Goodbyes are hard to say. There have been many tearful farewells in my past, where I did not want to admit we had arrived at the end…
- of a week at camp
- of a run of a play I participated in
- of a vacation
- of a time of employment
But even though there are still some farewells that are difficult to say, I’ve come to learn that those said to brothers and sisters in Christ are not final farewells. Those farewells are just temporary. We may have arrived at the end of a chapter here on earth, but we can be certain that they’ll intersect once again when we meet together in His heavenly kingdom.
I’ve witnessed the power of a temporary farewell recently with a family from my church. Just two weeks ago they lost their ten year old son in a tragic accident. Any loss of a member of our church community is heartbreaking, but this one was a grief that went beyond the capacity that we, even as believers were able to understand or willing to accept.
I was unable to attend his funeral due to work, but read an article (that those in attendance have said is quite an accurate account) of the power of faith and hope of temporary farewells.
The family stood before their family, friends, co-workers, and peers and displayed what it means to have a faith so bold that they are able to COURAGEOUSLY use this tragic event to bring more glory to God, and as a way to witness to those who have not yet accept the Kingdom as their ultimate reward.
No matter how many tears I want to shed as I write this goodbye post, no matter how much I want to hang on to this time with this particular study and community that has formed, for what it has meant to me, I know that it’s a temporary farewell.
This is a time that I can take with me, to use the lessons learned through Annie’s words and from each of you, to bring more glory to God’s name and to help me COURAGEOUSLY bear witness to those who do not yet know that…
“Courage was born on Christmas day!”
So yes, this is a so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye, but it’s only for right now. This is not a final farewell. Even if we don’t have an opportunity to meet in this lifetime (though I hope the Lord will grant us the pleasure of doing so), I’m sure I’ll recognize your beautiful soul when we meet in the Forever place. And what a joyous day that will be!