Just this evening I got together with a pastor friend for dinner and fellowship. He's a sweet guy who loves the Lord, and has been an encouragement to me for the past three months or so. It almost doesn't seem right that close friendships are developed only to end up long distance. Deb and I will miss Manning and Ann.
Then there's my own flesh and blood. Chuck has been our pastor for over 15 years now, and he and our daughter Tina-Marie, have been a huge part of our lives in SC. Reagan, Rocco, and Reese are precious to us. They are going through their own move back to CT to join a ministry in Ridgefield right now, and we anticipate being able to see them much more then we ever expected. It still leaves a longing in my heart for the closeness we have been blessed to share with our children and grandchildren for the past 16 years.
TJ lives less than ten minutes away with his wife and two girls. When he broke the news to his daughters that Papa and Mimi will be moving away, Lydia cried. Deb and I had the joy of babysitting her everyday for a whole school year while mom taught. Lydia's little sister, Vivian, has also been a joy to watch grow up as well. We will miss much of the girls growing years.
Mike, Ashley, and Bradley live across the street. I see Brad every day. I'm his playmate. I'm almost always getting in trouble with him. He has been a joy to watch grow for the past year and a half from this short distance. I'm going to miss so much of him. It breaks my heart that he will not understand why we don't live across the street or are suddenly not in his life anymore. Tears well up in my eyes thinking about it.
So, the question that could be asked is, "Why?" Why go from the comfortable climate of South Carolina to Maine's unpredictable weather? Why leave family and friends? Why? My answer is simple. We are leaving because Christ is worth it.