Our family is well-versed in the art of saying goodbye. Whether it’s to one another, our moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, or dear friends. It’s not something we enjoy doing, but it goes along with the way we have chosen to live our lives. We are travelers, movers and shakers, citizens of the world – call us what you will. We’re willing and committed to go wherever God calls us, do whatever He asks of us. And we find that more often than not, He’s leading us on paths beyond what we might have once considered “home”.
All five of us love to go, to passionately embrace the new, the challenging, the unfamiliar. Foreign cultures, different languages: they are merely obstacles to be hurdled. Do we struggle? Yes. Is it difficult, even overwhelming? Very often it is.
But still we go.
Now don’t get me wrong – we find no pleasure in leaving loved ones behind. And while we very happily live this gypsy life, we value relationships profoundly. I like to describe it like this: wherever we are, we live and lay down roots as if we’ll stay forever. Yet, we’re always listening and ready to move on when we feel God’s leading us ahead. So we have developed friendships with people who feel like family all over the world… and we maintain those ties diligently and with much love, always looking for the next opportunity we will have to be together.
Currently, one of our daughters is in Southern China, and we last saw her thirteen months ago. Our other daughter is in Austin, Texas, and we were with her last Christmas, when we also met her wonderful fiancee! As I mentioned in Friday’s post, our 18-year-old son, whom we last spent time with before he moved to the USA seven months ago, was arriving this weekend. He’s currently on a four month tour of Europe and the Russian-speaking world with the evangelistic band No Longer Music. And finally, my husband Denny, also on tour with NLM for a month as band pastor, would be home this weekend for the first time in over two weeks.
Can you say emotionally charged weekend? And I would be seeing Isaac and Denny, while welcoming the band for lunch, helping however needed as they put on their show in Faro yesterday evening, and hosting 10 of the band members overnight and for Sunday breakfast at our house, before they set out on the road for Spain again.
Along with Denny. And Isaac. Leaving me behind in an empty house.
So, although saying goodbye is not an exceptional event in my life, this particular goodbye was a rough one. Number 20 in My 30-day Challenge.
Fully supporting what my husband and each of our kids are doing around the world, and loving seeing them use the gifts God has given them for His unique purposes and glory makes the separation easier. But never easy.
In two more weeks, I’ll be reunited with my man and will even get to spend a few days with Isaac. You gotta celebrate those moments of togetherness whenever they’re given to you! They are so precious.
For though I am absent in the flesh,
yet I am with you in spirit,
rejoicing to see your good order
and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith,
as you have been taught,
abounding in it with thanksgiving.