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Good-bye Dad
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“Good-bye dad. I love you.” Just a couple of sentences, but hearing them felt like a knife piercing my heart.  

My 17-year-old daughter Madeleine had recently left home to attend a boarding school. We were parting ways after spending a few days together where I was serving as the pastor for her school’s team-building “camp-week,” and I wasn't fully prepared for what I was feeling at that moment.

As I pressed the accelerator of our family’s mini-van, I checked my rear-view mirror and saw her standing on the front porch of the chalet where she and some other senior girl classmates were staying. She gave a quick wave, turned and headed back inside to join her friends. The incident hit my emotions like a sledge-hammer, and I fought back tears as I made my way from the camp to the main road. I knew she was in good hands at the school, but my heart ached to leave her standing there while I drove away.  

My Mind Raced Back...

My mind raced back to the early morning when she was born, and I was confronted with the reality that all too soon she would be an adult, and that our time together would transition from living in the same house, to seeing each other more infrequently than I would probably like to.

Is this what God’s heart feels like when His children move away from Him and start life on their own apart from Him? I don’t know the answer to that question, but if I received even a tiny taste of the ache that He feels in His heart towards us, I am humbled beyond words.

"God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will..."  (Jeremiah 31:3).

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By Michael Temple. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ®.

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