loving at a distance.

It’s in the unexpected distance, that we long for deeper connections. Something I’ve been thinking about, as we’re on week two of home-quarantine and I’m missing all of my people.

Last night started by my little brother, Kaden and dad showing up to my place unexpectedly asking to catch up, after weeks of them being gone overseas.

There’s a little piece of property behind the Penley’s home, called the Open Space. A place that I walk in the early Friday mornings with Mrs. Christy, and where I start/end my runs. It’s a place that brings so much joy and makes time with Jesus feel so intimate.

As we walked, you could hear the crisp dry grass crackle underneath our feet, listening to the excited birds chirp as the sunlight beamed upon us, before descending behind the mountains.

As the boys began to share of their recent travels to Kenya and Germany, a sense of longing for what’s to come and contentment wrapped together washed over.

The boys began to talk about cool surgeries, new projects to come at the Hospital, and to hear the excitement in both of my guys voices as they talked about their goals for the future.

Wishing I could just squeeze them and never let go, wishing I had traveled with them, and dreading Kaden about to graduate high school and move away.

But in this season, where it feels like fear, anxiety and worry loom overhead, like clouds on a sunny day, it has been hard to see the contentment in this season over the bitterness I have towards God.

It was in listening to Kaden talk, that I could see the restlessness in all of our hearts at this time of unknowingness and uncertainty.

My family is full of dreamer’s and gypsy’s. We find comfort in packing up, leaving town and dreaming past the sky’s limit. It’s something I’ve struggled with this over the years, seeing both sides to being so comfortable packing up, but also seeing the blessings that have come along the way. I’m seeing the goodness in belonging to a family of gypsy’s and dreamers; they don’t let disappointments cloud their sunny days, rather, seeing ways to still see the sun shining, even if it’s ever so faint behind the clouds.

While listening to the boys talk, I had a kairos (a moment where God’s trying to break in and teach you a lesson) that I don’t treasure the time I have with Jesus. I’m so quick to pick up my phone, or to find another distraction rather than to be present with Him. To sit in the presence with Jesus and with my brother and dad are transformational moments in life. Rather than trying to run and find something else to fill the space, to be content with the distance that separates us.

In this season, it can be so easy to point a finger at God and accuse Him of tormenting us, but by stepping back, we can see that God’s more than ever trying to reach out and pull us near; not punish, not torment, not scold us. Like a little child who runs to the arms of his parents after scraping his knees on the pavement, all God wants is to hold us tenderly, and heal our wounds.

So loving at a distance, simply seeing their handsome faces for a bit, full of elbow bumps, sunshine, heart talks, and waving goodbye, little moments with those who you love is truly treasurable.

Well, there are my thoughts late last night, seeing how God’s such a tender, personable God, and I’m so quick to pack up and run, ignoring Him through the lessons He’s trying to teach me. To sit, be present and be content in the slowness is what God’s teaching me right now, and though it’s hard to listen, it’s important.

Praying everyone stays safe and healthy out there. Have a great day!!
-Kyra Mariah

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