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It was an ordinary morning with the usual list of errands. Once I exited the garage and was on my way out of the neighborhood, I tapped my daughter’s beautiful face on my phone’s speed-dial screen, waiting for her to pick up. Our quick conversation, spanning the 760 miles that separate us, nourished my maternal heart. As we wrapped up our quick chat, she ended with “I love you too, Mom.”

Suddenly moisture clouded my vision. Why did her sweet words make me tear up? Wiping at my eyes, I promptly told myself it’s because I don’t hear the name “Mom” very often, since both my children live out-of-state. But really it’s because I just missing seeing them. Parenting is such an intense job and when we’ve given it our all, we might not be prepared to release, and live a part.

My struggle with separation is a common one. I see it displayed on mothers’ faces at the bus stop at the beginning of school, and sense it’s crushing grief with parents lose their children prematurely to death. We always want the best for our children and we desire their love and acceptance.

Our daughter has been married for ten years now and is always busy with her family of five. I’m blessed to see her three times a year, and our short reunions are precious indeed. But I long for closer fellowship, perhaps monthly, even weekly, face-to-face interaction. Could my yearning be but a glimpse, a shadow, of God’s own yearning for me?

The Bible says in Psalm 139 that He created me in my mother’s womb and knows all the days ordained for me. The prophet Jeremiah affirms God’s knowledge of him even before he was in utero. And the scriptures reveal that our God who longs to be called “Abba,” which means daddy, loves us with an everlasting love and a faithfulness we can’t even fathom.

Do you sometimes feel so separated from God that you doubt His care?

The prophet Isaiah wrote the following in chapter 49, verse 15-16a: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

Oh, if we only understood how much He loves each one of us!

When our hearts grow faint with disappointment, and our dreams seem dashed by harsh reality, our Heavenly Father longs to comfort us with the truth of His love. He proclaimed to Moses that He is, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin…” Exodus 34:6-7.

We need not stay discouraged by life events or our own failings, or dragged down by feelings of separation, because we have a Father who longs for our attention and fellowship. Through Jesus, whose nail scarred hands prove the love of God, we can run to our Abba.

We are His children, and neither time nor space can separate us from His love. He is always calling us close!

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