Ah, but then there's college. Near or far - sending them off to college has to be one of the biggest, hardest, "cutting the apron strings" events. That is, until the wedding day takes place. Wouldn't you think that once the wedding occurs and they've got a home of their own, that would be that and a parent would become accustomed to not having their adult child near-by? Perhaps...until they decide to take off to the other side of the world for a couple of years, then you get hit all over again...a bit like that first day of school times 1000.
|Aug. 2012 - Sending Lydia off |
to England until December
I think I can say it all began in 2001. Granted, Nate did a few mission trips before that - but in January of '01 all of us went to India for three months. That was the beginning of our children developing globe-trotting habits and a heart like their father's (and Father's.)
Before I knew it, before that year was even over, Nate and two of the girls headed off to Guatemala. The next year, two of the girls headed to Ecuador - only 13 and 15 years old and their first mission trip without mom or dad along for the ride. The year after that - I think two of them went to Mexico. It all gets a bit blurry after that point...a total of three different trips to Mexico and Guatemala, and a few more India trips interspersed amongst trips to places like Rwanda and Nicaragua.
That was just the mission trips. A couple of years ago, the "semesters abroad" began...first India, and now two different ones in England - including some travel to Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Ireland and Scotland. Soon - the "Journeyman" trips begin - two year commitments to serve overseas.
Thus, in the midst of my heavy heart and melancholy, I have to remind myself that God is a very big God. No matter how big the world is and how far away my child is - it is HIS world and that child is HIS child. I'm just the minuscule tool that had the wonderful, brief opportunity to mold and shape that life. Thus, I need to allow God to lift my spirits with faith in the fact that He's now using my children as the tools that shape the lives of others.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." --Hebrews 11:1,6
“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you." --Jeremiah 32:17