Thursday, December 4, 2008

Road Trip

The Thursday before Thanksgiving I hopped in a 15 foot U Haul truck pulling a car and drove with my daughter to Virginia Beach, Virginia. This was a trip with lots of firsts for me and some things that I’ve already done in my life. I’ve made lots of trips driving 15 passenger vans on mission trips to Brownsville, Glorietta and Carlsbad Caverns but never a U Haul and never pulling a car. It’s the first time I had in my possession every item that two people owned and that I was responsible for getting from point A to point B. I’ve moved Cassandra from Arlington to Texas Tech and from Arlington to South Arlington and Grapevine to Hurst. But she was only 300 miles or five hours away. I’ve helped J pack up all of his belongings except his Army gear and watch him get on a bus and drive away to catch a plane to Iraq. I’ve moved to Euless and left Gary, Kiersten and Caitlin back in Lubbock temporarily. I’ve moved Amy and Cody four times. But it’s the first time I’ve loaded one up one of my children and moved them 1400 miles away to live with their spouse.

Parenthood is the only job we ever have that we are working ourselves out of. It’s like a contract job; you know it has an ending date. Our job is to love them, raise them and teach them everything we can and let them go to live the lives that God has designed for them. And just like some jobs that have come to an end, we wonder how it went by so fast and did we accomplish everything we were supposed to. Did we give it our all? Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for Kiersten and Jay to finally, after almost five months of marriage, be able to set up housekeeping and live together as husband and wife. We only want the best for them. They will have their ups and downs and it will require give and take on both their parts to make their marriage work. We’ve taught Kiersten that as long as they keep Christ in the center of their hearts and their marriage then they will be able to get through all the good things and the bad. They will grow closer to each other as they spend this time together. They will be stationed in Virginia Beach for three years, so it is temporary. Nevertheless, when we finally pulled up to the airport and got out to say good-bye, there were more than a few tears shed. When I went in to get my ticket I had tears running down my face, and since I was flying one way I got the extra screening at the gate. I was still crying. I’m sure they thought I was some kind of nut case because they were very thorough. Even though we can be satisfied with the job we’ve done, it still isn’t easy to say goodbye.

I wonder how God looks at us sometimes. He has a plan and a design for our lives but our time here is temporary. There is a certain amount of time set aside for each one of us. God loves us so much and He wants only the best for us, just like we want for our children. He wants us to keep Him at the center of our hearts so we can get through the ups and the downs of life. But it takes give and take on our part. We have to give ourselves to Him willingly and submit to His plan for our lives. We have to take everything God has to offer. Billy Graham once said, “Interpersonal relationships are the most valued and cherished gifts of all. The Bible teaches that God gave a Person as a gift to every one of us, and that Person is Jesus Christ.” We are to live for Him and fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Just like Kiersten and Jay, there will be ups and downs. But as long as we keep Jesus Christ in the center of our hearts we will be able to get through them. The more time we spend with Him the closer our relationship with Him.

Have a great day in the Lord!