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Painful Goodbyes

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord look upon you with favor, And give you peace.  Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Mom, Dad, and little sis wept.

Boarding my plane to Atlanta, I witnessed a family saying goodbye to their young son. They chatted happily, shared pictures on their phones, and sipped slushies from an airport restaurant. Mom, Dad, and sister all wore “Army” t-shirts.

Two other friends completed the ensemble. I assumed they were all traveling together, until the hugs began. The young man held on to each of his family members so tightly that I thought they would burst. Then, the time came to say goodbye to the friends. At first, they gave a fist bump. But not satisfied, they ended with a warm bear hug.

Entering military status is not a solitary event. Families are enlisted in long weeks of separation and unknowns. Friends yearn for news. Jobs wait to be filled by others. No matter what kind of glorious life the public relations committee promotes for enlistment, sacrifice still comes.

To Jordan and your family, thank you for your service. And to all who have put their goodbyes on the table.

I am reminded of the Lord’s blessing through Moses. Numbers records the Lord’s own desire to be in a relationship that is life-giving. His presence goes with us in dark times and good times. And He offers sustaining grace to carry us onward.

Moms release children again each September as the school season begins. Managers release projects as they delegate and appropriate tasks. Hospice workers release patients at the end of their care.

Goodbyes are a part of life. Relationships, jobs, dream homes, goals. Regardless, the Lord offers peace. Look to Him for grace, and submit to His path for your days ahead.

Remember, God will never walk out on you. He will travel with you wherever you go.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Sally Ferguson

Over 140 of Sally Ferguson’s devotionals have been published in Pathways to God (Warner Press). She’s also written for Light from the Word, Chautauqua Mirror, Just Between Us, Adult Span Curriculum, and Thriving Family. She was also the 2017 Prose Contest winner at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Sally loves organizing retreats and seeing relationships blossom through time away from the daily routine. Her ebook, How to Plan a Women’s Retreat, is available on Amazon. Sally lives in the beautiful countryside of Jamestown, NY, with her husband and her dad. Visit Sally’s blog at www.sallyferguson.net.