Tonight, I am back on campus. I had five weeks off, and I was getting really used to it. I might reconsider what I am going to do after I graduate nursing school–whether I am going straight into graduate school or work for a year and then go back to school. The Lord will make it more clear as time goes on.
To be honest, I miss my parents. I wish I could have spent more quality time with them. Instead, I met with many believers and non-believers on a weekly basis. There may be one or two days a week where I would stay home with my mom all day. I can remember a sermon by Paul Washer where he exhorted the Christian to love his or her family and not just the church. There are people who favor their earthly family (non-Christians included) more than the church, the heavenly, supposed forever family. But, there are those who love their church more than their family. There is this particular church in Texas that pushes people who want to join their church to ex-communicate their family by misapplying verses like Luke 14:26.
I see it in the young people to tend to neglect their family and become tied to a youth group or their church, especially those whose family members are lost. That’s how I was when I was a younger Christian.
My family is lost. My parents are in their mid-sixties. Their days are coming to an end, and I want to cherish every moment. They are not terminally ill or something like that. They do have their ailments, however. They are old! Time flies! Nursing school just sucks the life out of me. I barely have the opportunity to spend quality time with anyone. Even during my long breaks, I think have to think about the things I learned in class. Otherwise, I would forget most of it.
This is a moment when I can repeat Paul’s word in my heart: “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh.. (Romans 9:1-3 NKJV).
Paul was basically saying, “if there was a way for me to perish in hell than for the Isrealites (including the pharisees that I associated with) to perish, I would.” What then struck me was the idea of loving my family, my parents at least, in such a radical way because I thought: “Which is less bearable? To burn in hell or to simply honor my parents in every way? The answer is clear, so if I boldly claim that I rather go to hell then I must practically love my parents in such a God-honoring way because that is more bearable, or easier.”
So, what was the outcome? During the break, there were many times when I dishonored, disrespected, and created an anti-god authority over my parents. I took their love for granted. My relationship with my parents is so difficult. I am not as closed to them as I used to be when I was a lot younger. My parents never maintained a close and intimate relationship with my me and my siblings. But, as a Christian I should be able to overcome that. It certainly may not happen over night, but there should be an upward progression.
I still view my parents as evidence of God’s grace to me even though I am not that close to them. God used them to test my patients, to show my pride, to stir up anger so that I know what to do with it, etc. We may not have a close relationship like many parents with their children, but we are close enough where we can get into each other skin.
It is a complex relationship, and I cannot explain it all right now. I truly miss them already. However, I must trust God that He will sustain them throughout time, so that I may see them again. After all, He sustained them for over 40 years before I came into existence.
I know that if my relationship with Christ strengthens and grows, everything else will fall into place. I will love my parents more and manifest the fruits of the Spirit more.