My sister graduated from college today.  And I missed it.  I mean, it would have been neat to see/hear former President Bush and Barbara, and current President Bush too, but mostly I am sad because I wanted to be there for Allison.  I told her a long time ago I would be there for this, but I couldn’t leave campus today for a variety of reasons – the top two being that today was our last “shot day” and also I had no way to get to the airport – and I feel horrible.  I missed her high school graduation due to a “miscommunication” with my mom about the exact date so I was still on my honeymoon, and I thought I would be able to be there for this one.  Tomorrow my brother graduates and I will miss that too.

This is my biggest hangup about moving overseas – I feel like I will let people down by not being there for them.  These are just the first two of momentous occasions that I will miss over the next two years, and that is a sobering fact.  What if somebody gets sick?  What if some horrible tragedy happens and I am just not there?  What if one of my siblings has a whirlwind romance and gets married and I can’t scrape up enough money for airfare?  Forever, when my family is sitting around telling “Remember when…” stories I will feel a jolt, like I just missed a step on the staircase, because I won’t remember.  And then it will hit: Oh yeah, we were in France.  Two whole years of “Remember when…” stories will be missing from my memory, two years of writing me out of the group story.  Maybe George Bailey has it right – maybe I should be missing out on what I want to do, for the greater good.

During our first or second week here, we had a “share” time.  Most of it was, of course, a semi-revolting excess of emotion, but a few people said some things that really stuck out to me.  This one guy got up and said something very similar to what I worry about – what will happen to everybody else?  What happens to the people I leave behind?  And that he felt guilty, like everyone was depending on him and now that he’s leaving, what on earth will they do without him?  He said he was reading in Matthew and right after Jesus picks His 12 apostles and sends them out, in chapter 10, chapter 11 opens with “Jesus went on to teach and preach in THEIR villages.”  How cool!  It might be ok to miss important things if Jesus is taking care of it.  And Elbert, who is Our Fearless Leader here, added that “Your disobedience doesn’t help anybody.  No one benefits from you disobeying God.  Your family will not benefit from you sticking around if you’re supposed to go.”  I still feel bad, and I really wish I could do both – but if my options are me staying or me going and Jesus showing up in my stead, I firmly believe the latter is the best option.  Jesus is best, always.  It is hard to follow Him sometimes, and it is a heavy cost to pay – not just for me but for everyone around me.  I guess the question is, Is He worth it?

I think answering that question will be a big part of the adventure of the next two years.

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