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A Heart For God: Saying Goodbye and 6 Lessons for When You're "Leaving"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saying Goodbye and 6 Lessons for When You're "Leaving"

"And after He (Jesus) had said these things, He was lifted up (ascended into the sky) while they (the disciples) were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." (Acts 1:9)

I'm saying "goodbye" to my oldest daughter who is going away to college. And so I've got "leaving" on my heart and in my mind. I'm also dealing with the onset of "empty nest" syndrome and discovering what that really is and feels like.

And we've all "left" somewhere and something for somewhere and something else. (Right?) We've all had to say, "Goodbye," before. It could be to a particular individual (relationship). It could be to a place. It could be to our family or to a job or to a church or community group ~ it may have even been to a dream ~ and we had to leave whatever it was behind to move on and go forward in our life.

It isn't always easy to do ~ to "leave." But in many instances if we don't, it can actually do us and the people we care about harm. (Who was that last statement for?)

And so with going away in mind I'd now like to offer the following list from the Scriptures (and I guess these are really meant for my daughter and me, too?).

Here are...

6 Lessons for When You're "Leaving":

JESUS. He ascends in the clouds to God's throne. (Acts 1:9) The disciples stand (paralyzed?) looking into the sky. (Acts 1:10) The angel must tell them to move on. (Acts 1:11)

1st lesson: It's okay to remember the past, but be careful not to live in the past.

ELIJAH. He's caught away by a whirlwind to heaven. (2 Kings 2:11) Elijah's mantle is left behind for Elisha to take up. (2 Kings 2:12-13)

2nd lesson: A past relationship often serves as the template for a future purpose.(2 Kings 2:14-15)

JACOB. He deceives his brother, Esau, to the point that Esau wants to kill him. (Genesis 27:41) Jacob flees according to his mother's instruction. (Genesis 27:42-45) On his journeys, Jacob will ultimately be "dislocated" of his deceptive tendency (Genesis 32:25) and discover Esau's animosity has lessened. (Genesis 33:1-11)

3rd lesson: Just because we leave under the worst of scenarios and circumstances does not negate God's ability to bring about a redeeming of the situation and our lives.

HAGAR. Sarah demands that Abraham's mistress, Hagar, be sent away with her son. (Genesis 21:9-14) On her journey, Hagar's water runs out. (Genesis 21:15) She can't bear to see her son die. (Genesis 21:16) But God hears the boy's cry, tells his mother, Hagar, there's hope and shows her another water source. (Genesis 21:17-19)

4th lesson: Jesus said it: "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5c) Did you need to hear it?

JOSEPH. He prophesies to his brothers about a hopeful future and then dies. Some 440 years later, Israel enters the Promised Land just like Joseph said. (Genesis 50:24-26)

5th lesson: What God's spoken to you, He will do! (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6)

RUTH. Naomi decides to return to Israel. (Ruth 1:6) Her two daughters-in-law accompany her initially, but then Naomi tells them not to come. (Ruth 1:7-13) One daughter-in-law goes back, but Ruth will not abandon Naomi. Instead, she chooses to leaves her own home and family. (Ruth 1:14-19a)

6th lesson: Sometimes we go somewhere and it's for a totally different purpose than we thought. Ruth will become a part of the lineage of the Messiah after all! (Matthew 1:5)

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Blogger CinDCat said...

Thank you for sharing some of how u deal w/ letting go. I, too, had to say goodbye to my daughter as she left for college 3 yrs ago. It was very hard & remains so. Next year I will say goodbye to my son, something I will grieve over for my mothering wil no longer b needd. May ur pain b fleeting as u continue to help others! GBU!!

7:48 AM  

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