The girls danced today.
Sisters four years apart, they twirled and swayed and choreographed and giggled.
Dramatic faces, pointed toes, hands like birds.
And from my spot on the couch, it was a moment I wanted to freeze. It was a memory of girls whom I wanted to rescue from the inevitable growing-up,
and the subsequent growing-out of impromptu dance recitals at 9:30 on a regular Friday morning.
And the grandparents got to watch with me— from a computer screen not quite big enough to capture the fullness of twirling legs, with a four-second-lag-time, through the technology of Skype.
And while I have told myself a hundred times today that I should be grateful, at least, for that, I still walked away from the dance, saddened.
For them, mostly.
We are the ones who get to experience “adventure,” and they are the ones who have to stay, without the grandkids at Thanksgiving or the chance to watch their little girls dance in real-life. And the holidays are coming; the holidays are coming. And there’s an ache in my mother’s-soul that wrestles with the reality–
for me, for my kids, for my family back home.
Because I knew that following the Story God is writing for me, as best I know how, means sacrifice; I just didn’t know it would cost the other people on stage so much, too.
Because the leaving is hard, but the being left is just as much of a sacrifice, laid on that altar of obedience.
Those that are left after the grand exit of us don’t get care-packages or encouraging emails from supporters. Being left may not involve new adventure or exotic scenery. It potentially means more of the same, just quieter, and maybe a little emptier, too.
And what do you do with that? With the natural guilt, with the doubts, with the loss of family holidays and the grave injustice Skype does to the flesh-and-blood dance?
What do you do with the ache from the absence?
You . . .
Become more grateful for Skype. You write more emails and post more videos to YouTube.
You pray more, and you treasure-like-mad the moments when across miles turns into across the room.
But, mostly, utitmately,
you clutch tighter to the belief that this part of their Story is
And even good, too.
Are you leaving or have you been left? Which do you think is harder? Thoughts on living away from family?
*pictured above are our two girls, with their two grandmothers
*the idea for this post inspired by an intriguing article I read over at MissionalSpace
*and, for old-time’s sake, here’s the link to a video of our leaving the States