And, to those of you who said it would be infinitely harder once we had a little - you were right. You may now say, "I told you so." ;)
But you know what? It is good. It is so hard and sad, but it is good.
It is NOT good in an I am so glad we live far away and will only get to see family once or twice a year kind of way. But, what I know from scripture and experience is that it is good for our growth. The Lord has and will continue to use this to grow us. He will teach us to rely more and more on him. He will teach us to cling to one another and, as a result, strengthen our marriage. He will show us that this body of believers are truly our family in Christ.
When you have no family near you, you must cling to the church. The church becomes your family in a very real sense. It is a very special thing.
From experience, this looks like...
Spending Christmas and Thanksgiving in the homes of church family members.
Church family keeping my husband company in the waiting room while I am in surgery.
Sisters in Christ stopping by with love, prayers and food when we experienced miscarriages.
Church family praying for and loving our little boy as if he were related to them.
And, the list could go on.
These are the things I have to remind myself of as I battle jealousy when someone says their parents have the kids for the night, or they are going shopping with their sister, or having Sunday dinner with family. I must constantly remind myself that the Lord has always been faithful and has given us what and who we need during every season of our lives.
The day before we moved our families had a "going away" thing for us. During that time, my mom prayed that we would find family here in Oklahoma and that Jude would have people who loved him like grandparents. She also prayed that our family in Florida would be sensitive to those around them who needed the same and would meet those needs by being parents and grandparents for those people. What a beautiful prayer it was!
So, for us, the phrase "church family" is not just a term to refer to people who we go to church with. It means something very real. And, we praise God for that.
I encourage you, no matter where you live (near or far from family), cling to your body of believers and see them as the family they are meant to be.