#696 - Goodbyes Hurt
Volume 2 - Prayers to Love Our Neighbor
Dear Father, goodbye is one of the most difficult words. It engenders feelings of mourning, loss, emptiness, and, often, regret. The word can incite anger and hurt. It can transform someone into unrecognizable enemy to our hearts. I have had to say goodbye to people I care for. I know my word of goodbye has caused them pain. I have hated goodbyes. I have done everything to avoid them. In fact, in a way, my heart never says goodbye to anyone who has been dear to me. I don't want to bring closure to any relationship that has been dear to me. Why does goodbye cause people like me so much pain? - People need each other. People affirm one another. They appreciate one another. They are there for each other, with hugs in tough times and high fives in good times. We feel valued when another person is consistently kind to us. We also feel secure in the belief that the person will always be there for us. They have been devoted and faithful. Therefore, there is a huge void when such a person is gone, a deep need that is no longer being met. - A person may be pleasant to have around. They are likable. We enjoy their company. We enjoy the way they talk and walk. We like their personality, their heart, and their character. The person is sort of like our favorite drink, our favorite dessert, or our favorite hobby. We have all those memories of restaurants, parks, movies, and hikes. Their goodbye feels like something enjoyable is gone from our life. That hurts. - A person may be someone we really cared about. We want the best for them. We want them to do well in life. We want to make a difference in their life, helping them grow or heal. Perhaps we feel their goodbye came too soon. We wanted to walk with them just a little longer so that we can know they will be alright. We supported them through so much but their final chapters remain unwritten and now we won't be able to read them. This can lead to feeling deep heartache. It has been said that "nothing is wasted". However, a goodbye can feel like a relationship could have been so much more. Is this all there was? It ends like this? I have nothing to show for all the time and emotion I put into that relationship? We invest our hearts into other people and the return we seek is often a sense of permanency in relationship. When that relationship ends, we can feel a deep sense of "waste". Goodbye can be so painful that, once we experience it, we try so hard to avoid that pain again. "I will never love again." Or, perhaps, we will tolerate dysfunction or abuse in a relationship to avoid a goodbye at all costs. However, sometimes a goodbye just simply cannot be avoided. Father, I've experienced goodbyes in my life. It hurts. You have made me a human who longs for relationships. Now that I've lost one, I need Your comfort. I'm experiencing grief. Please comfort me. Please comfort the one I've said goodbye to as well. Amen.
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