“So do you have siblings?”
Each time I (Rachel) start listing my siblings and the various directions they’re headed in life, this thought starts to push itself more and more to the surface of my mind and heart: I’m going to miss them. Even now, as we’re traveling around, I’m missing out on getting to help my sister with her wedding plans. I don’t get to be there as my niece starts saying her first words. I have no idea whether or not I’ll get to be there for my brother’s high school graduation. A few weeks ago, we got to talk on the phone with my parents for a little, and see how they’re doing. In a few months, though, we’ll be on the other side of the ocean, where we may not have access to a phone or skype.
Already, my heart is starting to ache with the separation I know will take place. Living overseas as a missionary means I will only get to see my family every 4 years or so. A lot can happen in 4 years… siblings can graduate, get married, have children…and I won’t be there to see any of it. You’d think that since I grew up as a missionary kid, I’d be used to goodbyes by now, but instead of getting easier, I think they’ve gotten harder.
As I wrestle with the pain of leaving my family and moving to the other side of the globe, I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 14: “whoever of you won’t renounce all that he has can’t be my disciple.” If I’m unwilling to part with my family, or my possessions, or anything else for the sake of the gospel, I can’t be a disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s just part of the cost of following Him. I have to look at these goodbyes with an eternal perspective – I’m leaving my family behind to go be a part of bringing others into the family of God. And if I won’t leave it all behind, I can’t be His disciple. Is saying goodbye to my family hard? Absolutely. I’m going to miss them like crazy. But is it worth it? Yes, more than I’ll ever be able to see in this lifetime.
What about you?
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25
“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33