We've had a while to prepare for this day to come, but it still is not a very easy thing to do. This week my brother in law, his wife and our two beautiful nieces are moving half way across the country to pastor at a church in Sarnia Ontario.
It is an amazing adventure for their family, but leaves a big hole in our lives here. I assume the feeling is mutual. Either that or they've just been playing it up to ensure they have help to pack. We've had some great times with them, and will miss the fun.
It's a big decision to leave your extended family and venture out on your own, but with today's technology, they're never really that far away, and although it seems far away it is still within driving distance and is a great place to vacation.
For this amazing family I have some parting advice:
1. Never forget where you came from:
This is an opportunity to start fresh, take chances and be bold, but always remember to learn from your past successes and failures.
It can be easy to want to shut out the pain and hurt, but often there is a valuable lesson in it.
2. Share your life
As you start your new lives, find some friends to bring into your inner circle. People that you can trust, and have a good time with. You know... People like us... :)
Be intentional about who you align yourselves with, and don't rush into deep relationships. Find people that will encourage you, challenge you and be supportive.
3. Grow deeps roots
This is tough advice to give. The selfish part of me wants you to be miserable and unahppy, and run back home, but it's important for you to commit and dig in...
It may be difficult to do so early on, and the temptation will be there to pull up and move home when things get difficult. God has called you to where you're going, so trust that he's called you there for a purpose. It's worth committing to.
4. Call home(often)
There are those of us here that love and support you, but will miss you dearly. Don't forget about us.
I'm sure that you've been getting a ton of advice over the last few weeks, so this may just be adding more to the pile. Take it all in, throw away what isn't practical or applicable to you, and hold on to the gems.
We love you and wish you well on this new adventure.