I routinely dropped my son off at school one morning, and watched as he climbed out of the back seat.
I offered my typical, “Bye, sweetie!”
He replied, “Bye sweetie Mommy,” quickly closed the door, and off he went.
I sat in the car for a moment, giggling at his funny farewell. This was decidedly a nice change from his “fart-and-run” goodbye from the previous morning, which he found hilarious.
Next week, however, I have to say goodbye to some friends that are moving, and I don’t find the situation funny at all. I hate goodbyes. I mean, does anyone really like them? My tender heart is the one that doesn’t want to let go during that last hug, and I fight mightily to keep tears at bay. I’ve grown pretty adept at the “be strong for the other person” act.
But my currently-breaking little heart wonders, “In a world filled with goodbyes, why are they still so hard?”
Let’s face it, people: Goodbyes stink. Nothing here is permanent. Everything is temporary. Life itself is transitory, leading to the ultimate goodbye of death itself. I think we’d rather live our lives in denial of all this, but goodbyes remind us of the truth: we’re mortal. And our time here is limited. Only heaven is eternal.
Knowing this and living this are two completely different things. We can know something yet not be acutely aware of it. We can admit the truth but not make choices with it in the forefront of our minds. So, how exactly are we to handle the ideas of our very brief lives juxtaposed against an unending Heaven?
If we want to remember our present limitations, we actually need to fix our minds on what is limitless: God.
In contrast to the temporal earth, heaven is eternal. If we tie our future to Christ’s sacrifice, we know the best is yet to come. We know every goodbye is actually a “see you later.” In heaven, we can look forward to never having to say another goodbye.
It’s hard to even imagine a place with no goodbyes. I am so eager for it though, especially as I currently prepare my heart to help my dear friends pack up their moving truck. I sweetly recall holding their newborn in my arms, sending my own daughters off to babysit their children, family dinners, hugs at church, and watching Longhorn football games. No spoken platitudes make this easier.
I will, however, pray we will make more memories in the future. And I will, however, cling to the hope of our eternal reunion in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Christ is the only hope I profess, and He is more than enough.
Godspeed, Portwood family. See you later.