Do You Feel Lonely?

I know many baseball and military families are familiar with the struggle of separate-yet-united lives. This was a reality for us for almost four of Wade’s seven years in baseball. During our time apart, I started dreaming of more consistency and the ordinarily forgotten luxuries of “normal life.” One of those dreams was (weird as it may sound) beekeeping. I started to study all things related to beekeeping, thinking that whenever God was finished with Wade in professional baseball, we would be able to start this new adventure. 

 During one particularly long stent apart from Wade, my mom gave me a pillow that was embroidered with tiny, intricate bees and the saying, “No matter what, no matter where, it’s always home if your honey is there.”  

Dagger to my heart! Yes- it was lovely. Yes- it was thoughtful. And, yes- my “honey” was not home, but playing ball in some obscure Rust-Belt town.

I’ve attempted to learn cross-stitch numerous times, but I’m more taken to needlepoint (it’s far easier and requires almost zero talent). The point is, cross-stitch and all forms of embroidery are a labor of love. Even while fully appreciating the talent and gift, I couldn’t bear to display the beautiful reminder of the painful reality that my “honey” and I were 9+ hours apart.   

I’ll be honest, somedays I wallowed quietly in my loneliness. On my better days, I would think fondly of the off-season. I’d think about all the lazy days we were gifted during the months where life is slow in Kentucky. I’d also remember how we celebrated with hopeful anticipation the coming of Christmas and all of the seasonal joys. Emmanuel, or “God with us,” would be born in Bethlehem and, lest I forget, live forever. 

Now, I have the “normal-life” luxury of a husband with “banker’s hours,” and I’m thankful for the life God has abundantly provided to our family. Wade and I have been keeping bees for three years, and the fruit of the work is honey. Lots of the sticky, sweet goodness! While working the bees with Wade, sometimes I’m mindful of blessings and that old pillow’s embroidered message. Very simply, our Lord is our honey. He is with us, all good, having within Him all sweetness. He’s the bridegroom, and he lovingly gives us all the desires of our hearts.

So, no matter what, no matter where, it’s always home because JESUS, our Emmanuel, is there.

Yes, we are never alone. We cannot be separated from our God by long commutes or geographical borders. 

Open our eyes, God, to your abundant graces and fix the desires of our hearts on You. 

Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

*Feature photo by Diana Măceşanu on Unsplash

Author: Neena

When not chasing after her two joyful little boys, Neena enjoys beekeeping, a good cup of coffee, and writing on her blog, “Words Like Honey” (www.wordslikehoney.com). Neena has spent much of the last decade traveling with her husband, Wade, a former professional baseball player. Throughout the 29 changes of address and the stresses of moving a young family, Neena learned to embrace the peace that only comes from the steady accompaniment of Christ in her heart. She hopes to lead women to a grace-filled life with Jesus through her stories of their baseball adventures and her Appalachian upbringing. Today, Neena and her family are ecstatic to settled back in their Old Kentucky Home.

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