My Long Journey To Goodbye, Part 3

A Look Inside the Journal of a Mother of a Missionary

This 3 part guest series is written by our friend Lori Strickland and it shares her experience watching her son’s journey to the mission field. We hope you gain insight on what it’s like for a parent who’s child is called to GO.

In Retrospect…Selfishness and Grief…

Doesn’t everyone feel this way from time to time? We want what we want. We know it’s not right, and we may even wish to feel differently, but we don’t. We just simply want what we want.

Looking back on this time in my life, I think I was starting to experience the beginnings of grief. Grief can do strange things. It can fog your thinking, and it can trick you into thinking irrational thoughts. My mind was in a whirlwind most of the time. I would go back and forth in my thinking until I was so confused. I didn’t know what to think about the situation anymore. I was starting to admit that this was going to happen whether I liked it or not, and I was mad. I was mad at God for doing this to me. At the same time, being the good mom that I was (and of course the good Christian too) I felt forced to put on a mask…a mask of happiness and support. I didn’t want my son to feel guilty that I was feeling this way. I didn’t want to add to his burden. I didn’t want to be seen as non-supportive in the eyes of other Christians. I mean, good grief! My son was a good guy, trying his best to do what God wanted for him and his family. How could I not be thrilled? How could I not be ecstatic that I had raised a man like this? I was sure this was what others were thinking, and so I couldn’t be honest. I couldn’t voice my doubt, my selfishness, my anger. At least that’s what I told myself…that’s what the grief told me.

Since then, I have learned…

In Psalm 56:8, David says this, “You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” David penned those words after he had been captured by an enemy. Looking back, he knew that God had known every movement he made during a night of tossing and turning in fear. He realized that God had not only seen him crying, but He had kept track of every tear he had shed in his grief. He knew that God cared enough to keep a record of and remember the details of his anguish. The God of David is my God too. He sees me when I am selfishly acting out. He knows when I am grieving and scared, and He makes a note in his book. He knows. He understands. He is ready and waiting for me to pour my heart out to Him.

How could I not trust the plan of a God like that? How could I not willingly hand over my life, my will, my desires and even my son to Him? How could I not say goodbye with peace and joy? Life is a journey, for sure. Learning to trust Him is a journey. Learning that He is worth it all…that is the ultimate journey, and so worth it.

So now, I am finally willing to say…goodbye.

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