We all love each other deeply, yet pick at each other's behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to no end.
I have spend countless hours attempting to understand such a mystery and still have yet to find the answer.
I'm beginning to believe there is none (or, on the other hand, too many to count). And I'm OK with that.
Never-the-less, their visits have a tendency to rid me with guilt. Guilt for having made the choice to move to PA. My family desperately longs to be with us, but we are limited by distance and time. The guilt becomes even stronger when family members become ill (broken feet, hospital stays, simple colds, high blood-pressure, allergies, chronic pain...all become the same when you can't be there to help ease the burden).
But Jesus said in Matthew 10:39,
Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
The paradox: to gain what you are missing in life (whatever/whoever you feel that is), you must release what you most long for.
As we walk a path that seems to lead toward death, a sense of life quietly grows with us. -Larry Crabb in his book, Inside Out.
So when the guilt comes, I am reminded that Mike and I have made the choice "to take up our cross and follow" Christ...and that is a worthy cause.
The cost? distance and time away from our family.
The reward? finding our life in Christ.
Guilt is not of God.
The blessings of obedience are.