"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'" Isaiah 41:13
Today's entry is a little heavier than what I typically write, but this is what has been going on in my heart this week... Andy left Columbia yesterday and began the cross-country trek to California. Caedmon and I will fly to meet him out there in just under 2 weeks and the reality of the move felt so final as I watched him pull away from my parents' house. We will likely never drive our own car back into my parents' driveway because every trip we make from here on out will be on a plane. To me that makes the distance feel much further.
I don't think I have had to sacrifice much for the sake of Christ or the cause of the gospel. Maybe a few friendships along the way or certain activities, but certainly nothing compared to the sacrifices the Apostle Paul made or that persecuted Christians all over the world are making even as I write these words. By most accounts, the road I've walked has been easy, even convenient, as I have followed Christ.
But the greatest sacrifice I feel like the Lord has led me to make is giving up being geographically close to my family. It is that sacrifice that is heavy on my heart today. Most days I get along just fine. After the initial shock of moving away from home five years ago, I got adjusted to living far away and most days are not hard. But today I feel like I'm moving to another country and life will look very different now.
It has brought me such deep joy and pleasure this summer as I've watched Caedmon develop relationships and attachments to each of our family members. He knows each person by name and has special games that he plays with different people. I'm incredibly grateful for this season that we've had, but it has been a bitter-sweet experience knowing that our time together will soon end. For me the pain is knowing that Caedmon will not remember this summer and these precious people who love him so deeply will not be apart of his daily life.
It may not seem like some great sacrifice. There are millions of people who don't live close to family for various reasons and it may or may not be painful to them. But, for me, this is my sacrifice and my heart is aching today. Yet in the same breath I want to acknowledge that it is worth it. The cause is worth the sacrifice. Seeing hundreds and thousands of people who are currently far from God become fully devoted followers of Christ is worth everything I can give during my 80 years on earth. I should not be pitied. Someone should only be pitied if the dividends do not outweigh the investment. But I know that I live with the truth of the gospel and the reality that awaits us in heaven is more vivid and tangible than this very keyboard upon which I type. My life, my sacrifice, is not in vain.
So as Andy drives even now toward our new life, I am so thankful to have a Father in heaven who is holding my hand (see the verse above). And he tells me not to fear because he's going to help me. He's going to help me on the days that I am desperately missing my family. He's going to help me when I need my mom to watch my kids for the weekend, when Caedmon graduates from kindergarten and his grandparents aren't there to take him out for ice cream, when my whole family is together for a special event and I can't be there. He will help me. And he will hold my hand. And he will remind me that the sacrifice is worth it because the gospel is truth and the dividends will far outweigh every sacrificial investment I've made.