Thursday, August 21, 2014

Preparing My Mommy Heart for Loss

It's his junior year in high school.
I am taking a deep breath.
Two years. That's it.

He will be returning to the States for college...
and as far as we know, for life.
He cannot stay here with us.

I cannot fathom what it will be like to drop him off at college
and to climb on a plane heading 10,000 miles away from him.
I have cooked his meals.
I have nursed his wounds.
I read books to him when he was younger.
I homeschooled him for his whole life.
But when we step on that plane without him,
I will not be there for those things.

Fear wants to grip my heart.
Pain wants to invade.
My heart really wants to ignore the reality and pretend it will not happen.
But it will happen... ready or not.
I can hear wisdom whispering, "Prepare."

But how do I prepare for this?
How do I prepare for my heart to be ripped in two?

I must prepare him... and I must prepare myself.

He is learning to cook and clean and iron.
I am learning to lean and trust and cry out.

Psalm 18:6 "In my distress I called upon the LORD,
and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple,
and my cry came before him, even into his ears."

He is learning to be independent from me.
I am learning to be dependent on the Lord more than ever before

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

He is learning to pray and study and seek God on his own.
I am learning to find comfort from the Lord when I feel alone.

Hebrews 13:5  "... for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." 

He is learning how to make decisions.
I am learning to treasure God's design in maturing my children.

1Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 

He is watching us to learn.
I am watching and seeking counsel from other missionary moms
who have experienced this same struggle.

Proverbs 12:15  "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes:
but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." 

He is learning to embrace his strengths.
I am learning to embrace this weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

 He is learning to trust his training...
years dedicated to preparing him for this moment.
I am learning to trust God's promises.

Mark 10:29-30 "And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life."

With all this preparation, will the pain hurt less? Probably not. But the comfort will be greater knowing my God is true to His Word. He understands what it is to be separated from His Son. He has felt the agony. And He is qualified and able to get me through it when the time comes.

But for two years, I will teach my son...
I will prepare him the best I can...
I will love him and play with him and treasure every moment I have with him...
And I will get to know my God in a richer, deeper way than ever before.

Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;
and he knoweth them that trust in him."

by Charity, Southern Asia


Dee Snyder said...

Charity, I LOVE this post!!! I have experienced what you are talking about from both sides!! Am a very old MK-- will be 73 later this week, and my precious dad is 95 and still serving the Lord. Back in the day-- from the Philippine Islands, I went to the USA as a brave,loved home and family,a tad independent (maybe that developed later)but not rebellious 14, almost 15 yr.old. Attended boarding school for those two years away from Mom and Dad, best buddy brother and a new baby sister who I didn't meet until she was 18 months old! Early on, one night as I was feeling very homesick and missing Mom's tuck in, the Lord gave me this verse--Ps. 27:10. NO! my parents did NOT forsake me- they wrote often, supported me but they were 10,000 miles away so I was "forsaken" of their presence. Verse 11-14 can also be real encouragement to you and your boy! God does have a special place in His loving heart for MKs and also their moms and dads!
In 2006, we left the USA as furlough replacement missionaries and so left 5 adult kids and 15 grandkids! Lots of heartstrings and at times the tune that I hear in my heart is "I miss them muchly"!! But God is so GOOD ALL THE TIME!
PTL you are living in the day of email, Skype and instant pictures!!

Charity said...

That's good stuff, Dee! Love it! Certainly if you have words of wisdom or verses that ministered in this need, I am all ears! And, yes, praise the Lord for Internet options!!! We are a blessed generation.

LorinMexico said...

I wish I would have read this 3 years ago. I think it would have helped me to realize that we were doing the right things in "preparing" for this time of separation. My one and only started his junior year of college this week and I can say that although it hasn't been "easy" it has opened up a new type of relationship between my son and me. I'm thankful for facebook and skype. I'm in contact with him almost every day. It's different yes, but it's still contact and I still feel like I'm a part of his life. This week he got on skype with me so he could show me his new apartment. One thing we did that was a huge help to me, and to him, was that we planned to be on furlough when we took him back to the states. I know that's not always possible, but we planned it that way on purpose. Even though we were traveling to visit churches, we made his city kind of a home base. We would be gone for several weeks and then pass back through and get to catch up again. I felt like that when we returned to the field, he was ready to be on his own. He had gotten a driver's license, renewed car tags, dealt with those things that are done totally different outside the US. Although I miss him HUGEly, I know that he is where God wants him to be, preparing for what God has for him in the future. I love the verses you included in your blog. Hold on to those promises. They really do help!

Charity said...

Great advice, LorinMexico! We are planning furlough during that time, but I hadn't thought of trying to make our "home base" where he will be living. Seriously going to think about that!

Senkyoushi said...

I did this three times. So thankful that God's grace is sufficient.

Lou Ann Keiser said...

I found it easier in some ways than I anticipated. You see, I think God did prepare me for it. Our daughter left home at 17 for college and our son at 18. Both were ready to try their wings, and we were actually happy for them to have the same opportunities that we had when we were the same ages. It's beautiful to see our children become adults and begin to be more on their own. (We were choosy about the college.) I will never forget seeing our daughter walk back into the dorm, knowing we were leaving, and I remember how funny it was letting our son move into his dorm by himself--no moms allowed. Those days are very long ago now, and both still live far away. Skype has become our lifeline, but the satisfaction of seeing them happy and with their own families and ministries is something we would never deny them. We are happy and so are they! :o) That's the silver lining.

Jen Bauer said...

I do not even want to think about this time in my children's lives!! Although we do live in Australia, and it's quite possible they will find someone to marry here and continue to live here. I can only pray!