Chow to chow. Sunday to Sunday. It’s how my son is being encouraged to count his week, therefore it is how I will count mine. Take it one meal at a time, one week at a time and today marks one week since his journey began to Parris Island for boot camp. Twelve more to go.

I’ve been doing good which translates to…I have kept my crying and reminiscing to a minimum, letting go is hard and this is my first time with THIS kid. On Sunday I walked into church and just happened to glance to my left and saw Verne who’s a Marine…and my “I can do hard things” attitude turned into a big soppy puddle of crocodile tears.

I miss my son.

So I buckled down and just refused to look in his direction. LIKE NOT AT ALL. Looking at him brought up all these feelings and I had told myself I was good and no tears convinced me I was winning when in reality, all I wanted to do was hug the man and his wife (which I later did). At that moment, they were the closest most tangible form of my son I had.

Somewhere I have believed the lie that enough is enough. I’ve cried my tears. Now it’s time to let go and STOP. 

Moral of this sad story? It would be easy to avoid hard things right now which is exactly what I have done with most of my life. Run. Avoided. Deflected. Blamed and Hid. When things got tough, I’d rather do all of the above for a season or three rather than deal which in all reality, MAKES THINGS WORSE because it never goes away…it just gets buried somewhere deep and resurfaces at the most God-awful times on the most unsuspecting people.

My thoughts went to Jesus and I thought of all the times I have probably been THE WORST and in my head, He has had every reason in the book to avoid me at all cost because I think it must be hard to be in my presence when I’m being so difficult. But He stays. FOR THE LOVE. I am not used to that. I am used to being punished by being sent to my room in silence and forgotten about for hours NOT PURSUED. NOT HUGGED. SURELY NOT LOVED. But He draws near and close when the tears flow. When those big crocodile tears catch me being open-hearted and vulnerable, He embraces. He reminds me to keep my eyes on Him. To refocus.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. – James 4:8

So if I have any advice to give today it is this…don’t run when you WANT to stay. When you WANT to talk it out, TALK IT OUT. When you WANT to draw close…DRAW CLOSE. Come near. Abide. Knowing that you want to and then don’t because of fear (anger, hurt, offense) is tortuous. And when you DO NOT WANT to, muster every ounce of intentionality in you and take a step forward. Do not let the sun go down…THIS is the tricky one because most times, my turn-and-run feelings convince me I am justified in my avoidance and departure and a closed heart is stubborn heart…

DO. NOT. LET. YOUR. HEART. CLOSE. 

Stay in the want-to zone, even if you get a little mad.

Because in the very big scheme of this great big life, there is nothing quite worth losing a relationship over. Nothing.