I consider the little town of Dacula to be home. I was 8 when we moved there, but it’s where I grew up.
After graduating from high school in June, I moved away in August of 1977, and I’ve never really returned.
Dacula continued to my permanent address, but I only stayed there in the summer and during Christmas breaks. My wife and I were married at Christmas of my junior year at Shorter College, so Rome, Georgia, became my residence.
From there we have moved to New Orleans, Atlanta, Indiana, Michigan and finally to coastal Georgia.
Tina and I have loved serving the Lord in the places we have lived, but there has been one constant challenge – separation from family.
I know that many in our community face the same thing as members of the military. It can be hard, especially when family is sick.
I lived in metro Detroit when my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor that would ultimately take her life. Over nine months I made multiple trips to be with her and to assist my dad and sister in her care.
Even then I felt that I was letting them down. More than 800 miles separated us. I had my church, and I also had my wife and sons to consider. My time was divided.
Today I am 250 miles from Dad, and so I can make the round trip in a day if necessary. Recently it has become necessary.
He was diagnosed with cancer just before Thanksgiving and has had numerous doctor visits and even one stay in the hospital. My sister lives close to him, but I cannot let her carry the load alone.
And besides, I need to be with him.
The people at First Baptist in Pembroke have been so helpful and gracious to me. I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate them.
And Dad constantly tells me not to worry. And you know what. I’m not worried. I know his faith because I learned to trust in Jesus from him. I know his ultimate destiny because I believe the promises of God.
Still there is much on the plate, and sometimes I wonder how I can do it. And then I remember that I do not have to do it alone.
Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I know this. I cannot do it in my own power.
But the Lord is with me. And he is with you, if you belong to him. Trust him. Lean on him. He will take care of you.