Long Distance Grandma

After ten months, I’m back from my self-imposed ‘blogcation’ and it feels a lot like coming home after a long trip. I read a friend’s post on Facebook today and was reminded that God often uses the circumstances of our lives to mold, shape, and change us whether or not we are ready to change.

I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. We raise our families and experience those bittersweet emotions when they move out (glad they’re ready, willing, and able to spread their wings, sad they’re leaving the nest and flying away). Then they begin families of their own and we are truly blessed to become grandparents.

Our grandkids (GK’s) have always lived nearby. Even though their parents seem to move every year or two and we moved twice during the past nine years (since GK #1 was born), we have somehow managed to live less than 10-15 minutes from them their entire lives. We saw their tiny faces on the day they were born and have had the wonderful privilege of watching them grow up since that time.

But all of that changed almost a month ago when our son-in-law moved to a different part of the state (three hours away) for a new job. It was a good move for many reasons and I am happy for them and fully supportive of the move – but that doesn’t make the transition to long distance grandma any easier.

Technology is wonderful. We are grateful for Facetime and Skype but seeing your granddaughter’s little lips pressed against the screen on your iPad as she kisses the talking image of Grandma on mommy’s iPhone is just not the same as a real kiss. And watching your youngest grandsons new dance moves as he gyrates while holding the iPhone is more like a roller coaster ride than a conversation.

Grandma has always been a part of their little lives (Grandpa too) and the idea of not seeing them regularly and missing so many of the daily/weekly/monthly changes that happen as they learn and grow is difficult. Some days are harder then others as I transition from playing a major role in their lives to being a less active participant (aka long distance grandma). But the one constant is my love for them. That never changes.

I must admit there are still times when I ask God why He would allow this to happen when it seems we need each other so much. And there are dark days when I feel totally upset and mad at God for removing them from my life. But when I stop and think about what God is up to in all of this, there are also days that I can see the good things happening as a result of this move.

As I read His word and open my heart, I am reminded that God is always thinking about me and that no pain is wasted in His economy. He has a purpose for my life and knows the beginning from the end. I remember that He loves me (and likes me) and has only my best interest in mind. The reassurance that there is a reason for all of this pain makes my daily choice to trust Him much easier – on the good days and the bad ones.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, those who have been called according to his purpose.
~ Romans 8:28