“This really feels weird… no keys. This is the first time in a very long time that I don’t have any keys in my pocket!”
My son-in-law had arrived at our home after turning in the keys to their temporary living quarters. Just days before they sold the only car they owned. For the next two weeks they will shop, prepare, pack and sort through the few belongings they have left. No home. No car. No keys.
It has to be a strange feeling, since so many of the “things” of this life are tied to keys:
OUR HOME– a place we can call our own. A place of security, comfort, love and belonging.
OUR CAR– our freedom. Free to GO, to travel, to be independent.
OUR WORK– financial security. Whether it’s just for a paycheck or it’s our life purpose, our job provides a means to an end.
The world sees it this way:
1. The key to happiness: be successful.
2. The key to success: Get a degree. Get a good job. Get a life.
3. The key to life: Live your dream. Be happy.
4. The key to happiness: Be successful…
Do you see the vicious cycle that is all tied to the world’s definition of success? What the world says and what God says are two very different things.
Have you ever really thought about those keys that you carry and what they represent? Security. Happiness. Contentment. Success.
What if all was stripped away and all you had was your faith? Would it be enough? I can’t answer that question, because I am blessed with a wonderful family. I am healthy. I never go hungry, and much of my happiness is tied to my role as a wife and mother of four children and ten grandchildren.
The real issue for me is that as a mom, I will have to choose (again!) to let go of my desires and trust God for what is best in the life of my daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter. This process of “letting go” of our children is one of the hardest things I have ever faced. From the time they started kindergarten, until the day they walked into the arms of their mate, letting go has been an ongoing process of surrender. It has never been easy for me, and I’ve described this process in two different ways: HORRIBLE.AND.WONDERFUL.
The key to my happiness and success has never really been in material things. My greatest joy has come from my husband and children. I would be lying if I said that I have never allowed my joy in the Lord to suffer because I have kept my focus on my family instead of on Jesus. I know–beyond a doubt–that He has called them to Madagascar, and because I know they are being obedient to His call, I can honestly say it is WONDERFUL.
There is nothing greater (as a parent) than knowing your children are following Jesus with all their heart.
The HORRIBLE part is the sacrifice that it involves for all of us. The separation will be painful. The temptation to worry will escalate. The struggles that they will have are very real.
BUT… our God is able–and I also believe without a doubt–He will sustain us, encourage us, provide for us, and comfort us as we depend on Him.
I don’t know if there are other missionary parents out there that will ever read this, but I want to say to you, “God bless you!” I never really understood, neither did I empathize or pray for you like I should have.
My heart is breaking, but my God is bringing joy in the midst of my pain. I will trust and depend on Him even more than before.
A dear lady in our church went to heaven this week, and at her funeral her two grandsons spoke of her favorite phrase, written at the bottom of every letter and card:
After all, isn’t that really the key?...