I have said many goodbyes in the past three years to best friends, my Mama/"rock," my baby brother, to home, to family as a whole, to life stolen by cancer, to security, to well thought out plans, to community, to constant depression, to self-reliance, to anger, to bitterness, to a guarded heart. Goodbyes signify grief and healing, death and growth.
To see God as my Abba Father, as my Daddy, I had to first grieve my loss of home and family. I had to learn to see my random sadness as needed grief over those removed structures. Then, I could see Him as the One who holds me when I need comfort, the One who never lets me down, the One who never leaves...never says goodbye.
I couldn't experience the freedom of forgiveness until I pushed anger and bitterness out the door, one little shove at a time and then a final kick-out. A certain person constantly pushing me to the Word showed me life again, but the Word pushes up what you don't want to deal with. It pours turpentine on what you only desire bandaged. It screams what you want to escape from. What you want to say goodbye to, it places front and large in your face. Everywhere I turned, I heard forgiveness, love your enemies, forgiveness, forgiveness, push out the sin, send it out, say GOODBYE!
I could no longer escape to my darkness, to my room, to wandering around town, to movies by myself, to junk food, to wallowing in cold rooms, to rudely leaving social settings, to my best friend--depression. No, she had to go also. I had to fight, not run. I had to deal with, not hide. I had to face, not bury. Day after hour after minute. Relentless yelling the Word, knowing who I am in Christ, talking about the past then letting it go, helping others instead of only myself.
I had to learn to just be there when others grieved. To try to see through their eyes. To let myself fall in love.
I've learned how large my non-biological family can be. How to adapt to living with strangers. That my reliance can be broad but must not be self-focused and ultimately only placed on my Deliverer.
This week I faced another painful goodbye. This one was worth grieving--a person, not a sin. The grief, the constant sadness, the great missing is still here. While my Mama listened to my blubbering and rambling over the phone, I told her I'm becoming quite experienced at saying goodbye to people I love. She responded, "It doesn't become easier each time. But, the grief over that one person does lessen over time." She's right, as usual.
I still have more goodbyes to make: selfishness, fear of relationships and future plans, anxiety, stress, worry. I always will. But, I'll always have my Daddy by my side as I do.