Family First

I like to think that in my life My Family always comes first. That no matter what happens when push come to shove my wife and ...

I like to think that in my life My Family always comes first. That no matter what happens when push come to shove my wife and my children come first! But there are times in life where I truly believe that what you say you believe and what you actually believe come face to face and you have to make a choice right then and right there to be who you say you are or to be someone different!

This just happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I was at a retreat for our students, Relevant Student Ministry, called Crave. It is one of my favorite retreats of the year and an event I look forward to all year long. The downside of leaving is that I have to leave my family for a few days. I have 4 kids. I know, I know my wife is incredible. And she is! My wife is the key to my success and my sanity. She always does great when I am away and is encouragement to me even despite being bogged down 24/7 with 4 kids under the age of 9!

And having 4 kids obviously leaves room for unexpected things to occur in our lives. It seems like every time I go somewhere one of the four finds a sickness to take on. My wife is always a trooper and never complains she just rolls with it.

But this particular weekend was different. I received a text from my wife that said my oldest daughter was showing some signs of Appendicitis! Now at first I didn’t think much of it. Especially since I was relatively positive she retrieved this information from web MD or Wikipedia! But then she called me a few hours later and said that Makayla was hurting so bad that she couldn’t hardly walk! She called the doctor and based on the symptoms they decided that she needed to bring Makayla in immediately!

A few hours later they made the determination that she was going to have to surgery and they sent her to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. And anyone who has kids knows that there is NO SUCH thing as minor surgery with your children!

In this moment I had an inward conflict. I knew I needed to be with my daughter! But I also knew I needed to be a Crave! The weekend is by no means dependant on me! But it is something we put on together. So there is a hole there if I leave!

This is the conversation that went on in my head!
Can Jennifer handle this? Yes!
Is anything that needs to happen dependant on me being there? No!
Is there anything I can accomplish for the doctors? No!
Even though I’m not needed do I need to go home? YES!!!

There was a moment for me where my perceived values collided with my reality! Was I necessarily “needed”? No I wasn’t! But my values often have to matter to me and they have to determine my actions even in when the circumstance is completely unexpected!

With the help some great people in my life I was able to make the 5 hour trip back Home to be with my daughter and here are the some of the reasons why!
- My Daughter needed to know I will ALWAYS be there for her when she needs me or just wants me!
- My presence brings comfort! I am the dad! Me being there allows my wife to be mommy and me to be the dad!
- My leadership is important in my family and Leadership has more to do with actions than words
­­- If family is first that has to be the case even when the situation is not ideal!
- I love my daughter more than words and this gave me the chance to show it.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t sit down and write these things down and then decide to go home! That wasn’t it. I just knew no matter what and no matter how many ways I can logically justify not going home that to be true to myself and to be true to who I say I am I had to GO HOME and be with my baby girl before she had surgery! 

Bottom Line: Family Matters most even when the situation is more complicated than we want it to be! 

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