As my readership knows, this is a particularly challenging season for me. There’s the new baby, the adjustment from two children to three, the teething, the potty-training, the sibling squabbles and the sibling love…oh! yes! and a move! I have certainly shed my share of tears and bombarded my husband with a torrent of nonsensical descriptions of my day as soon as he walked through the door. But in the midst of the tumult I have had a handful of God-given pauses. In those pauses, life seemed to switch to slow motion and my mind finally grasped spiritual truths for which it had long reached.
One of those truths involves relationships. I have been agonizing over the people I am leaving behind when I move. I want to know that they won’t forget me or I them. I want to know that our bond will only be strengthened across the miles, not weakened. And then suddenly it dawned on me: as long as I care for these people and do what I can to stay close, I can trust them to reach back and express their love in the ways they do best. That’s what it means to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” For too long I have tried to force people to live and love the way I do because that’s what I understand best; I now realize that I can rest in my own living and loving, knowing that the differences are good. Understanding my uniqueness is allowing me to understand the uniqueness of my family and friends and embrace it.
This may seem like a very small truth in a very big world, but it has brought me great peace. I appreciate the close presence of God that I felt as I suddenly grasped the relevancy of His Word in this unsettled time. Perhaps now I am more prepared to meet new people and establish new relationships because I understand that doing so does not mean I am relinquishing the ones I leave behind – as I have long assumed. Perhaps my new connections will further enrich the friendships that are, in fact, not being left behind; rather, they are all coming with me. Perhaps the world really isn’t so big after all.