“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth.” Robert Southey
When I was in high school, I had a teacher that would have a quote written on the chalkboard everyday when we came to class. This quote stood out to me then, because my best friend had recently moved over 1200 miles away. I’ve never forgotten it, and it still resonates with me now that we live 160 miles from our nearest parents and siblings. As I’ve gotten older and learned to appreciate family more, I’ve often wished we could be closer to our family. I often feel pressure from my side of the family to move closer, but it’s a catch 22.
I love my family. I love the landscape of the area where I grew up. But, aside from those two factors, I hold almost no fondness of the place. I miss my family, especially my brothers, and I want our kids to grow up as friends like my cousins and I did. The problem is, the closer we got to my family, the farther we’d be from Dean’s side of the family, and they are just as dear to us. And then there’s the area we live now. This place has been home to us both for 7 years now. We’ve grown so much in so many ways since we’ve been here. It’s where we met. We may not have as many friends here now as we did while we were in college, but we love the area and we LOVE our church.
The simple truth is that we have to resign ourselves to the fact that we will never live in a little cluster with all of our parents and siblings close by. It’s harder for me than Dean, because he didn’t grow up as close to his family as I did. It’s still just as hard for him to be apart from his siblings, though.
This past Sunday at church, I sat and listened to a great message about prioritizing your life. Abraham was willing to do anything God asked of him, even when God asked him to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. We have to be willing to sacrifice, and put nothing ahead of our obedience to God. If we do that, he will be faithful, like he was to Abraham in giving him a son in his old age and then again by providing a ram to sacrifice instead.So, I will be obedient to where God leads. If He leads us to move closer to one side of our family or the other, or if He leads us in the opposite direction of either, we’ll follow Him. If He wants us to stay right where we’re at, that’s where we’ll be. And, even when we’re miles and miles from those we hold the most dear, our ties to them will remain, because we are thoroughly persuaded of their worth.