I recently received and instant messenger notification from one of my old college buddies. Our relationship went all the way back to 1985 when we were in the drum line together in marching band at Kearney State College (now called the University of Nebraska at Kearney). I was able to catch up with him on the phone and take a few moments to have one of those long conversations with a true friend. I consider this guy one of the best dads that I know. Let me tell you why.
When we were in college, we were convinced that we had life under control. Our futures were planned, and we knew exactly where we would end up.
So. Not. True.
Landing that great first job, finding and marrying the girls of our dreams, buying a house and settling down… we were convinced these things would just happen. But none of us could predict what would lie ahead.
This dream world scenario only “happens” to a minority of people. For the majority, it takes every ounce of energy, strength, determination, guts, and grit to make ends meet and open the door to the futures that we want. For some, roadblocks become obstacles that seem nearly impossible to overcome. For this friend, those obstacles became opportunities to find ways to overcome and succeed in life and parentIng.
About 10 years into their marriage, my friend’s wife decided that she was done with their relationship, and moved to another state taking their young son with her. Through all of his efforts to keep their marriage together, she was determined to go in a different direction. He was devastated. Not only because his marriage didn’t work out, but because he would now be nearly 1000 miles away from his son at a crucial time in the young boy’s life.
Rather than choosing to be passive and have to find ways to maintain a long-distance relationship with his one and only child, he made the hard decision to move. Uprooting every bit of security he had built up through the years, he chose to be near his son in order to maintain the relationship that would be needed from his father.
The choice to intentionally navigate change, whatever the cost, is one of the bravest decisions any man will ever make. He sold everything he had and downsized to the point where all of his possessions would fit into his mid-sized four-door car. With cash in hand, car packed to the windows, and several prospective job leads in his email inbox, he headed out into an unknown new life.
Talk about courage!
All of this was done so that his son would be able to say, “My dad, no matter what the cost, did everything possible to make sure he was a part of my life!”
This friend is someone that I consider to be one of the strongest, most brave, and most Christlike guys I know. He sacrificed everything to maintain and invest in a relationship with his son!
Many people, under far less daunting circumstances, have thrown in the towel and given up in defeat. My hope is that others will use this story as a turning point to make the decision to navigate change no matter what the cost.
Now, four years later, his ex-wife has decided to move to yet another part of the country. This did not take my friend by surprise. Once again, he will have to choose to navigate change with strength, courage and undaunted fortitude.
I am so blessed to call this man friend!
What is the next big change you are navigating in life? Let me encourage you to focus your heart in prayer, and take the next step toward your BEST future.