“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27
I have never felt the truth of this scripture more readily than I do now. As I walked into Westport today, my relationship with my biological family was on my mind. I constantly struggle with how disconnected I am from them. I love them, I think of them and I pray for them often. But, I do not miss them. Sometimes my heart aches for them, but never with the feeling of homesickness. As hard as this is to admit, it is this that makes me able to move across the country to follow Christ.
As I wondered into my church this morning, I realized that they had become my family. These people who make up Westport church are family. It is this place, that I found safety, that I first truly felt love, found the home I always longed for, the launching pad or base so to speak. The one place on this earth that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am loved unconditionally. It is in this moment, that I realized this family will be harder to walk away from.
Granted, I may see them again, this side of heaven, I may not. As God did with one of my friends in Texas, He may take one of them before I come back. In this mindset, each moment becomes more precious, as has every contact with my biological family. The joy of my nieces smile, the scream of “Angela” as one of my girls sees me and runs for a hug. Each laugh, each tear becomes more precious.
Where God is leading me I do not know, but the possibilities are endless, because I can do not but chase after Christ, the one and only true lover of my soul. My only satisfaction in all that I do. Chasing after Christ is hard, this is why Jesus warns us to count the cost before we say we will follow Him(Luke 14:25-35). The cost is great what He calls us to. To walk away from everything that we hold dear because He is more. More than I could ever want.
The biggest lesson I have learned in my time in Oregon, is if you truly want God’s best in your life, you will be called to give up something good. Deny yourself something that is right and just and wonderful but is only God’s good. But for God to love us with all He is, we have to let go of everything that ties us to this land.
Above all, the cry of my heart is “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:22. With that in mind, I let go…