The truth about distance & ministry

Yesterday was quite an emotional roller coaster for me. Those days seem to be few and far between, but yesterday struck like a thunder storm that had been building in the distance.

You’ve heard me say many times how much I love our home in New England. We have great friends, jobs, and a wonderful church… And we feel absolutely blessed by all of those things.

But sometimes the distance really stinks. Knowing we are missing out on opportunities to do life with our far away friends and family breaks my heart. Knowing I will miss my best and longest friends’ first baby showers, celebrating with Jacob’s youngest sister over getting her driver’s license, birthdays and holiday meals, my parents moving into a new house I’ve never seen in person, friends getting new jobs, helping them move to new cities, comforting friends in broken relationships and seeing them overcome the depths of heartbreak….that realization literally broke my heart yesterday. I’ve known that those things come with the cost of moving across the country, but I hadn’t felt it that deeply in my being before. It hurt badly.But then last night, I sat across from a young woman at dinner and had such meaningful conversation that I left with my heart overflowing. This is why we’re here – our ministry for this season is here, and God is moving. I have no doubt about that. He’s stirring in the hearts of students and he’s already saturated my heart with love for them. I’m so thankful for where he has us right now, even when I sometimes long to be somewhere else.

For those of you who know us here, don’t get the wrong idea.. we aren’t moving away! We’re here and we’re invested… and we’re glad for all of it. But this blog is a place for honesty, transparency and the freedom to talk about real life. Real life is hard – it isn’t always perfect or pretty or clean. Yesterday my heart was messy, as was my makeup, and I felt so very, very torn.

Despite my torn heart, I know we aren’t all supposed to stay together in little huddles of friendship and community. Not all of us, anyway. If we all stayed together, who would go out? And if we all went out, who would stay with the people there? We’re meant to be scattered, to form new community, new disciples, and new and deeper roots in Christ.

So today I’m thanking God for the people who have helped shape who I am – my family and the friends who I don’t get to see regularly, but who have walked with me through so much of my life. But I’m also thanking God for the new people who are shaping who I am now, for the new ministry that is stretching and growing me and his Kingdom, and for the daily reminder I need him above all else.

Happy weekend, friends. I’m so glad it’s Friday.