Closer to Family*

Over a month ago I blogged about why we were moving and on that list was to be closer to family. It had a star clarifying that while we’d be farther from other family, we still wanted to be closer to family. Beyond that, I think more clarification is needed.

Right now, we’re real close. I’m talking packed in the same house with a sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. I get to hear “Auntie Sam, Auntie Sam” all day long and talk late into the night with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. There’s an added sense of community and ownership with your family. Without kids of our own, our nieces and nephews are definitely people we want to invest in and see grow up into wonderful, giving people. It’s an awesome thing to be a part of, even in small way.

Today we’ll go visit the hubby’s grandma who recently celebrated her 80th year. We’re excited to be a part of her life and visit more than once every two years. It’s hard to know I’m so much farther from my grandparents, but I’m glad to be able to visit one of our grandparents.

All of this said, being closer to family was one part of this move. Family is a great and beautiful and even challenging thing. But it isn’t the thing. Only one thing can be the thing to plan your life around. The thing to put all of your faith, hope and love into is a relationship with Christ. When Jesus first starting calling disciples, they were in all different stages in life. Some left their family (Matt. 4:21-22), some left their jobs (Matt. 9:9). He called others to leave their wealth (Mark 10:21) and I’m guessing many left some friends, dreams and goals as well.

Family is a blessing and a gift, but it can’t be our main priority. Jobs are a great thing, and we’re called to work hard. Leadership and volunteering is an admirable thing. Growth and learning is awesome. All of these things are good, but not one of them is the “main thing.” Each of these can be important to have in life. But if you focus too much on one thing, what if you’re missing the bigger picture? What if following God means there’s so much more in store for you than a great job? Or weekly meals with extended family? Or another certificate to hang on the wall? What if these things, as great as they might be, hold you back from an even greater life of following Him?

I think I’m learning to value what we have in this life, yet be willing to let it all go. That statement alone is terrifying, but we can’t hold on too tight. It’s not ours. It may be a good thing and a helpful thing, but unless it’s the thing, we have to be willing to let it go.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

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