Another serious post, I don’t want you to think we are spiraling downward, we are doing okay, really, we are doing much better than that, so I don’t write this post to shed gloom but in an effort for transparent communication and to encourage us all.
The network is present of women, some I barely know. We’ve found each other’s blogs, met at trainings, are acquaintances through mutual friends or we’ve bumped into each other at a garage sale. Though we may not know each other well, our hearts are deeply connected as we all have something in common. We have moved our families, far from what’s familiar. We embrace the new culture, loving what it brings and taking joy in watching our kids experience these moments, knowing that their life is forever enriched, ours are too. But we also understand holding our children as they soak our shirts with tears and our wet faces show that we hurt so deeply alongside them. We don’t sit around and cry all day and neither do our kids, our lives offer so much blessing. I have thoughts of turning this blog into only our shining moments, when the sun rays pierce through and the clouds disappear and our hearts could burst in contentment. However, I want to share the hard, as I truly believe, so many of you are standing bravely in the gap for us, for each family overseas. Be encouraged that your prayers are vital and felt.
After a recent e-mailed conversation with a mother who is weathering her first year too, I dug out this article again. I first posted it on my blog in January of 2012. I was in such a different spot then but already felt a messy paradox of grief and joy for what the future may hold.
This is Little J this morning.
I don’t normally hold her while I make breakfast (and normally Jon is our breakfast maker :)) but she said a tough goodbye last night to a friend and spent the first part of her day needing a shoulder to lean on.
Our team leaders leave the USA this week. It’s the first time they are leaving all four kids in jobs and colleges, an ocean away from where Mark and Debbie call home.
Can you pray for Mark, Debbie, Caleb, Jonathan, Anna and Daniel?
I found this article in HeartCry magazine from one missionary mama to another. This time, reading through it, my sister is pregnant. It will be the first niece/nephew to be born with us far away and the article hit a new spot in my heart.
I recently began to feel the acute pangs of missing home. I think it began with my sister going into labor and me being so far away in a tiny village when I received the news. I felt so far away and sensed a growing sadness in not experiencing that moment with my family. I was bombarded by a growing array of thoughts about having missed so many other joyous family moments. I looked at my little daughter who is a constant joy in my life, and I ached with the desire for her grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles to experience her life as I do daily. But they won’t and when they see her again, this stage will be gone. These sad thoughts grew, linked themselves to others, and spiraled downward to a place where my sacrifice no longer seemed worthy it. My head knew why it was worth it, but my heart refused compliance. I began to think: If I could only have some assurance as to when we should be finished with the work, then I could set my eyes upon the light at the end of the tunnel. However, this caused my heart to leap at the thought of returning home to family rather than at the precious reality that a new people group is now offering a new praise unto our Father.
Today, while reading “Candles in the Dark” by Amy Carmichael, I came across an excerpt of a letter to a dear friend in which she quoted Deuteronomy 18:2:
“The Lord is their inheritance as He hath said unto them.” Amy then followed by writing the following: “I thought then as I think now of the lovely inheritance you might have had. But He is your Inheritance instead of that lovely earthly joy. Throughout all eternity that word will be opening up its treasures.”
At that point I could not remember exactly what the context was for this verse, so I looked up Deuteronomy 18:12. God, in giving instruction to the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land, lays down what should be the inheritance rights for the Levites, those God-chosen servants who were to devote their lives to worshipful service in the temple. My heart sank as I read: “The priests, who are Levites-indeed the whole tribe of Levi-are to have no allotment of inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as He promised them.”
Tears burned my eyes as the Lord spoke these words directly and deeply to my heart. I thought of the other eleven tribes who received-as their right-a share in the goodness of the land. I then thought of my family, in their homes, enjoying the blessings, those “lovely, earthly joys” God had frequently given them. And I heard in my heart, But that is not to be your place. Your inheritance is different.” As I was soaking this in, tears again burned my eyes, and I whispered back to Him, “This is a hard word.” My desires to have my daughter grow up around her grandparents and family and an eventual life of pleasant familiarity in America crumbled around me. Then, I again heard God whisper, “This is not your inheritance. Your inheritance is Me.” How true this is for my life. I even live on the offerings made to the Lord by my brothers and sisters who have received a very different inheritance. As I closed my Bible my eyes again went to Amy Carmichael’s letter: “You will never regret your choice. It is wonderful to be free to pour out all, every drop of one’s life; and that is what you have done and are doing. No, you will never regret it; never.”
There, in my mind’s eye, I knelt beside the road of my spiritual journey, dug a small hole and buried, hopefully deep enough, my desires for a different inheritance. He is enough! My heart still feels weighted with mourning the death of a desire. However, my heart is secure in knowing that He is enough. I must, in faith, cling to this promise. He is my inheritance, my eternal inheritance, just as He promised.
Bless you all.