Saturday, July 30, 2011

Break my heart, why dontcha Parker?!?!?!

On our way out of Chicago today we stopped and bought some donouts for the road trip. As we were getting in the car, Kent asked, "Are we going to stop and say good-bye to Blake and the babies before we leave?"

I reminded you that we said our farewells to the Sidells yesterday at Mimi and Pop Pop's house. I heard I big sigh, and when I looked in the rear view mirror, I saw Parker with his head hanging low, and I could see tears brimming on your big blue eyes.

"What's the matter Parker?"

"I don't want to leeaaaave. I just wish that everyone that I love, like our whole family, could all live on the same street. That's all I want. That's all I am asking for."

"Yeah!" Kent, you echoed.

My heart sank. I know you are happy and satisfied living where we do, but I also know that your little hearts are conflicted, just like mine. You love your family..your aunts, cousins, grandparents...and it is very hard for you to say good-bye.

This departure was a bit more difficult because since April (Pop Pop's diagnosis), we have been traveling home quite a bit. And each time, when you don't want to leave, I say, "Don't worry. We'll be back again in a few days...." This time, I prepared you by telling you that we probably wouldn't be back in Chicago for a long while. School starts, and that makes it more challenging to travel there. So you knew that when you said "good-bye", it meant that you weren't going to see them for a long time.

I feel your's the never ending conflict in my heart. We are the only ones in the family that don't live within 20 minutes of the others. I am so glad that you feel close to your family, and that you love your time with them, but it does hurt me to know that living far from them weighs on your hearts.

I think that being in the ministry poses that challenge for a lot of pastor's kids. I have to trust that the Lord will give you what you need in order to work your way through these feelings. He loves you more than I ever could, and I know that He is sensitive to your hurts and concerns. Only Jesus knows what our future holds, and where our paths will go, but my prayer is that you learn that there is blessing in obedience, and that sacrifice is worth it.

When I was a teenager and fully surrendered myself to the call of ministry that God had placed on my life, I remember reading Matthew 19:29 "And anyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or fathers or mothers or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life" (NIV) I knew the minute I read that verse, that leaving family was something that I was going to have to be open to. Quite frankly, it was probably the reason why it took me so long to respond to God's calling. But, the Lord led me to a place where I could surrender my desires to be near family, and to accept that He would lead me where I needed to go.

I pray that He does that same for you. You have left family. Yes, you haven't really had a choice, but that doesn't mean you are denied the blessings that Jesus talks about. Because you have left family for HIS sake, I do believe that you will receive "a hundred times as much, and will inherit eternal life". If Jesus said it, then I believe it.

He will reward you. He has rewarded me and blessed my life because I was willing to sacrifice one of my life's most cherished "possessions"-my family. I believe He will do that for you. He will be near to you when you are sad or missing your loved ones, He will fill every spot of loneliness and longing, He will bring you to a place of acceptance, and ultimately to a place of blessing.

And don't forget...we have each other...and skype. :)

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