Chronicles of Sadie

Skype Seasons

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Youth Ministry has been an interesting environment where within to parent an infant. Our ministry has always been very active and very mobile. Trips and events are usually constants and are constantly filled with change and adventure. These features of our life as a couple are some of the main reasons Laura and I were glad we waited almost eight years to have Sadie.

But life didn’t suddenly simplify the moment Sadie made her grandiose entrance. As they say, the show must go on. In our case, the show “went” to the National Fine Arts Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina only three weeks after Sadie was born. This was quite the undertaking for several reasons. First of all, Daddy had grown just a bit fond—well, and attached to seeing baby-girl any time he wanted to. Even sometimes in the middle of the night when he didn’t want to so much. For me, as much as I love taking my students all over the country for the next adventure, three weeks into fatherhood was not my ideal timing for such a trip.

Furthermore, Laura and I have always been an inseparable team in marriage, ministry, and whatever stage of life we find ourselves in. These trips are always tag-team efforts. But in Charlotte, I was going without my partner who was at home not only still recovering from a c-section, but also taking care of our little needy darling. Thankfully, she had the help of some amazing grandparents, but nevertheless we were still each doing crucial life things apart—things we always do together.

I’ve always had an affinity for travel, especially in my younger days. My parents often half-joke that the day I drove out of the driveway to go to college, they never saw me again. I just like moving and viewing the world from different vantage points. I’ve traveled from the extreme northern regions of Iceland to the intense southern reaches of Bolivia and numerous destinations in between—and I hope to expand my travel journal in the future.

However, traveling under these “new father” conditions curbed my appetite for geographic adventure. The trip to Charlotte was one of the better Fine Arts trips we have ever taken. The students were mostly well-behaved. The city was a nice place to visit. We performed well. We ate well. We were safe and all things were enjoyable.

Except that I was missing my wife and daughter.

The story would end sappy and sad if not for the advent of a crucial piece of technology: Skype. Skype is a free online video chat program that allows you to see and speak with someone on the other side of the world via a simple webcam. I will never forget logging in and seeing Laura holding Sadie—fresh out of her bath time and in her jammies. Sadie was obviously too young to spend much time looking at the screen, but it did seem like she reacted to my voice—and that meant a lot to me at the time.

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If I’ve said it once, I’ve repeated it thousands of times. One who desires to find the greatest joy in life must become a student of seasons. Life changes often and those who refuse to accept the present moment because it seems drastically dissimilar from yesterday are destined to dwell in constant disappointment. Life will change. Seasons do shift. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when.”

And when they do shift, here’s the best part: God always has a connection open. We can “Skype” him in any and every season. Though our surroundings may be unfamiliar and our present condition may be non-preferable, our God is never unreachable.

David seemed to understand this when he wrote: “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there… I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night… but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.” (Psalm 139: 7-9; 10-12 NLT)

So what’s your “even in”? Even in temptation, he is there. Even in depression, he is there. Even in confusion, he is there. Even in new seasons, he is there. Even in Charlotte, he is there.

What wonderment we have received just to think that our God never closes the lines of communication no matter how distant we feel, how lost we are, or how drastically our seasons seemed to have shifted. Just like Sadie, we may not necessarily see him from where we are, but we can be confidently assured we can always hear his voice.

Are you far away in some strange season? Try Skyping God—spiritually, of course—his availability is as constant as the inevitable changing seasons of life. More so, in fact!

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