A Long Way Home

I’m a very long way from home – farther than I have ever been.

Tori and I came to Honduras to spend time with our kids from whom we have been separated since we put them on a plane about 8 months ago. That’s a long time to be separated from your kids – especially for a family like ours that, in most every case, simply loves to be together.

This morning our 3 youngest boys are driving, with some assistance from a friend and brother that simply wouldn’t have it any other way, the 3+ hours to be with the huge extended family that is gathering to remember our dear Grandma Lois. And, as much as we have longed to come and spend time with these precious ones in Honduras, our hearts are a little torn at the separation from the rest of the family.

It’s not unlike the painful separation we felt when Mickey was in Honduras battling dengue fever and we just wanted to be here to help take care of him and hold Jessica up and all that we could possibly do in a moment like that. But we couldn’t get here.

It’s the same kind of separation that we’ll feel in about two months when we take Jon and drop him off to head to Basic Training for the National Guard for four months away from us.

The thing I have come to understand about feelings is that they are not right or wrong – they simply are. If you know me at all you know how incredibly proud I am of all of my kids. I am so proud of Mickey and Jessica and their desire to change the world by serving in this strange place for a time. I am so proud of Jon’s desire to serve in protecting our freedoms. I am proud of all of them and the ways they will go and seek to follow God’s plan for their lives. But that pride I feel doesn’t block out the pain of separation.

I am so excited to have a another adventurous day exploring this strange land with our kids. I am sad that we have to miss the wonderful gathering of our family to celebrate Grandma Chappell. I am scared that something could happen to my kids while I’m away from them. I am proud beyond measure of their willingness to follow God’s plan wherever that may take them.

This separation and all of the discomfort, anxiety, and longing that go with it…are simply temporary.

I have this confidence that I recognize not everyone has. Each one of my kids has a personal relationship with God. Our eternal destination is set and secure and unchangeable. And because of this truth, whatever painful separations may have to come, we will be together again.

And Grandma Lois will be awaiting us. And there will be people there that are there because God used these amazing kids of ours to lead them there. And there will be no more separation. And there will be no more goodbyes. And there will be no more letting go.

Until then, we’ll just keep going and accept the fact that it’s just a long way home.

I encourage you to give this beautiful little song a listen and really consider the lyrics. And may you be blessed to hug someone that you greatly love today…even if you’re not a hugger. Do it for those of us that can’t reach ours right now

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