Today is my twenty-ninth birthday, and I am sitting here in my new bed in my new home in the Czech Republic. This, my golden birthday, is the first birthday I’ve ever spent away from my family.
I’ve had a long season at home with my family. I love them a ton and miss them every day. They made me a birthday cake and gave me presents before I left. We even had a cookout for dinner. But still, not being with them on the actual day just feels strange, like I’m missing something incredibly important.
In the months before I moved to the Czech Republic, a lot of people specifically asked me what my mom thought about me going on the mission field. Moms and daughters often have a special bond. What did my mother think about me leaving, about me going so far?
A few weeks ago I asked my Mom to write an answer to that question. I’ve been waiting to release her reply, unsure about the right timing. Well, it was good for me to go back and read it today, so I’d like to let you all know what she had to say.
The question comes to me, “How do you feel about Caity going to the Czech Republic?”
I feel like a groan is becoming a song.
Caity and I have shared a long season together – 28 years! Who ever said your child should not be your friend? She has been a friend in every way to me. If I had to count the ways, number one would be that she provokes me. She provoked me when she was little; she provoked me this morning.
My first memory of her provoking me happened when she was coming into her tweenhood. Dan and I were resting on the couch watching TV. Caity came out of her room to get something. We hit pause. She knew that routine, of course – a show just for adults. As she reached her room again, she turned around and asked, “Why should you be watching that if I can’t?”
And this morning – this morning I was able to share with her how God had called me to rewrite this guest blog post. Her words about my first draft had proved prophetic and scriptural.
Boom. Starting again.
Through many years of praying for Caity, I have hoped for this day. She has been raring to go for some time, and yet not – not going. Hard. Waiting is just so, so hard! We don’t see why, we don’t see what God sees.
God saw that she wasn’t going alone.
And now, after 28 years of running the race together, here comes the fork in the road! This is true joy. The loss only brings the joy, the song, to fullness. This is what my purpose is – to cast my children, to shoot my arrows, into the harvest field.
Luke 10:2 And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for my family. They encouraged me on every step of my journey, and they never once tried to hold me back from following God’s plan for my life. Yes, we had tears at parting, but we parted knowing this isn’t the end. We still have our whole lives ahead of us, and eternity after. I feel so blessed to go out into the harvest field with so much support from back home.
I love you Mom, Dad, brother and many sisters. You guys are amazing. Thinking of you today!