One of the most common questions I am asked after I tell people we are going is: what does your mom think about this? My mom was gracious enough to share her feelings and thoughts. I am so thankful to have her support (and know that not every person who goes overseas has their parents’ support). If you are a parent of a person going overseas, I pray you find strength and encouragement through her words and know you are not alone:
The hardest thing about being a mom is definitely letting go. I remember when I was pregnant with my second, my first was only going to be 23 months when I had her and I worried about having to be away from him for 2 nights while I gave birth! Then as K (our oldest) was to begin kindergarten, I started crying in dread of that well ahead of time! One night as I was lying in bed, I started crying for no reason. I know my husband was scared of what I might be shedding tears for out of the blue, but I told him I was afraid that K would get picked on in the bathroom as a kindergartener by the older kids! Later, I was so relieved that each kindergarten room had its very own bathroom.
And so on and on it goes. But you know, I did let go and, as it turns out, that was the easy thing to endure when they were small. As they grew older and even to today, the only thing I really can do is give them daily to God. As it turns out, one of the many lessons I have learned (or re-learned) from God this past year is: they are just a gift to us—plain and simple. There is no promise of how long we get to keep our gift. We are to love and cherish them, teaching them about God and preparing them to live a life for Him. As we go, we find out that we are learning as much as we are teaching.
It is through our love for our children that we can faintly understand God's love for us.
Both of my children, K (who is 28 today on Mother's Day and was also born on Mother's Day), and C, 26, live away. K is in New York working on becoming an Urban Farmer, following his deep roots from my dad in farming. C and her husband, J, as you know, are in the process of going across the world (not country) to share Christ with others.
This is difficult at times, but I always encouraged my children to seek the Lord in doing what He wanted them to do because I told them there is no joy outside of Christ.
And let me tell you, as I was praying for them on my way to work one morning, I said to God, “Help them to know Your will and DO it!” It hit me like a rock that morning and I said, “God, I've been praying that a long time, haven't I? Uhhh...” And I hesitated and said, “Ok God, and help ME to be willing to accept it.”
For you see, they are both grown and it is my job still to love them, give guidance when asked, be an example, but how they respond to what God is telling them is up to them. I don't even fit into that equation. It is simply between them and their Lord. If they believe God is calling them, WHO am I to say anything? He is the one who gave me these precious gifts and although they will always be my children, God will always be God Who made them, and Who made this universe, and nothing could make me any happier than them finding joy and peace in their lives because they are doing His will.
To my children, K and C: I am so glad God allowed you to be my children, my gift. I love you.