Sunday, August 13, 2017

Goodbye (An Annual Post)

This is an annual post of mine.

It's that time of year when many of my friends are saying good-bye to their children who are leaving for college, or getting married, or to children who are enlisting in the military.  There is such an ache that comes with good-byes.  For days or even weeks ahead of time (and occasionally months, like me) we feel a stabbing in our heart.  It is real.  I have felt it myself when my own child got married.  I couldn't bear the thought of not kissing her in the morning or when she came home from school or work, or our goodnight kiss.  If you are blessed with affection between your family members you know what I mean.  But even if there weren't always kisses and hugs, if there was the respect from the child you raised, it hurts to see them leave.

So you leave the room and hide in the bathroom for a little while or run to the store real quick so nobody sees your tears and makes light of them.  Because this isn't funny, this is real!  Your baby is leaving home for the first time.  Your little baby, the one that made you forget all the hours of labor when you held them when they were first born.  You think of how you were a little afraid of bathing them the first time.  What if they slipped from your hands? You kissed their precious little feet (now a size 10) and put their hands on your mouth as you smiled and cooed and told them you loved them.  You could hardly wait until she was old enough to have longer hair that you could put a bow in; or until he was old enough to fit his hand into a baseball glove.  You went to all the school plays and sent everyone their school picture every year.  You made sure they bathed and brushed their teeth, and ate all their dinner before they went to bed.  You helped them for endless hours with homework.

You fought and you forgave.  You rewarded their good behavior, and disciplined their disrespect for you or your spouse, or their teacher or coaches, brothers and sisters, and even strangers.  You tried to instill in them a sense of worth.  And now the time has come to say good-bye for a while.  Yes, you can call and email, FaceTime or Skype, but you can't see them in your kitchen.  So what do you do?

If you know God, and have raised them to know God, you take comfort knowing that He is still in charge of this loved one's life.  You prayed over them as a child, and you pray over them today.  In your heart you know that everything will be alright.  If you know God, but haven't had a very close relationship with Him, or if you don't know God at all, don't worry!  He knows you!  And He knows your child.  He created that loved one just for you.  He will be taking care of them, and you.  He always has.  All those fights that eventually wound up in hugs, all those tears that were replaced with smiles, all those worries when they got hurt or were late coming home that ended up alright, that was God taking care of you all.

If you know nothing else about God, know this.  He is love.  He cannot not love!  That's all there is to it!  He knows your heart and your pain, and your sorrows.  And He wants to help you get through it.  He won't make you feel bad about not knowing Him; He's ready to show you just how much He loves you.  All you have to do is ask.

So it's alright to cry those tears at good-byes, the Bible says in Psalm 56:8 of the Contemporary English Version (CEV), "You have stored my tears in Your bottle and counted each of them." Put your hope in Him, He will protect your babies.

If you're the one leaving for the first time, there is that great sense of adventure!  "Finally, on my own!"  Sometimes that excitement comes with a sense of anxiety as well.  You're all grown up, but you'll miss your mommy.  Don't be ashamed, I guarantee her heart will melt if you called her that today.  You may wonder if you did enough for your parents while you were at home, or now feel a little regret that you had an attitude.  They always bailed you out of your messes, and always forgave you.  You may wonder," now that I am gone, will they still love me as much?"  Of course.  Now they have something else to be proud of you for.  You're going to college!  You're enlisting in the Military!  You're getting married!  You took a job far away from home!  They will have new concerns, but they believe you're up to the challenge.

Grow!  Learn!  Plan your future.  Ask God to help you every morning.  Ask Him for strength.  Ask Him to protect you and your family.  Love Him.

So as you say good-bye and start this new chapter in your lives, let's also say hello to God's blessings for our future.  His word says in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

Smile, life is good!  God is in charge! ©Deirdre Tolhurst, 21 August 2011 (First Blog)


  1. Hello My Dear,
    Just what I needed this morning. The enlightenment about saying goodbye. Three things came to me as I read your post. Psalm 56:8 , God collects our tears. I never saw the collect. I knew that He stored them, but I never saw that he collects them. He must in order to store them. Thank you.
    The second thing was about saying goodbye to parents. I have said goodbye to both of my parents and even though I was living in Germany at the time that they went home, I knew in my heart that I had done my very best for them. So flying back to celebrate their homegoings was joy and sadness. August 13 was my dad's earthly birthday. Usually, I don't think about him, but last week, he was on my mind. The last prayer that he prayed for me he had his hand on my head and he told God I was the apple of his eye. Oh how I wish I could tell him what that meant to me at that time, because I had just stepped out into self-employment. I had excellent parents. They led me in a godly way and today I am thankful.
    Finally, your verse from Jeremiah 29:ll touched a strong chord in my life because I am slowly saying goodbye to life as I know it here in Germany and moving forward. It will be a challenge. I don't know what is going to come at me. Yet, I am assured that the plans God has for me are for me to prosper and He has given me hope and a future that exceeds my dream.
    So, I say thank you for hammering home the importance of 'Goodbye'.
    Have a great week my friend.
    Shalom aleichem,

    1. Hi Pat! Thank you so much for stopping by! I've also said goodbye to people, places, and even things, some easily and some very difficult. But for all them, God had allowed these to be in my life. I am forever grateful. I like to think sometimes, Vaya Con Dios - Go with God is much sweeter. I have it painted on a rock so when people leave my house they see it on their way out. Yes, go with God wherever He may lead you. I am excited about your future, Pat! You will succeed, you are blessed and highly favored, and everything you lay your hands to do will prosper! I love you!

  2. Deirdre, what a wonderful piece!! And so true. I went through it with my children, even losing one permanently on this earthly plane and I go through it now again with my grand children. It takes two hours at night to pray for all of them, plus all those I love, including all my friends, of which you are a special one. Pray for me as I am getting worse each day as I pray for God's help is finding a cure. I pray for Mary, who lost her baby at the same time as another friend;'s daughter lost hers. I pray that they both conceive again and carry safely to full term and healthy babies. My first child's book is out and I was thinking Makayla might be just the right age to read and color it or have it read to her. The Cat Who Wanted a Dog is on amazon in print and will be 99 cents on kindle where I hear it can still be colored in--at least kindle fire and the other androids like tablets. The sale for the kindle is from August 24th to the 31st. I owe you a review for your beautiful book which I am hoping to soon give to my grandson's wife when she becomes pregnant. I have not read a regular book or done a review in a year except for kid's books which are short. The lyme attacks my eyes and my concentration but I will get it to you, God willing.

    All my love, Micki

    1. Hi Micki! Thank you for taking the time to stop by! I have every intention of getting your new book for Makayla! I know she will just love it! I will send it to you to sign for her. Congratulations on this book, I know it will do well!

      You too are always in my prayers. I pray that the Lyme is healed by the blood of Jesus! I pray that you live long and prosper! I love you so much! God bless you my friend!


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