Thursday, August 21, 2008

Always saying good-bye...

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Duet 31:8 (NIV) I have been saying good-bye for as long as I can remember. This is not a choice but more often than not, under duress and extreme pressure. I have gotten rather good over the years with moving to the next step and bidding adieu to people, places, things, aspects of my life, etc. As a result, I crave stability and security more than anything in this world. It all started with my father walking out the door when I was around 6-7 years of age. Those were the first of the good-byes that I can recollect. From then on, all that I experienced was shifting sand and shaky ground. My mother had to raise my 2 younger brothers and me alone without any help from the aforementioned father. We had to say good-bye to many homes, things, schools and friends as we moved a lot to stay one step ahead of the bills and to keep our proverbial heads above water. There were men in my family and those that attempted to have relationships with my mother. But they just like my father didn’t stick around for long. Then it was more good-byes – some said and others not. We just moved onto the next stage in our chaotic lives. When I was around 10 years old, my mother packed us up and we left the only city and state I knew and moved a 1000 miles away to not only start over and attempt to build a new life but to escape the terror and turmoil that those from the past continued to inflict on her and her 3 young children. Again, a big good-bye to all that I knew – chaos and all. After all, I thought that was normal. The moving stopped for a while and we moved into suburbia and settled down with my new step-father. Nothing was as it seemed on the outside but at least it was better than the past. I said good-bye to my innocence and child-like ways. I reasoned compromises had to be made in order to avoid going back. When I was 14 years old, I was picked up from school early only to stand on the curb and watch my home go up in flames. It was at that moment, that all the tangible evidence of normalcy went up with the soot and smoke. Chaos returned as I said good-bye to the first stable home, neighborhood, friends, and sense of belonging. We moved shortly thereafter a couple of times and then found ourselves in Florida. Again, we started over and I continued to be less of a child and craved normalcy, stability and security. As a result, my issues with a need for control continued to grow and intensify. In the midst of all of that, I made some heinous mistakes that impacted my own quest for a life outside of these imposed limitations. By my 18th birthday, I had kissed my past good-bye or so I thought. I gave up my dreams in high school of belonging and worked my way through all 3 years. I have no fond memories of high school or college for that matter as I was now married to a boy that I met when I was 16. I thought he was my ticket to stability and security, yet he was just another cog in the cycle of my life. I said good-bye to my family and started playing house without any understanding of what I was doing. And so as they say the saga or in my case the cycle continued. Just 9 years after I was married, I said good-bye to him as he chose to have a different life which included another woman and her children. I was left alone with no idea who I was or how to find myself. I said good-bye to that life and all that accompanied it. As chaotic as it was, I grew to believe it, like all other things in my life, was normal. The years that followed were pretty much minor replays of the past. In and out of relationships, many changes within my company trying to find the “right fit,” and friends that came and went with the exception of a few “die hards” that are still with me to this day. One day, I came to a place where I said good-bye to all that. I recalled the time in my teens when I had asked Jesus into my heart. My step-father decided shortly thereafter that we no longer needed to go to church, thus no one really explained the need for a relationship with Christ, not just a saving knowledge. When I said good-bye to my life, God spoke to me and reminded me that He would never leave nor forsake me. He reminded me of that night that I prayed in the pew on my knees, walked the aisle and was baptized a couple of weeks later. It was like coming home. I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. God is the only one that can make that promise and truly deliver. With that one scripture, I realized that I never have to say good-bye to the Lord as He accepted me as I was no matter how shameful, damaged, or beaten down I had become. He lifted me up upon His knee and told me how beautiful and special I was to Him. This point was driven home even more so a couple of weeks ago when I lost my great grandmother. She was the one constant source of stability, love and comfort in my life. She epitomized a Godly life and showed me what it was like to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But, she like everything and one else in my life would come to an end and there would be a good-bye. Jesus never promised us tomorrow but He did promise us eternity in Heaven with Him provided we commit our lives to Him. I am glad that He has given me comfort in that fact. I am never alone and He will stay with me for all time without exception. Dear Lord -- Thank you so much for being my source of strength, security and stability. I pray that You continue to walk with me everyday and help me fight off the enemy as he tries to convince that even you will say "good-bye." I pray for those that are struggling and those that are caught up in cycle of chaos. I pray for their release and freedom in You. AMEN Application:

  • Are you struggling with something in your life? Take your petitions to the Lord in prayer.
  • Take a moment to look back over your life and note the "key" points in your life. How did the Lord play a part? What part did you play?
  • Pray for the Lord to reveal how you can have peace or bring peace to someone else.

2 comments:

Sharon's Faith Dance said...

OK, were you and Donna in cahoots yesterday? She writes a post about how it's OK to cry and then you write a post that makes me cry.

You have done an awesome job of taking your compost bin and letting God make fertile soil out of it.

You are a blessing.

Pam said...

Paula, you are like one of those shiny smooth beautiful pebbles you find sometimes on the beach. The very ONLY way a piece of rock can become that smooth and shiny is by the constant beating it takes by the ocean, that constant erosion. God knew exactly what he wanted out of you and your life. All that you went through was constantly polishing you to make you the VERY BEAUTIFUL woman and inspiration you are today! I love you! Pam