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Saying Goodbye Yet Again? It’s Doable!

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Jeremiadoss Family Back to Africa

   The time has come for my son’s team member’s family to return to their ‘home’, as their children call it, back in Africa. Stateside is a blissful experience in a lot of ways. (Not without it’s stresses, for sure) But one is always comparing life here with life there. Life in Africa with it’s vastly different climate and culture is a far cry from life in the United States.

   But, you know, that’s not what makes it hard to say goodbye to each other. For the missionaries have come to love and value their life where they serve. As is evident in this quote from the article above.

Africa has a way of never leaving you the same-once you go, the beautiful, perseverant people have a way of intertwining with your soul and leaving you with a heartsick ache. It is with great excitement that we return to Africa

   And for us as their family who must bid them farewell, yet again, knowing they feel this way about where they serve, is a blessed comfort. 

   At those moments when the farewells must be said, it’s the  fact that our lives must move forward in separate directions that hurts. Now our memories won’t include each other as they did during stateside. This is and never will be easy! That’s the fact, the reality of their calling (to go) and our calling (to release) is something that can’t be taken lightly! 

   But we are not without comfort! God built those comforts into our obedience! Personally, I don’t expect these farewells ever to be easy. Though by experience I have come to realize they are doable. And as God promises,

I can do all things through Him who strengths me.Phillipines 4:13 NKJV

Hello and goodbye!

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The Luxury of Having Them Home!

   As I keep up with my son and his family on Facebook, I am happy to see that they are getting that physical and emotional rest they need to prepare them for their next venture. We got to see them a couple of weeks in May, which could only be described as glorious chaos! Since then they have spent time with my daughter in law’s family and are presently spending time at a place that, for them, is also home. Then a week to debrief with their mission organization. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I will be traveling there to get in an extra week of time with them. Then in August they will be making their way here to spend their last stateside month with us before they leave the country so my son can work on his master’s degree abroad.

   Being able to pick up a phone and call them, or communicating with them easily via FaceTime, email, etc., I now see as a luxury. For while they were out of the country, our connections weren’t always good and often their internet was down. But not so here in the good ole USA ,and I am grateful beyond words.

   I so look forward to their month long visit in August and, of course, dread the day we will have to say goodbye again. But even then God has given us a lot to look forward to  before they actually have to return to Africa. Visiting them in the country where my son will be studying is definitely something I am making plans for, and my son’s last term is a research semester where they will return home for 3 months to wrap things up. And the fact that they are planning on coming home for Christmas, cheers me up immensely!

The Reality of Saying Goodbye!

   In all this coming and going since my son and daughter in law left home 4 1/2 years ago, God has gently guided me every step of the way! He has empowered me to manage the pain of releasing them to live their lives apart from us without it overwhelming me. I recorded that lesson in a blog I wrote on 10/7/14, Just Keep THAT Door Closed. From that lesson I learned I could choose not to open the door where painful emotions resided. By refusing to open that door, I was choosing to focus on receiving all the grace and mercy God had in store for me as I obediently released my son and his precious family to God’s calling upon their lives. 

   I am discovering that while it still hurts to say goodbye, I know because I’ve experienced it, God has some exciting and extraordinary plans for those of our family who must release, as well as for those who go. And as those plans unfold, we all are blessed beyond what we could have imagined. For when God gives us hard things to do, He faithfully provides rewards along the way that makes the hard thing doable!

BACK TO THE BUSH: Last Days

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Saying goodbye to my loved ones and friend!

Saying goodbye to my loved ones and friend!

March 15, 2013

   After two days of high fever and malaria meds, my son seemed to be on the mend. Which I was grateful for because of the 13 hour rugged drive that was ahead of him! Sometimes we stayed overnight about half way, but not this time for my plane was to leave on the next day.

   Our troop arrived in the capital city around 7:30 pm at the mission house where we were to stay. The family that rode with us made their way to their rooms and we went to ours. My son did well driving that long distance even though he wasn’t feeling well. 

   The next morning dawned with its typical balmy weather and we set about eating some breakfast while going over plans for the day. We would do some souvenir shopping for my son wanted to add some things for his nieces and nephews to the bundle I was to take home for all the others. We also needed to do some shopping for my daughter in law to restock some of the supplies they were low on.

Our last selfie (for awhile)!

Our last selfie (for awhile)!

   This day was a celebration for me in that I had the luxury of time to spend with my son. We talked about all sorts of subjects–some light hearted, some very serious! With these moments we drew closer and added to our store of memories from which I have drawn on again and again since arriving back home.

   My son took me to this quaint little coffee shop for lunch. He had an blue cheese salad and I had an egg salad sandwich–very American tasting!  I remember our conversation as we enjoyed our food and fellowship and while it was serious mostly, I remember laughing a lot. My son always does that for me; mixing humor with the serious stuff. I came away from those conversations feeling hopeful and not so overwhelmed.

   Our dinner plans were to drive to the city near the airport where colleagues of my son lived. It’s always amazing to me how you can feel so close to people you have only met for a very few times. But then I’ve noticed that’s the way it goes with God’s people! Dinner was delicious and reminded me of meals back home. Our fellowship was rich and sweet but all too soon it came time for me to get ready to go to the airport.

My last hug and snuggle!

My last hug and snuggle!

 

   I dreaded this departure and had prayed for the emotional strength I would need to say good bye to my son. God had given me that strength when I said goodbye to my daughter in law and grandson and that was what I drew from as we parked the truck and walked up to the airport.

   Yes, my heart was heavy, but I couldn’t stop time, so I submitted to God’s will and strength to see me through our goodbye’s! I kept it under control thanks to God’s grace and glancing back for as long as I could, I turned around and walked through security.

One more adventure and then I would be home!

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