The Best Kind of Heartbreak

I’ve got this big magenta duffel bag. It’s sewn up along the edges, almost as crisscrossed and haphazard as the trips it’s been on. The frayed lining is only slightly attached to the outer layer anymore. You can see all the places it’s worn thin and stretched permanently from being stuffed too full all the times I’ve lived out of it.

As I start packing for our 5th long-distance move in 8 years, that duffel bags seems to be a picture of my heart, lovingly bursting at the seams.

Honestly, there’s a temptation to numb myself in times of change. Sometimes, I consider holding back from relationships because I don’t want the pain that comes with any kind of closeness.


This is the best kind of heart break, when the heart bursts.

This is the good part of goodbye.

Our hearts collect so many memories, so many precious names and faces, over time. It’s a blessing, even when it’s uncomfortable inside, to have a life so full of love you can’t contain it all. For God’s people, there’s also the joy of knowing with full assurance that someday you’ll all be together forever.

I don’t think God overlooks any of this in the here and now.

Of all the words God chooses to place in His Word, the beginnings and endings of the letters in the New Testament help me treasure and squeeze in every ounce of love I don’t think can fit into life in the moment.

God Word’s includes greetings and goodbyes. He values these. Does that make you smile with tears in your eyes, too?

God Word’s includes greetings and goodbyes. He values these. Does that make you smile with tears in your eyes, too? Click To Tweet

Have you read these closely?

Hi, I Miss You

“To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” –2 Timothy 1:2-4

I’m Keeping You in My Heart

“It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 1:7-8

We’re Going to Keep Up With Each Other

“Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.” –Colossians 4:7-9

In All These Things

These greetings and goodbyes are all sealed in a fellowship that goes beyond mere companionship. What can distance, time, or change do to break the bond of enjoying each other as good gifts from the Lord?

We have this privilege, and I think that’s what makes full hearts feel light with the Lord.

He designs our hearts to stretch like my duffel bag in those seasons where He gifts us with the riches of friendship. He carries the people we love- who He loves most.

Deep, eternal friendships are worth every bit of hope-filled heartburst that comes with goodbye. 

Deep, eternal friendships are worth every bit of hope-filled heartbreak that comes with goodbye. Click To Tweet


When People Are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch helped me gain a healthier, more Biblical perspective on the blessing of friendship and relationship. I’d recommend it to…everyone!


This post may also be shared on: #RaRaLinkup,  #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory#RechargeWednesday, #Heart Encouragement, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

8 Replies to “The Best Kind of Heartbreak

  1. I agree, those goodbyes can be so hard, but it is worth it to have had those friendships even for a while. It’s comforting to know some of these friendships will be eternal even if we won’t see people for a while. Praying for you in all the goodbyes and as you move.

    1. Thank you, Lesley! Deep friendships are a huge blessing, I’m grateful for you! Someday I hope you and I get to say hello in person : )

  2. Aw, Bethany … this is precious. Such beautiful takeaways from those sections in Paul’s letters that I so often just skim over. It warms my heart to think of all the friends you have in all the places you’ve lived … as well as those (like me) who you’ve never met in person. It’s a blessing to “keep up with you” and pray for you as you make this latest move. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lois! I’m so grateful for precious friendship- your’s included! I’m so excited for when we meet in person someday (even with the goodbye part- worth it!!) Thanks for praying, caring, and sharing in all this my friend!

  3. Bethany, this is just so precious. Deep friendships always remain a blessing we take with us wherever we go. The joy they bring outweighs the pain of the goodbyes. May God bless you in this move and bring more friendships into your life!

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