May 30, 2011

Saying Goodbye by Ruth L. Snyder

"Goodbye" is a word I have come to dislike. As a child I heard the word often - goodbye to my grandparents and other relatives as my family left for Africa, goodbye to a home I had come to love as my family moved on to new mission assignments, goodbye to my parents when I attended school 500 miles away. In the past several weeks I have had to say goodbye to two very special ladies.

Louise moved to our community several years ago. When she and her husband arrived, she only knew a handful of people. They moved to our small rural community from the Vancouver area. Louise could have mourned what she left behind. Instead, she started building relationships and slowly became a welcomed addition to our community. Louise was comfortable interacting with children, teens, singles, young moms, couples, and the elderly. She seemed to have a sixth sense that honed in on those who needed a word of encouragement, a hug, or prayer.When you had a conversation with Louise, you always felt special. A few weeks ago Louise laid down for a nap, and woke up in Heaven.

I met Jan about 16 years ago when she and her family moved into a local community so her husband could pastor the local church. Our lives intersected occasionally, but I didn't really get to know her until Jan offered to do crafts with my daughter while I taught her children how to play the piano. I began to look forward to our weekly time together and came to appreciate Jan's sense of humor, her creativity, and her godliness. Several years later, during one of our weekly lessons, Jan shared that she had gone for a biopsy and was waiting for results. She was fairly certain she had breast cancer. Jan was right. She endured surgery, chemo, and radiation, while maintaining a wonderfully positive outlook, and eventually life returned to a new normal. Until a few months ago. The cancer returned with a vengeance and escorted her into the presence of Jesus.

I Corinthians 15:55-58 states that God takes away the sting of death through Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 reminds me that I grieve differently than those who have no hope. The passage goes on to explain that one day I will again see "those who have fallen asleep in Jesus."  So, although I grieve right now, I have hope. This goodbye is only temporary - it's more like a "See you later!" 

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  1. Temporary losses that become permanent gains. They still hurt, but the hope we have in Christ and His resurrection takes the sting away.

    Thanks for this.

  2. Anonymous8:08 am GMT-7

    Oh Ruth I love the "see you later" - that has made my day. We cling to the hope in Christ - the resurrection. He is Risen truly He is risen.

  3. When my own dad changed his address to heaven several years ago, I remember saying as he slipped off, "Daddy, we'll see you in the morning".

    I found a great comfort in that, cause you're so right, it's just temporary!

    Wishing you the comfort He promised for every moment when you feel the loss of your dear one.

  4. Thanks, ladies. Heaven looks better all the time :)

  5. I went to a community production of Les Miserables recently and was in tears at the end of it when the last song, sung by the entire cast boomed out the message - yes the morning will come - a new morning in a glorious place where death and sickness and sadness don't exist. Our hope indeed.
    Thanks Ruth.


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