Today's guest post is by Ellen Rosenberger. We welcome the input of our readers - check here for ideas if you're interested in writing for TCKmom.


Why is it called a “good” bye anyway?  What about it makes it good?

I looked up the word “goodbye” and was reminded that it originally was the phrase “God be with you” which, over the years, has become shortened to goodbye.  Interesting how the original intent was well wishes, a blessing, a prayer, a sending off with the best Person you could go with.

And yet, it is still not a favorite word of mine.  Especially when said to close friends.  Especially when there’s been a stream of goodbye’s to close friends and family in the past year and a half.  No matter what anyone says, they don’t get easier with practice.  Sure, we may get better at preparing for them and doing them well (which is indeed very healthy), but they are still not easy and hardly enjoyable.

Because it’s not merely a goodbye to a person.  It’s a goodbye to doing life together. No matter how quick a click of a button is for connecting on social media, it really isn’t the same as being in the same place geographically and experiencing all of the realms of life’s joys and struggles together.

I was thinking of these things on my way back from taking our good friends, Chase and Julie, to the airport this morning.  I thought about renaming the goodbye to any of these:

“sad bye”
“bad bye”
“deny bye”
“not-okay bye”

And yet, in the end, I know I can still call it a “good” bye.


Not because it feels good.  But because God is good.  Always.

And it is He who leads and shifts people.  Not only does He go with them, but He stays with me.  And how grateful I am that He can also handle my emotions and thoughts as I wrestle through the pain of goodbye’s.

And He even teaches me thankfulness for goodbye’s, knowing that all things pass through His hand for my life.  The good and the hard things.  And I can take it as an opportunity to thank Him for the reason that this goodbye hurt so bad -- because it meant that I enjoyed a relationship that was a gift from Him in the first place.

And so dear friends, (and others we love and have said goodbye to recently):  “God be with you”.

That’s not a wish or a hope.  It’s a statement.  And an assurance of His presence in our lives no matter how many physical miles separate us.




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