God shared a secret with me.
This goes out to the ones who feel like you’re waiting around, holding all of the responsibilities, while the ones you love have all of the adventures.
If your spouse is in the military, travels with his job, or has hobbies that take hours per week, I can relate. My husband trained for an IronMan while we had a newborn. He’s traveled with his job all over North America while I keep things running on our small hobby farm. And all the while I would be okay . . . until I wasn’t. “What about me?”
I used to feel like I was left behind holding down the fort with our daughter and responsible for all of daily real life, maybe too capable for my own good, while my husband was gone for work more than he was home. This wasn’t a new experience. Life has been this way for years for our family since travel is part of his job. There are perks with travel miles and hotel points, but then there is the loneliness. I would trade in all of the free vacations to not have that empty feeling sometimes at the dinner table, in bed at night, or when I’m sick and life goes on.
I can relate to his road warrior tiredness since I used to travel with my job before staying at home with our daughter. I know work travel is not glamorous but exhausting. I realize he doesn’t want to be gone but is working hard to provide for his family. But it’s still hard to not feel left behind.
Unless you’re not really left behind . . . but become the Sender.
You know who else was a Sender? Jesus.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. (John 17:17-19)
One morning, God revealed to me that my husband is being sent on a mission. It didn’t have to look like a ministry or church or a mission trip in our 2017 ways. God was sending him, sanctifying him through this process (and maybe me, too) to be sent into the world and I needed to get on board and be a part of that send-off.
God whispered to my heart that my attitude and prayers can help equip my husband to be the light in each board meeting, flight, restaurant, hotel check-in, convention, showroom. I can be in the role of the sender . . . not the wait-around-er. I can be a part of sending him into the world, pouring light into him when he gets home, and making going not such a burden, but a delight.
Moses sent Joshua.
Mordecai sent Esther.
Lydia sent Paul.
We have to live in courage to be a sender. We have to know our identity is not wrapped up in what we do or our job title. We have to rely on God to do the work in and around those we help send.
I have to forgive God and my spouse for not giving me the life I thought I wanted, and instead delight in what God is doing in His good plans. I need to ask forgiveness for not always being supportive and for all of the complaining I’ve done.
You can be equipped by the One Who Sends to encourage the road warrior when he returns, only to leave again. With God’s help, you can create a holy environment. You can cast a vision that is bigger than yourself for this challenging time — for your spouse, yourself, and your family. You can have enough Spirit-filled self-control to stop complaining and waiting around for change to happen, and start embracing where God has your family and make the most of it for the Kingdom of God.
We can be the light, expand God’s territory, and pray our spouses will have conversations with people about Jesus who may never otherwise hear His glorious name.
You are no longer left behind. You never were.
Let’s not be wait-around-ers, when God is calling us to be senders.
What a delightful opportunity for us to be modern-day Lydias.