Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why I Hate Saying Goodbye

I have been looking forward to April and May for a while now. Not only because it means the end of school and beginning of summer, but mainly because I had visits with friends and family to look forward to. The excitement started over spring break, when I was able to go home and visit my parents in Florida for a few days—which was such a blessing. Then I knew that when I came back it would be the Together for the Gospel conference, and many friends from my church back in Minnesota would be coming-which was another huge blessing. The two biggest visits of all are that my old roommate and a friend are coming down for the New Attitude conference Memorial Day weekend and we get to go together. Then right after that I get to go home for a week and visit my parents and youngest brother again, and my brother and his wife will be there, too. I know. That’s a lot of updating, but it shows how exciting and full these two months have and will be!

Last week was a life-giving week for me as I caught up with old friends and even made new ones. And going home was so refreshing because I was able to get away, relax, and fellowship with my family. It is hard to walk away from weeks like that and not be in humble praise to God for his provision in my life.

I can hardly contain my excitement when I get to see my friends and family from far away. It’s like Christmas for me all over again. But the presents go away. Even though we have phone calls and emails, it’s not the same as having them around me to talk with and laugh with and hug.

I have been thinking about goodbyes a lot this year. Probably because I have had to say some hard goodbyes to people that I love dearly. Moving is never easy. As I have worked through the emotions of saying goodbye, it has made me think about heaven more—and why goodbyes feel so unnatural.

Each time I say goodbye to my family, or close friends, it is a reminder for me to look forward. And not just forward to months when I will see them again, but to the place where we will be together forever—heaven. Goodbyes were meant to be sad because we were never designed to say goodbye. I think that the sadness that I feel when I say goodbye is a reminder that things are not quite right here on earth. And the excitement I experience when I see loved ones is a reminder of the hope that we will one day be together again, and goodbyes will be no more. If we are in Christ, we are able to say goodbye with hope. We know that our goodbyes are not the end, even when the goodbye is lowering a mother, father, or even a child, into a dark grave plot.

The Gospel reconciles us to God and begins the restoration process of what was lost. Part of what was lost is the fact that we are no longer in unbroken fellowship with God, and each other. Death is the great separator, and the small sting of a goodbye is a reminder of that great sting. But death has no sting for us because of Christ. And even though goodbyes are sad, their sting has been conquered by our King as well.

So, to all of you that I was able to see last week, and will get to see in the near future, know that you mean so much to me and that there is not a day that goes by that I don't miss your presence in my life. And, Mom, the next time we are saying tearful goodbyes at the airport know that it’s not really goodbye. It’s just “see you later.” And for us, later means forever.

12 comments:

Chelsea Bass said...

How excellent! "We were never designed to say goodbye." I love that. How insightful you are, Courtney.

Anna said...

This was really good for me to read tonight... I am anticipating making a decision that will mean being far away from my family and friends.

debt said...

Courtney, you are so dear to me. What a wonderful woman you have become! I love you. I was reminded of this, yesterday, when I said, "Goodbye" to Sonja. We cried. You are right, we cry with hope! I long for that day, when we all sit at Jesus feet and just talk and talk and talk about the things that are eternal. It is rich!

Anonymous said...

OH TEAR! You just made me tear up at work. See you later...


love you lots and MISS you!
steph

cdt said...

Chelsea,

Thank you for your kind comment. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Anna,

I understand about hard decisions regarding leaving friends and family. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. But, God has taught me so much through it, even when it seems unbearable at times.

cdt said...

Momma,

I long for that day, too!

I love you and can't wait to see you again soon!

cdt said...

Steph,

I hope to see you soon, too. I miss you all of the time and so wish you could come down with Andrea and Katie! I love you dearly, friend!

love,
court

2520 said...

Courtney!

Amen!

I felt like it was Christmas too when I found out you were coming to Minnesota in Feb!!

And I can't wait to see you at NA.

Love you!!

Andrea

cdt said...

I can't wait to see you either, Andrea! It will be like Christmas all over again. I get excited just thinking about it!

ps: Maybe we can get another picture with "you know who"...since he is our bff and all. :)

2520 said...

Oh my goodness! Yes, I didn't even think about that :)

Andrea

Whitney said...

When you left my house after visting in Feb. you kept reminding me that it wasn't goodbye, just see you later. It made it easier to think about, but it didn't keep away the tears, and it doesn't know. I miss you very much! I love you!

Waldemar Family said...

Yah, what Whitney said.

Barb