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Filtering by Tag: distance

I Have You In My Heart


“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart” (Philippians 1:3-7a NIV).

Distance can be such a rough thing. Friends who were once an intricate part of my day-to-day life are now stretched across thousands of miles. While we do our best to stay in touch through phone calls, emails, and social networking sites, it’s never quite the same. We move on with our lives, cherishing the memories, but looking toward the future, as well we should. But just the same, my heart aches for those friendships. My heart aches for the carefree days of college, when we would sit over bagels before church or make a late night run for ice cream. I miss the days of cramming for exams and watching marathons of our favorite tv shows. I miss the craziness and laughter that ensued when we’d had too little sleep and too much caffeine. I miss the days after college when I lived in an apartment with 3 of my college friends. We knew each other inside and out, and loved each other despite our quirky traits. I miss standing up as a bridesmaid when those same three friends got married, and the day that those friends did the same for me. There are so many things that I miss. But I also know that there is no going back. God has placed each of us on separate roads in this life. Each road has it’s own, amazing adventures in store.
It’s only by looking back that I can see God’s plan in it all. How he’s placed each friend in my life for a time and a season. I now see how each person I’ve held dear to my heart has left their imprint deep inside. Each person had something to teach me. And for that I’m thankful. Thankfulness won’t take away the loneliness. Thankfulness won’t take away the nostalgia. But thankfulness does put things in perspective. Because God’s not done with any of us yet. He is continually putting new friends, new kindred spirits in our paths, who will bless us in these new chapters of our lives. And while it may hurt to one day say goodbye, I’m ready to open my heart up to love and friendship once again. Because there’s no better place to be then in someone’s heart.

The Long Miles


This last week I was blessed to have several family members come for a visit. It was so great to spend time with them. For me, the hardest part of this military-way-of-life is being separated from family. I love them all so much. Sometimes the miles between us seem to stretch on indefinitely. It seems like every visit is just a little too short.

I’m learning that visit’s don’t have to be planned down to the minute. Instead, it’s the times when we’re sitting around the table in the early morning, hardly awake, sipping on coffee, or playing a board come into the middle of the night, until we have to pry our eyes open with toothpicks, that are some of the most treasured moments. Yes, it’s fun to sightsee with our guests. But it’s also nice to just enjoy each other’s company. While we may stay in touch through frequent emails and phone calls, there’s nothing like seeing these people face to face. They’re a part of my husband and I. Our family is what made us who we are today. And when they leave, we’ll start thinking about the next time we can be together again.

Because looking toward the future, and clinging to God, is the only way we make it through each day. My mom has said that God gives us the grace to make it from one visit to the next. He’s given us peace knowing that we’re both where we belong, working next to our husbands in this beautiful thing called life. By giving us grace, God seems to dull the pain of separation. Yes, it still hurts, but not intolerably so. In fact, the months often tend to speed on by, until I can hardly believe that’s it’s been 6 months since I saw my family face to face. God is good that way.

This deployed heart often feels the separation, the tiny things I miss out on by being far away. Birthdays, promotions, holidays, there are so many everyday things I miss out on.

But just the same, I have a beautiful home in a beautiful city with a wonderful church filled with a surrogate family. I love my life here with my military husband. I have to trust that God truly does know best. He understands how much I miss those I love, but at the same time He’s chosen to bless me in this place. I can’t help but be thankful for that.

How do you deal with separation? How often do you keep in touch with those you love? How has God provided for you?

Lord, thank you for giving me the grace and peace to make it from one visit with family to the next. Please give me peace, knowing that I’m where I’m supposed to be.

I Have You In My Heart


When I was a little girl I used to ride my bike around the neighborhood where we lived. The most fascinating thing for me was a group of houses in what was called a cul-de-sac. I used to love riding around this cul-de-sac, and dreaming about what it would be like if my one set of grandparents lived in one of the houses, my other grandparents in the next house, my aunt and uncle in the next house, and so on. I dreamed of a life where I played with my cousins more often than once or twice a year. While I loved my life with my family, distance was something I grew up loving to hate. My parents weren’t in the military, but they still settled far across the country from their loved ones. It’s only now that I realize how growing up far away from extended family would one day help me adapt to life in the military.

It’s painful to think about all the little events I miss in my family and friends lives. Yet, with each move, it’s amazing how God puts a new friends and “family” in the life of my husband and me. He never fails to provide.

And so, I do everything I can to stay in contact with those I love. Phone calls, emails, snail mail, blogs and Facebook. I do whatever I can to stay in contact. Even at this, at times I’m just plain lonely. At times I wish, once again, that all those I loved lived in a cul-de-sac together. It would be so convenient. But even then, I’m sure I’d have to work on the relationships. There’s nothing like distance to remind me of how much my family and friends truly mean to me.

In Philippians 1 the Apostle Paul was writing to his dear friends at the church of Philippi, although I’m not in prison like Paul, I identify with the words he writes. He, too, had many friends that lived far away. These words he wrote were words of encouragement and love. They’re words that express exactly how I fell about my loved ones. These words also remind me of the importance of prayer. While I can’t always be close to those I care about, I can do a very important thing for them, pray. I encourage you to do the same the next time you feel lonely. Here’s what Paul writes:

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3-11).