I knew this day was coming. It’s not THE day, but a hard one nonetheless. It’s one of those milestones that, once you pass it, there’s no turning back. The day my little girl gives her employer her two-week notice. The day the crate arrives.
Not an easy day for me–or her baby sister!
The reality is, the day my daughter and her husband committed their lives to be full-time, career missionaries was the day that marked the beginning of this journey.
It’s been a very emotional one–a journey full of tears– tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and yes, even grief.
Not the same kind of sorrow or grief that you experience when you lose a child to death, but still the pain of separation and all that it means for the future. It is a distance that separates us physically, but in a stronger way, bonds us together even tighter spiritually.
It definitely is a gamut of emotions all tied up together–knots in my stomach… aching in my heart… and yes, JOY deep in my soul.
Proud, anxious, hopeful, fearful, excited, humbled and tearful all at once. I hurt, and I rejoice. I cry, and I am comforted.
I have been asked often, “How are you doing?” and “How can you survive this?” My reply is always, “I would rather my children be right in the center of God’s will than anywhere else in the world.” AND I MEAN IT. It’s not just something I say to myself–I really, truly believe it.
How do I get through this time? Certainly not alone. HE is with me. HE comforts me and brings me peace.
At 4 a.m. when I can’t sleep, I pray.
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
HE is there. He hears me.
When I crawl out of bed I head straight for THE WORD:
“Don’t be terrified or afraid of them! The Lord your God who goes before you will fight for you, just as you saw Him do for you in Egypt.
And you saw in the wilderness how the Lord your God carried you as a man carries his son all along the way you traveled until you reached this place.”
HE is there. He will carry them.
When I’ve prayed and prayed for them, and don’t want to stop–but don’t know what else to pray for them:
“The Lord bless you and protect you;
the Lord make His face shine on you,
and be gracious to you;
the Lord look with favor on you
and give you PEACE.”
HE is there. He will give them peace today. He will give me peace.
Over and over in His Word He promises us His presence:
“For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the Lord’s declaration–“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
HE is there. He truly is the Prince of Peace. My rock. My salvation. My comforter. My friend. My Faithful Father.
“He is your praise and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome works your eyes have seen.”
Why would I ever want anything less for MY children? How could I, even in my sorrow, deny them this incredible privilege of walking in obedience–knowing that kind of Peace, that kind of Power, that kind of purpose, that kind of opportunity to see the great and awesome works of God?!
HE is there.
He’s right there with them in Texas as they load that crate. The crate that will carry all of their belongings across the ocean, belongings that they won’t see again for eight to twelve months.
He’s right there with them as they drive away from their last “home” in the States.
And He’ll be right there with them as they embark on this journey of faith.
Faith that will take them “to the ends of the earth” as they begin their new life in Africa–a life of service to HIM, just as we are called to do–right where we are.
THIS day, I can say,
“As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”