Being away from home is never easy. It does not get easier. It gets harder. Even the simple act of walking out the door is getting more difficult. I understand what is at stake. I sense what it does to those I love. Simply put, being away is a sacrifice the rest of my family did not willingly offer to make. They did not volunteer. They are paying a high price. Regardless of why I think I did to bring them into the decision making process, I do not believe they willingly choose to go through this gate.
Distance extracts the souls in the relationship. To make things worse, it does not give it back. Time away carries a hidden cost that few are able to calculate in advance. Lost opportunities are gone, I have yet to find someone you can recover them. The downsides are extreme, invasive, and unending.
Yet, something comes with distance. I have the opportunity to listen, really listen and hear, to the voices of those I love. They may not understand, see, or appreciate the reality of my imagination. Yet for me the conversation, listening, and learning are very real. I value and treasure Whitney’s insights. She has an incredible ability in succinctly analyzing a wide range of situations. Her instinctive approach has taken taught me to improve new techniques. The net result is that I make stronger assessments and better decisions. Carli’s external grasp on hope, even when she is discouraged, continues to carry me through the tough days. I find myself stepping back, listening to her laugh, and finding myself sitting at the feet of God. Cherry’s focus always shapes my own in ways I do not fully understand. I see life more clearly because of her. As a result, beauty is familiar, I understand love, and I carry awe. Distance does not change their ability to touch and change my life.
Today I can hear their voices mingling with God’s; “Come close, listen carefully: I've never kept secrets from you. I've always been present with you.” (Isaiah 48.16)
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