Two nights ago, I was in a hotel room in North Carolina. I was there as a speaker with Women of Faith, and the day had gone pretty well. I say pretty well because I never think I really do as good of a job speaking as I would like to. I’m not fishing for compliments here, friends. Just being honest. I don’t walk off the platform and pat myself on the back. I think about the four things that I meant to say but didn’t and then I decide that all the women in the auditorium can’t move past the fact that I didn’t say the four things. Clearly, they don’t know what those things were, but whatever. It all adds up in my head.
I had some work things to take care of when I got done, and it was late when I finally sat still, but when I did, something snapped in me. I sat on crisp white sheets and imagined what my kids might be doing. I pulled my phone out and mapquested how far I was from my house. 8 hours and 3 minutes. Too far to try and figure out a rental car and start a drive at 9 at night.
So I checked airlines to see if I could get home sooner. Then I called Delta and talked to them about it. It’s a long story but the bottom line is they don’t really care if you miss your kids. I figured out a solution and called Todd to ask if it was okay for me to book it. It was about $150 but would get me home at 10 am instead of 4 pm, and that six hours was worth it. He agreed and I called them back. In that time period, the price went up to $486. I asked her why. I told her I had just called within 15 minutes. She was very sweet but she didn’t really have any solutions that didn’t involve a debit card. We decided the best bet would be for me to wake up at 4 am and call to try and do a same-day change for $50.
It’s a long story and I can already sense that this is rambly and would be the point in our coffee date where your phone rings and you make an excuse to run away from me. Don’t run away from me. I’m trying to get to the point but it’s just that it’s all tangled in my head and (in)courage is my cheap counselor, so I’m just asking for some sisters here.
I wanted to go home.
I could imagine running in the door and them all clamoring over each other, abandoning their neighborhood friends and weeping at the mere sight of me. It had been almost 40 hours since they had last seen me, so these are all viable options.
Long story short, I got on the 7:15 am flight after forking over my fifty bucks. I pulled in my driveway and raced to the back door. Charlotte screamed, “MA-MAA!!!!” and ran to me. My sweet nanny was there and she was so excited because she knew I was desperate to get home. I asked where all the girls were and went to each one individually, awaiting my “6 hours early” party. The response was mediocre, I’ll just say that. They did squeeze me and tell me they loved me, but I saw no evidence of long-term planning, such as posters, streamers, or other dollar spot paraphernalia. Nonetheless, I was so happy to be home and settled in quickly (translation: started laundry and told Charlotte to stop eating crayons).
I had a great day with them and soaked them in fully, but that night as I climbed into my own wrinkly bed instead of the crisp white hotel one, I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world God was doing with me. How many lives can one person live well? Here’s the bottom line.
We are ambassadors of God.
And what that means is that we will sleep on different sheets. We will cry because of the cost. And while we know it is a privilege, we will still ache for home.
The truth of the matter is, my children didn’t throw me a party when I got home because they were at peace with my being gone. I know because I have asked them time and time again. It isn’t that they didn’t miss me, but rather because they have an intuitive sense that I’m showing Jesus to them in my obedience. They know I prefer the wrinkly sheets and the messy kisses to the stage and the plane.
They are steady in my love and gracious with my calling.
But they know. They know it wounds me.
Todd stopped by the bookstore on his way home from the airport (he flew in from Michigan a few hours after I got in) and bought all of his girls a little gift. Mine is a book of quotations by Mother Teresa, and just this morning I came across this beautiful quote:
“We have to love until it hurts. It is not enough to say, ‘I love.’ We must put that love into a living action. And how do we do that? By giving until it hurts.”
Jesus Christ has asked no less of every single one of us. It will look different in your life than it does in mine, but the heart of the matter is the same. We must put our love into living action, and we should not expect anything else than a little hurt to come alongside. It is the least we can do to offer of ourselves, and a beautiful reminder that we should be grateful we can give it at all.
I won’t expect streamers when I finally get home. I don’t mind if there aren’t any parades or fireworks.
I hardly think He will worry about those details.
When I wake in the middle of the night, may I remember that my time here is short and soon I will be home. And I pray He whispers those words to me. The words that remind me it is all for Him and the wounds are minor in the battle for eternity.
Well done, love.
Wherever you are today, you have a choice. My prayer is that you put your love into living action, ever mindful of the God who calls you heavenward…
By: Angie SmithLeave a Comment