It’s hard leaving the familiar behind. After years of forging memories we develop a sense of place in which our souls are able to rest and feel at home. But with the changing seasons of life we often have to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.
For instance, graduations, job changes, new homes, and the like all come with the closing of one door and the opening of a new one. This is even the case with weddings, new births, and the death of loved ones.
Throughout our life and relationships we’re constantly saying goodbye to yesterday and hello to a new day today. And these moments are often bittersweet.
This is particularly true when what we’re leaving behind has been good. There’s no animosity or hard feelings; it’s just time to move on. And so we grieve because we’re losing something good and meaningful in our lives.
At the same time, we’re entering the unknown and this comes with its own mix of excitement and fear. While there’s a thrill in discovering all the new that’s ahead, part of us still wonders if we have what it takes. Nothing will be the same again and we question if we’re okay with this.
Our challenge is to end well even as we mark new beginnings. Graduations, weddings, and funerals already provide degrees of ceremonial rituals to help us make this transition. But we need similar rituals in big and small ways throughout our life.
For example, this might be a final walk around the neighborhood or a simple card and gift to those we’re leaving behind. Likewise, we might plant a tree, embrace a new look, or simply speak a blessing over the new season God has brought us to.
Whatever it looks like, it’s important to honor both the endings and the new beginnings of our life.
By all means, grieve as you say goodbye with gratitude, even as you say hello with hope for all the good God still has in store for you.