It seems that the only thing harder than loving a child or grandchild from a distance is watching as they try to love you back.
This is the truth as I've experienced it.
"When will you live closer?" Is a question that echoes through our conversations with little ones closely related and even with those not as closely related. "When will we see you again?"
Turning fifty two this week gave me pause to reflect on these calls from people, little and big. "When" indeed.
The calling we answered some 29 years ago has cost us over the years. But when you are young and counting the cost, your mind has no idea of the costs to come over the years. Costs of distance and miles, of stretched relationships and laid aside dreams. The costs seem as real today as they did 30 years ago when I set my course to answer a calling I felt in my spirit that was bigger than I was.
These past few years have taken more from Lauralea and I physically than I can recall in previous years. We are finally starting to feel it in our bones and bodies. I don't know why but that surprises us a bit. Perhaps its because we don't feel like we are aging. But there you go, its all relative. We're only in our fifties so its nothing yet. But it is something.
And the desire to answer the call faithfully is as strong as it's ever been. Even though the cost is becoming dearer in terms of not being close to family. The desire is strong. "Lord I believe, help my unbelief."
Here now with our fifties firmly underway we are looking at new opportunities to grow faith, to be stretched in new ways to serve God and care for people. And again we are invited to move from our comfort zone down roads God seems to have laid out for us. The doors are opening up in this community and believe it or not, people in Alberta need Jesus too.
It feels good to know that God is leading and not following us. And that it will cost us something, because that tests my motives. I don't know where the road goes, because against my pushy suggestions, He doesn't seem to be of a mind to show me the whole picture. So for now I'm just working to be faithful to what He has been showing me.
And a clear part of that obedience, for now, includes living at a distance from family.
So thank you God for Skype and care packages. For phones and for people who care for us from miles away, and up close. And thank you God for your faithfulness even when we struggle. And for long obediences in the same direction.
Happy Birthday, to me.