Archive for October, 2013

Gracious Goodbyes

If there is one thing that I’m horrible at, it’s goodbyes.


I sobbed uncontrollably at the first funeral I went to.  

I wrote a long (heartfelt/tearful) letter to my first camp counselor telling her how we could “survive because we both can see the same sun and know we are not so far apart”. (yeah, I was a dramatic from a young age.)

Even at college my goodbyes consisted of “Hey! Bye! I’m sure I’ll see you soon!”

And perhaps that’s why goodbyes are hard.  Admitting to yourself you’re not quite sure when you’ll see them again.

And also knowing that this is the final impression of yourself you’re leaving with them.


Maybe this is why up to this point in life I’ve tried to avoid goodbyes, for the same reason I never look into open caskets at viewings.  Remember me from the happy memories, not the bumbling awkward mess I appear to be now as I say farewell.



But I’ve come to a place where I can’t avoid goodbyes…because they are an inevitable part of my job.


Two weeks ago was the first dismissal I took part in…and it was so much more difficult than I’d imagined.  You pour months of your life into someone and then watch them walk out the door.  I’m sure I experienced a small part of the heartbreak parents experience when their children walk away.

But there’s hope in goodbyes.  Because we serve a gracious GOD of hope!

As a house parent assistant I’m responsible for bi-weekly logs.  Here was the closing for _________’s log.

“__________ has grown at the house academically passing GED tests, spiritually having her view of God shaped, emotionally learning better how to deal with others and learning to be grateful for what she has, and personally knowing better what she wants in life and how to achieve it.  Although her dismissal was difficult and staff would have liked to see her go a lot farther in the program, God has obviously impacted her for the better here.”


Today as I sat in another dismissal meeting, although my heart was hurting I was better prepared.  And truly, I’ve learned quite a bit through goodbyes.

Make EVERY moment count.  The conversations that may be throwing off your schedule could be impacting hearts in powerful ways.  Engage people and let His glory reflect through your actions.  Investing in people is the only work that will last through eternity.


I’m still lousy at goodbyes….getting better, but still so far to go.

I’m just glad we serve a God of no goodbyes.  (Deuteronomy 31:6)


Hopefully waiting,





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