In my opinion, one of the hardest things there is to say is "goodbye". I suppose it depends on what we may be saying goodbye to; if it's extra pounds or a bad habit, then maybe not! But saying it to something or SOMEONE we love can be heartbreaking. Many of us have had to say goodbye too many times for one lifetime, but God does allow us to experience goodbye and I can only assume it is for our own learning and growth in our faith.
Recently I have had to say goodbye to one of my dogs. She was a really cool dog and God blessed me with twelve and one half years with her. Even though I will miss her ... A LOT, I have many memories with which to remember her. These are definite blessings from the Lord. However, it feels like I have said goodbye quite a bit in the past few years. As I was talking to my sister earlier today we discussed how God tells us not to dwell on the past but to live for the future. Anyone of us could sit down for 20-30 mins and think about our past, recalling hurts, losses etc. and within a little bit of time become depressed, sad, angry or bitter. These are not emotions in which God would want us to dwell.
As we near the national day of Thanksgiving, it makes me ponder the things to be thankful for rather than to give in to the enemy and be sorrowful over my losses. How much more have I gained being a child of Christ? And isn't it true that through all of our losses we gain so much; like faith, a clearer picture of how big God is, a greater dependence on Him, opportunities to see others being blessed as they help us through our times of sorrow and so much more! These are the things that I appreciate as I go through the valley of "goodbyes". These are seasons and as we know, seasons come and go. God even reminds us that there are seasons for all sorts of things and mourning and sorrow are some of them. But again seasons are for a time and we are not to "dwell" in them.
I have taken the time to mourn and probably will a little more over the next few weeks or months. But on the tail of each tear, it is my goal to praise the Lord for the blessings; past, present and future. I do not want to get lost in my sorrow and allow the enemy to lead me down a path of negative emotion. To keep from doing this, I know that I will need to be in God's Word, in prayer and surround myself with those who can keep me straight and accountable. Fortunately I have a very good family that will support me and kick me in the butt when I need it.
So, when you are in the "valley of goodbyes", know that you have the freedom to mourn but pray for wisdom to know when you are entering enemy territory. Spend extra time in God's Word and in prayer because you will need it! And keep yourself surrounded by others who can give you support and courage as well as clear thinking when you are not able to do that yourself.
Goodbyes are a part of life provided by God Almighty for our benefit. We need to see them as such and praise the Lord each step of the way!