Do you remember that old Carpenter’s song? “They say that breaking up is hard to do…” A sad song about the end of a relationship…with a pickin’ tune that’s stuck in my head right now. (My daughter, Kadi, says the only cure for that is to hum “Baby Beluga in the Deep Blue Sea.” For the record, it’s not working this time.)

Anyway, tonight our family, along with another 100+ people, bid farewell to our dear friends and Associate Pastor, the Dave Genberg family. It wasn’t really “breaking up”, but it is the end of a relationship as we have known it for the last few years. In true fashion, we had a wonderful party complete with barbequed pork from the best little BBQ joint in town, worship and a rousing game of Family Feud with Genberg trivia questions. It was a blast…until we had to say good-bye.

Does anyone else out there not do “good-bye’s” so well? Please tell me I’m not alone in this. When I went to my class reunion last Friday, I was reminded that I’d lost touch with many of those friends after I said “good-bye” to them twenty years ago. That was probably my first experience with “good-byes”. Those good-byes were followed with farewells after college, after grad. school, after I left Texas. I’ve said good-byes to grandparents who have gone to their eternal homes with Jesus. This past spring our family said “good-bye” to our beloved dog, Shasta, whom I’d had for 14 years. “Good-byes”….blllleeecccchhh! Don’t like ’em – never have, never will.

We are waiting to hear where our friends will end up. Right now it is between two churches and we all wait and pray – knowing that “God is not unjust; He will not forget their work and the love they have shown Him as they have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

In every “good-bye” I have discovered grace lessons. In my “Sweet Blessings” talk I tell people that some friends are friends of the road. They are in our lives for a stretch of the journey and then, for a variety of different reasons, we may no longer travel on the same road. I can delight in knowing that those friends (including the Genberg’s) who are also brothers and sisters in Christ, may take a different road, but we will all end up in the same place. I am eternally thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve with and learn from Dave and Pat in the last five years. Placing us on the same road for a time was a precious gift of grace from Jesus. My prayers will follow them where ever God calls them to serve next.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.