I lost my husband six years ago, and it is so true, it’s hard to say good bye. But the only way to get through it is to daily ponder that God is keeping him safe for me, and I will go to God and to my husband, eventually. It’s no different than a temporary separation here on earth, except longer. Pray for peace and comfort, the Lord Jesus will not refuse. Look forward, not back. May the peace that passes all understanding be yours and your family’s.

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