{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 15~A Little Absence is Good

Thank you for your grace last Wednesday. I have been struggling with some health issues lately and sometimes it just requires a bit more rest.

Brad has been out of town for the last few days. He has been in Nashville writing for our upcoming New Life Worship recording and now he is in Kentucky ministering at a church there.

It used to be SO hard when he would leave. Even before we had kids, I would really struggle when he was gone. I felt lonely and left behind a lot of the time. And now, on the other side of it, I can admit that I was jealous. He gets some amazing opportunities and, at the beginning of our marriage, I would be jealous of those opportunities.

We had been married a few months when he left for a week. He was traveling with the worship team to lead at a conference. They traveled to a cool city, stayed in a hotel and went out to eat. I was at home, in our normal city, in our normal bed, eating normal food. We were working together in the youth department of the church, so I was left with all of the responsibility and in my mind, no fun.

We got into a fight over the phone one night and Brad vowed that he wouldn’t travel anymore. The mature, right thing, for me to do would have been to (hmmmm….not whine in the first place??) insist that he follow the Lord and steward the opportunities God had given him. But I didn’t. I took his vow.

So he didn’t travel again for a year. We worked on our marriage that year (and still continue to!) and I had the security and stability of knowing he would be home with me.

We started having children soon after our first year of marriage. Having our new baby gave me renewed purpose and passion. Brad started traveling a tiny bit–just a few trips a year. They were still hard, but I didn’t deal with the loneliness like I had before.

As you may know, we had our children very close together. While I grew in maturity and the desire for Brad to explore opportunities as God presented them, it was still physically very hard when he was gone. I was so exhausted most of the time. I no longer resented him for traveling, but I dreaded his trips simply for the fact that it was really hard on me and consequently hard on our children.

The demand for Brad to travel has ebbed and flowed. And as our children have grown, I have grown and it is no longer as hard.

Last year, as we were praying in preparation for this year, we both felt that he would travel more. He was excited about opportunities on the horizon. And I was too!

I now actually desire these trips for him. When he travels, he learns so much and gains fresh perspective. It’s so good for him to “rub shoulders” with other worship pastors and music artists and song writers and pastors. He comes home refreshed and excited about all that God is doing. I look forward to these times as well…I cook less and focus on fun, meaningful times with our kids. Caleb is the man of the house while Brad is gone and I love watching him grow in maturity and responsibility. I’ve come to enjoy some evenings to myself as well…I can do whatever I want, watch whatever I want on tv and go to bed whenever I want AND I sleep right smack dab in the middle of the bed!

And guess what? God has given me some trips as well! I have traveled more this year than ever before. I’ve traveled with Brad a bit and for work and for missions. I also come home re-energized and excited to reengage with our church body.

 hanging out with fellow worship leaders in West Palm Beach, Florida
 working breakfast with the ladies of The Thorn
And absence really does make the heart grow fonder. And stronger. We both learn so much during our times apart and it’s really fun to reconnect when we’re back together. I am so proud of my husband and I’m really excited about what the future holds. We serve a great big God with great big dreams and I love the life He’s laid out for us!

 

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

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