Goodbye sweet friends….

Today we say goodbye to a precious, spunky, always smiling lady whom I had the privilege to get to know just over this past 15 months. Dottie Tillman and I were drawn together through mutual friends and the death of our husbands. We had such a sweet time sharing stories about them and of course having those conversation about what we were going to do without them. She told me more than once “jerry was my guy”, I just don’t know how i’m going to make it without him.” WELL… She doesn’t have to anymore. She is standing along beside him but more importantly than that she is standing in the presence of GOD. Totally healed and at peace. Today we will officially honor her life on earth and bid her farewell. “when we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be”. I’ve always loved that old hymn. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is to remember that one line. IF you read her Facebook page you will see ALL the lives she touched in so many ways. What a testament to the LIFE SHE LIVED on this earth.
Yesterday I told another friend goodbye. It was a different kind of goodbye. It was one of those “see ya soon” goodbyes. Gamble and her family pulled out early yesterday morning heading on a NEW ADVENTURE with GOD. They are heading to Arizona to seed a church with the North American Mission Board. It was tuff. As I watched those last few items be put into their vehicles I was overcome with tears. My heart was aching. I cried most of the way home, yet reflecting on ALL THE FUN TIMES we have had over the last several years. God brought us together many years ago through Photography. What started out as a simple, “lets get together for lunch”, became a great friendship, a Sisterhood. ( Gamble and her husband Shayne pictured here)
Seems sometimes that life is full of saying goodbye. I know in my own life It seems i’ve had to say goodbye way too many time in a short period of time. I don’t always see the purpose in the goodbyes and some have completely broken me, but I trust that GOD’S plan is always perfect. EVEN when we are hurting, sometimes alone and we find ourselves not understanding…. HE is still making a way. Through many endings, HE brings new beginnings.
1 Thessalonians 3:7 “So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers, and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith.”
We are reminded that in ALL things God shows up, He comforts us as we draw near to Him. He sends encouragement through our brothers and sisters just when we need it. And as we TRUST in HIM he is there to walk us through every step of the way.
We should cherish the friendships that guide us back to Christ. We should strive to build on the friendships that help make us better disciples. There are those friends that we connect with on a such a spiritual level that the goodbyes change us, mold us, and push us back to Christ.
I write this NOT for my grieving but in hopes of shedding some light on a better understanding of GOODBYES. I guess what i’m trying to say is Make more of your HELLO’S.
Had any goodbyes lately?