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Defeating the fear, one day at a time.

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I can remember as I was raising my four children the conflict of emotions I had about how to pray for their future. I prayed like most Christian mothers that God would keep them in the center of His will. That nothing would distract them from the path that God has chosen for them. Yet I harbored a fear of where that path might lead them. The thought that God might plant their roots far away from home made my heart tremble. And the most troubling thought of all was, “What if God called them to a foreign land?”

I think that I’m not alone in confessing such a fear. But who wants to be this transparent? People might criticize us for not having enough faith. So I hid this fear deep within my heart. I remained quiet during conversations about children venturing on paths that led them away from home base .

For some of us releasing our children to move distances away is like ripping out our hearts. I heard a father use just those words to describe his emotional battle of sending his daughter off to a foreign country as a missionary. My own aching heart went out to him.

Words like, “You must be so proud of your child,” almost made me angry. Of course, I was proud of my child. But do you think that proclamation alone would be the cure all for my heart’s traumat? Not for me it wasn’t!!!!

So allow me to share how I traversed the challenging path on which God led me. A journey that resulted in two of my 3 daughters living in far away states and an only son living the missionary life in a foreign country. It happened one day at a time. God comforted me with the assignment to make the most of the years He would be giving me in raising my children. Not to allow my fears to influence me to hold back in training them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

God put my heart at ease. I continued praying for my children to choose God’s will for their lives. In this case, I kept my focus on cherishing the present and trusting God to handle their future .Therefore, as my trust grew, my fear subsided. So much so that by the time it came to release my children, my fear had been defeated. Without the distraction of fear, I was free to take advantage of the comfort I sorely needed to successfully release my children to follow the path God had planned for them.

Obey and Release!

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   Twelve years ago my son left his homeland to serve God overseas. Since that time he has married, he and his wife have had two boys, and they are now living in their 4thforeign country.

   I began writing this blog when my son and daughter in law first left for Africa. I wrote it for a two-fold reason. As therapy for myself–it helps a lot to put my feelings into words. And to help other mom’s who might be facing the journey I was about to embark upon. I saw myself as a trail blazer for them.

   I am now in the 12thyear of this journey.  And experience has brought many things into it’s proper perspective.  I’ve had to learn how to get my ‘self’ out of the way! Not so easy to do my dear readers. For those first few days were a train wreck in intensity! All I could think about was the vastness of space and time that now separated my son and I. Yet, I remember coming to the realization that my son’s work could be positively or negatively affected by the manner in which I handled this separation. 

   I had to learn how to cooperate with God as He gave me the desire and power to do what pleased Him; not myself. When I did, I avoided the bondage of feeling cheated because I didn’t get to have my son and his family near me to enjoy and make memories with.  

    I have three daughters who up until recently lived in the same state with me. Now, only one daughter and her family live nearby. I have had to draw again and again upon those valuable lessons learned twelve years past as I released two daughters and their families to go and do God’s bidding. 

   It’s hard to do such releasing, but I don’t care to be miserable because my babes are too far away. It’s not easy to lay aside your personal pain. But if we let our pain become our focus, it will destroy us. It will also hamper the work God calls our children to. Instead, we can choose to enjoy the blessings and comforts God is so good to give us when we choose to obey and release!

 

Obedience brings comfort!

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 IMG_0529                The 6 of us

   On January 4, 2012, I was a novice at being a missionary’s mom. My son and daughter in law had just left for their very first assignment as foreign missionaries. And 21 days later my blog post revealed a heart still searching for comfort! 

   I would like to share with you an excerpt from that post:

   When your time comes to release your children for the work God calls them to in a land far away, just know that there are comforts built in to your obedience. In our day we have the comfort of technology that provides us with a lifeline of communication with our children. Through email, Facebook, Twitter, satellite & cell phones, and Skype, we can communicate in a variety of ways. 

   Yes, the technology of our day keeps us connected with our physically distant children. And that is INDEED a comfort! Our daughter in law has given birth to two children after they left and because of technology we were able to see both children within minutes after they were born! And by God’s grace and provision, within a few months afterwards we were able to hold them in our arms! 

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Off we go, with the best view in the house, or game reserve!

   With our first grandson, while we were visiting we got to know our son’s fellow co-workers and friends. We even got to go on a safari! That was so surreal. We saw elephants, giraffes, water buffalo, etc. roaming free over the savannah. 

   When we got to hold our second grandson, who was 5 months old at the time, we were in Edinburgh, Scotland!! You see, our son was preparing to enter the University of Edinburgh the next year. Therefore, during his vacation time, he made plans to go there to finalize enrollment details. And because we hadn’t seen our grandson yet, And because I have dreamed for years of going to Scotland, we combined all this into a two week vacation! We got a van and visited not only Edinburgh but the Isle of Arran and Larkhall, where dear friends of ours lived, as well. 

   You might ask me, “Wouldn’t you give all that up to have them close at home?” And my answer would be, “Yes.” 

   But I wasn’t given that option! I had to deal with the plate in front of me! Therefore, I turned to God, for only He had the strength that I desperately needed to get me through overwhelming separation anxiety. 

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. . .  Isaiah 40:31

   So here I am, four years later, with a heart full of gratefulness to God for the strength He provided me through His comfort. By accepting God’s will for my son and obediently releasing him to carry out that will, I have been comforted by the balm of provisions our loving heavenly Father has provided far beyond my expectations.

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