Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reflecting on the Cost

"Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27

We were relatively young, 22 and 26, when we had our first child, Emily. Most of our friends were unmarried and were not planning to have families until they were comfortable financially and ready to settle down. As a young mother, I was confronted by many professional women who felt staying home and raising a child was a contradiction to being an educated, modern, liberated woman. There were times in my life when I ached to be professionally secure and confident like them, but mostly I was happy to revel in the incredible gift, the wonderful life of our daughter. She was full of life and challenging, and I knew I was doing what was right for all three of us. We grew up together and in time, welcomed two more sisters, Ariel and Phoebe. It wasn't easy. And society and the times were going a very different way than we were. The cost was great to step out of the norm.

By being a wife and mother first, professional second, I chose to step out of the parade. We have lived our lives prayerfully, following God's call in our lives, which at times has meant that we had to left practical reason and cultural norms aside and followed where God was leading. Our income has been small for the most part, and we have lived with great insecurity, but the love and resources we have been given are great. Although there have been tremendous challenges, there has never been a time when God has not supplied our needs. Jesus makes it clear that the cost of following him is a life of tremendous challenge, not an easy road. But it has been, for me, abundantly full of love. A path overflowing with beauty and love. Relying on God, we have been blessed to walk, day by day, with enough to make it until tomorrow.

In these times when the road has become rocky for many, may we know Christ on the road with us. In these times, as the cold bears down, may we follow Christ, opening our hearts to our fellow travelers. May we seek not comfort but abundant love. May the true cost of following Christ be a heart broken open with compassion for others. May we hold each other in prayer knowing that following means we don't see the road but the image of Christ ahead.

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