I have just recently returned from a long awaited “retirement” trip with my husband Eric. After handing off of the reigns of our 30 year church pastorate (the church we began in 1982), we decided to hit the road and see where it took us! Well it was a little more planned than that, but essentially we traveled over 6,000 miles in 5 weeks. You might wonder what else we did but drive! We actually managed to make some pretty special memories and see a lot of beautiful country.
About 2 ½ weeks into the trip I noticed a subtle change taking place. While I was greatly enjoying our time away I also started missing home. A week later I was really missing home. Within another few days I was so ready to be home I felt tears well up more than a few times. The adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is so true. By the time we drove up to our humble but well loved home, wild horses could not tear me away from the ones I love.
It has caused me to reflect on the words of Jesus as He and the disciples enjoyed their last meal and hours together. Prior to this moment He had in numerous ways announced to them His imminent departure. With their dreams and hopes shattered, the disciples’ hearts were broken and confused. He compassionately offered this comfort to His precious and closest friends: “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. (The Message Bible John 14:1-3) There it is. I want you to live where I live and be with Me forever. This is what every person on our planet craves. Communion with their Creator and loving relationships with family. And it is what so many of the women we care for have not had. Their experience falls far short of the dream of genuine, unconditional love.
I am so thankful to God for the privilege we have of providing even one small point of light in this world where a single pregnant young woman can come to find the unconditional love and acceptance she longs for. This season as we celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus at Christmas, let us also celebrate the fact that those of us who have trusted Him with our hearts will also “go to our Father’s spacious home with many rooms” and live with Him forever. Absence is making my heart grow fonder every day.