Thursday, July 03, 2014

Trust and Separation

Sorry for the lack of posting recently. My wife and I returned from a long-pinned-for trip to Hawaii. It took a while to save up all the frequent flyer miles, it was a very long trip home, but we had a lot of fun. We did, however, leave our daughter at home, overnight, without us, for the first time.

We'd left her with neighbors before, for a few hours, and we always put her to bed when we got home. We did leave her with grandparents, in her own home, with her things and routines. We have wonderful neighbors who made sure to be near and familiar. She had a wonderful time and didn't even seem all that excited to see us when we got back.

It was tremendously difficult to leave though. I knew it would be awful for my wife. She'd dreaded the trip since we booked tickets last August. I didn't expect it to hit me so hard. I think we were both looking through tears out the windshield as we drove away that night towards Baltimore and then, five thousand miles away, Hawaii.

I knew, intellectually, it was the right thing to do. I worked it out. We can't cling to our daughter forever. It's not good for her and it's not good for us. Having separation like this on a regular basis is helpful and important. Once we got on the plane and there was really nothing we could do about it, I settled down. Skype is great, but I found myself pretty able to focus on the trip and enjoying our time.

Our daughter is not really our daughter, she's a child of God. That's what we said when we brought her to the church, a week into life, and introduced her to the waters of baptism. We are charged with loving and raising her, but ultimately she (nor we) does not rely on us for protection, but God. We forget that sometimes. A trip like this helps remind us.

We left Eva with her family and friends, immersed in the midst of the community we love and in which we live. These are the same people who would care for her if we were gone permanently. At some point Eva will have to live without us, it's important for her to know firsthand how possible it is and how important it is to have people around her.

We don't control our lives. Even if you don't believe in God, that statement is just as true. We can be proactive and organized and intentional, but, in the end, we're only just reacting to the world around us.

That doesn't mean we have to live only for the moment, but we must act, in the moment, with a mind towards how each action is shaping our future. Time away from Eva was difficult, but just about everything is at first. Ultimately, hopefully, we're teaching her things that will help her be a more well-rounded, independent, intentional person - someone who can trust God and have faith in the future. It was good for her and it was good for us. Let's just hope we have the strength to do it again sometime - a very long time from now.

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