Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Am I abandoning my family?

This question is not meant to be taken too seriously.  Of course I am not abandoning my family.  The facts of the situation are 1) that I have been ordered to go to Newport, RI for the next three months in order to complete my initial chaplain training, 2) I must do this training in order to become a Navy chaplain, and 3) my wife is completely supportive of my desire to go into the Navy as a chaplain, so I am not abandoning my family.  
With all that said though a part of my heart still feels as if I am leaving my family in order to go do something that I have dreamed of for the last 6 years.  The thought keeps running through my head that right now my 6 month old daughter Isabella is laughing, a little, and smiling, a little, and beginning to make more and more facial and body expressions, but by the time I see her next she will be much bigger than she is now, she will have a greater variety of noises and expressions, and I will have missed her going through steps of maturation.  I won't be there to cheer her on, to make funny faces at her, to tell her over and over that I love her, and to kiss her head and put her to sleep at night.  This is when I feel as if I am abandoning my family.  
But, and this is a big but.  I, and Annie, are confident that the desire we have for ministry in the Navy as a chaplain and a chaplain's wife has been given to us by God.  We are dedicated to the idea that we must go through and experience what every sailor goes through and experiences in order to effectively minister to them.  We are not out for the easy or convenient life, but a life that is meaningful and focused on the eternal.  Yes Christ calls us to come and follow Him, but He is very clear that life dedicated to His work will be difficult and at many times painful. (Mat. 10:34-39)
With grace upon grace Christ does not leave us in our fearful despair though, in Mark 10:28-30, Christ promises that whatever we have suffered or left for Him or the gospel, He will repay us a hundred times as much and in the life to come, eternal life.  What will we receive as a payment that is a hundred times greater than anything we have suffered or lost, it is Christ Himself and the eternal enjoyment of Him.  
Dear God give Annie and I a heart for you and the strength to focuses on you more and more throughout our time apart.

God Bless
Joshua Earls 


  1. Amen, brother! Reading your blog is a blessing. I was hoping to get commissioned in time to be in your same class (ODS & CHAPS), but will be waiting until August now. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying your blog and be praying for you and your family.

    Warmly In Christ,
    Drew Jones