#697 - Why Do Goodbyes Happen?
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, I've been thinking. Why do we have goodbyes? What causes them? Why do relationships end? - People get sick. People are born with birth defects. Loved ones die in car accidents. Thorns. Poison ivy. Tornadoes. All this heartache goes with life in a fallen world, a world where we have rebelled from God and the world around us, made for our enjoyment, bears the consequences. - People end up saying goodbye because relationships are broken like everything else in this world. Each one of us is insecure, living in fear of others. We worry about fitting in, what people think of us, being alone, and getting hurt. We end up protecting ourselves, putting up walls and barriers. We avoid being transparent, vulnerable, and trusting, three things that are essential to healthy relationships. This is a recipe for certain heartache, a self-fulfilling fall into the goodbyes we try so hard to prevent. - No relationship is an island unto itself. My relationship with Person A is effected by my relationship with Persons B and C. Person A's relationship with me is effected by their relationship with Persons D and E. Person A wanted me to do what Person B didn't want me to do. Relationships are all a web of interconnected roles, expectations, and responsibilities. We often find ourselves doing a dance, trying to do just the right thing so the various people in our lives will not be hurt. In the end, someone inevitably gets hurt because we must make choices and those choices may involve the use of the word "goodbye". - Life changes the people we love. I am not the same person I was thirty years ago, twenty years ago, ten years ago, five years ago, a year ago, or six months ago. I am growing and evolving emotionally and spiritually. There are areas of my life where I used to be weak but now I am strong. There are new needs and priorities that I didn't have in the past. To maintain healthy relationships, I need my friends to embrace these changes in my life. They will need to change how they interact with me. Of course, my friends are changing too and I need to make changes for them. Making changes to accommodate the changes in others is downright scary. Hell no. Therefore, people grow apart and the circumstances that made a relationship work before now cause dysfunction and goodbye. - We are creatures with limitations. We are not God. We have a short supply of strength and stamina. We have limited understanding. We have faulty thought processes. We do not have great reserves of wisdom. In short, we can get exhausted and overwhelmed. We can get confused. We can feel our life is out of control. When we feel the pressure has mounted beyond our ability to handle it, we can snap. "I can't do this anymore." It's not that we don't want to maintain a bond with someone. It may be that we can't. We have nothing left in the tank, drained by juggling so many other issues and concerns in our life. There are probably a thousand other reasons why people say goodbye, such as a job transfer to another city or a woman seeking protection from an abusive relationship. A "goodbye" has deep roots, reasons, and causes. It's not as simple as can be explained by our emotional first reaction. The explanation most likely is not as simple as someone doesn't care about us anymore. Father, do You know what I need? I need peace about the goodbye I have experienced recently. I need to know that there were reasons for it I don't understand. I want peace that You know why the goodbye happened and that there was a greater purpose for it. Father, it was a season that I knew this person. I thank You for it. Now, may Your blessings be abundant in their life. I ask that You consider every prayer that they have the rest of their life as coming from me for them as well. I will pray for them as if I was still in touch. You will fill in the details of my prayers since You know what's going on in their life. It is comforting to know that You are God. Amen.
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