Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Lifestyle of Good-byes

One of the hardest things about the life God has called us to is the constant saying of good-byes to the people we love.  I have been reminded of this reality during our trip here in the US.  Just this evening we said good-bye again to Drew's sister, her husband and our two beautiful, sweet nephews, Noah and Luke.  We had a great time hanging out this weekend but it was so sad to leave again.  I hate missing family events.  I hate missing seeing Noah and Luke continue to grow.  I hate that they and Eliana can't be together more and be the cousins to each other that I never had growing up.  

I hate that last weekend I had to say good-bye to my brother again and that I don't get to hang out with my new sister-in-law over Thanksgivings and Christmases and games of Spades.  

I hate that our parents don't get to see Eliana on a regular basis and that she misses out on having her grandparents love on her.  I hate that in five short days we'll say good-bye to them once again and that we have no idea when we'll see each other again.

I hate not getting to do life with our amazing friends and church family who have loved us and supported us over the years.  I hate that every visit seems too short and ends in tears.

You see, I think that sometimes people hear what we do and think we're crazy or have a horrible life here in the US.  Why else would we move halfway across the world to live a life most people can't imagine away from our family, friends and the comforts of life in the US?  How could we take our daughter away from her grandparents?  It doesn't seem rational and in reality it isn't.  You see, it's all about Jesus and His call on our lives.  It's all about the fact that He said we must hate our families in order to truly follow Him.  It's about the fact that He's called us to go to the nations; to those who've never heard and share with them about Jesus so they don't spend eternity separated from Him.

So, as we've been here the past two weeks I have reveled in the fleeting moments we've had with our family and friends.  I have soaked in the sweet sounds and sights of our parents holding Eliana and spending time with her.  I have cried tears of sadness and lonliness as I once again said good-bye to the people who I love the most in my life.  

But when I stand on my apartment balcony and look at the people walking by who are lost and have likely never heard the truth I will once again know I am where I am supposed to be.  As I sit with Eliana telling her about the amazing people in her life who are far away I will also tell her that Jesus loves the Tajik people so much that we have to be there telling them about Him.  And when I'm tired, lonely and frustrated with life in Central Asia I will remember the sacrifice Jesus made in obedience to His Father so that I could have eternal life with Him and rest in the knowledge that my small sacrifices in this life give glory to the One who sacrificed it all.


Kelly @ In Everything said...

Awesome post! Tearful over your tears... but so thankful for your heart to serve the Lord overseas!

Blake James said...

Good post! Made me cry, but it really is all about Him and what He has called us too!

Drew and Leslie Echerd said...

Thanks! I just wanted people to hear a little more of what is on and in my heart. Plus, it gave me a chance to get some more tears out as well! :-)

Danielle said...

tears over this post as well...poignant and so truthful. Great is your reward in heaven. I love you! Happy Thanksgiving!