As I head to Kenya this week, I asked my mom to write a post about how she not only endures but encourages me while I travel to far-off, sometimes dangerous countries. She let me go at age 16 to live in France for 7 weeks. Three years later she bade me goodbye as I boarded a ship that traveled around the world for three months. At 21, she accompanied me to the airport and we cried in each other’s arms before I left for the Peace Corps. Last year she once again let me go into an uncertain future. These are her thoughts:
I sit on a balcony with the stagnant air of July, oppressive, heavy, suddenly stirred by a passing breeze. I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit urging me on, even as the incessant blasting of a car horn blasts in the background. Write what you know to be true. How do you cope with the anxiety and stress associated with the many adventures of a child who has been chosen? She has stepped out in obedience to The Lord and has suffered may trails along the way. I can not step into her sandals and trade her calloused and blistered feet for mine. Nor would I chose to do so. Would I clip the wings of a butterfly to prevent it from flying into danger? She has chosen a path, a good path, the path narrow and less traveled.
As I ponder this question, I’m transported back to an earlier time. The father was knitting a child together in my womb. He knew her name, he knew the plans he had for her and they were good (Jeremiah 29). We had experienced a lost pregnancy, two years prior to this one. I prayed that this child would see the light of day, but much more than that was in the Lord’s thoughts. She and I developed a special bond, forged during the early years of her life. While her Daddy endured many back to back deployments in the military service, it was just she and I in the earthly sense. Expecting the worst when Daddy was thrown into a war, praying for the best. Depending on the Heavenly Father, clutching his hand while I held my little girl’s, praying for guidance and strength.
Together we talked, we walked, we visited the mall on Tuesdays and developed a taste for Indian cuisine. We read out loud daily and we prayed. We shared our time, our thoughts our lives. I shared my beliefs and tried to impress on this developing little person that we must rely on God, no matter what. Proverbs 22:6 says – Train a child up in the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Indeed through those years The Lord challenged and tested and Satan tempted in ways that gave me plenty of opportunity to live the Word, not just teach it.
I never really questioned why this or that happened to me, or us or others. I truly believe The Lord when he points out in (Isaiah 55:8), “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” His ways are better no matter how they appear to me.
I still clutch the hand of Jesus, but at some point, I don’t know when, Jessica released mine and reached for the hand that saves. She claimed her rightful place as a child of God, and I released her into hands of eternal safety.
So how do I handle it when my child, who has chosen the right way, steps into an uncertain earthly future? The answer is plain and simple, I don’t. I have put on the Lord’s yoke and he has given me peace and rest, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light, (Matthew 11:30), and I “pray unceasingly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).