My heart is breaking over Samuel's grief because he hates to leave the U.S.. He doesn't seem to remember much good about living in Brazil, is sad about leaving his friends and church here, and is scared he won't make good friends in Brazil. Please pray for his heart. This is one of the hardest parts of being a missionary.
Michaela told me the other day that she's excited but also scared. That's how I feel. I feel like I've been mourning a loss, a loss of independence, a loss of conveniences and having some time to myself. More on this later...
When praying about becoming missionaries, the 'leaving' was the hardest part for me to overcome. How could I put my kids through the pain? As a kid, every time we would go home on furlough, I'd have to say good-bye to all my friends. Then I'd come back to the U.S., have to face making new friends at a new school, but then have to leave them soon after.
As a kid, I remember thinking that I didn't want to do it anymore, but then the Lord whispered truth into my heart. He said, "Love is worth it." It might be painful, it might require sacrifice, it might be scary. But it's worth it.
So everywhere I went, I threw myself into making friends, in getting involved, in loving people and enjoying the experiences God gave me.
So tonight as Sammy cried and we held him, we tried to remind him that Jesus loves him and chose him for this life. We tried to remind him that it won't be the same when we go back; he's grown and will be making new friends. We tried to remind him that God wants us in Brazil and He proved it by providing almost all of our support, so He'll help us to be able to live there in joy.
But some truths take awhile to grow deep roots into our hearts. So long, that I don't think these truths have grown into my heart until this last year. I would hold all the grief in for a long time and then watch a movie that would make me cry, then I wouldn't be able to stop. I would mourn my life of separation and good-byes. Of all the loss.
When Todd and I got married, after a few weeks, something really important hit me. I would be with this man for a long time. Wherever the Lord led me, it would be with him. I was finally home and it was stable. For many years, I've longed for stability.
And this year, I finally figured it out. God has allowed this life of separation and through it the hope of heaven, the joy of heaven's reality, has become incredibly important to me! I am so grateful that in heaven all those I love will be together. There will be no more good-byes, tears, separation in heaven. I praise God for that. And every time I start getting that overwhelming feeling of sadness, God reminds me that Jesus knows how I feel.
He left his Father and left His home. He suffered. He was in incredible pain. Just read about the Garden of Gethsemane. And Jesus' cry, "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me." Jesus knows exactly what I'm going through. He knows Michaela's fear and Sammy's pain. He loves them even more than we do. Jesus is our high priest who understands everything we're going through. And you know what, Jesus says, "Love is worth it!" Through His sacrifice, we have the hope of heaven, eternal togetherness with God and fellowship with believers. How awesome and amazing is that!
It motivates me in evangelism and our work in Brazil. But even more than that, it motivates me as I minister to my children. The pain we have here on earth, the Lord knows. And if we learn to be eternally minded, and we truly believe in heaven, it gives us comfort and hope.
But this momma's heart is hurting for my little ones who are needing to learn this truth. Please pray for all our hearts as we say good-bye and face the unknown.