When you make choices as a young adult, you don’t often consider how they affect your parents. Remember parents? They’re the ones who birthed you, raised you, taught you and prayed over you. They’re also the ones who gave you the keys to the car for that first solo drive and helped you pack and move into that new apartment.
For missionaries, parents are the ones who quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) sighed as you told them you were moving across the ocean or leaving a great-paying job to surrender to God’s call to service. They’re also the ones who gave up close-contact with their grandchildren, so you could serve God.
Parents deserve medals.
I’m sorry I never gave mine one or even thought about it. Oh, what they went through with me.
- I went to West Africa after college for two years. They came to visit me there, and it was hot!!
- I came back from Africa only to let them know I wanted to return overseas as a career missionary, so now I was moving several states away to go to seminary.
- While in seminary, I met the man of my dreams — who also wanted to serve overseas — and we got married after a seven-week engagement. He was an Egyptian-American.
- We left for the Middle East after one year of marriage.
- I gave birth to my two sons overseas. Neither time were my parents around for their births.
- My parents came to visit us in Syria, and we took them to Egypt. Fun trip.
- My dad lost his wife, my mother, while I was overseas. I could not make it back for her funeral.
- I was separated from my parents for over twenty-five years.
This doesn’t even include all the newsletters they mailed or emailed on my behalf (pre- and early internet), and the life details they handled for us. A simple medal would not have done it, really. Their love and endurance was priceless.
I see that now. Why? Because my youngest son is doing it to me!
He’s getting married to the girl of his dreams, and they are heading off to seminary with life overseas in mind.
How’s it feel being on the mother side of this picture? Joyfully painful. I so understand what my parents went through now, though with even more insight, because I’ve lived through what my children have ahead of them.
Why am I sharing this with you on this Mission Monday? Just as a little reminder for you to love on your parents when you have a chance. Whether it’s on Facetime, in an email or letter, tell them you love them and appreciate their sacrifice on your behalf. Make sure they hear from your children and you as often as possible, and send them little goodies from time to time.
We’re all serving together. Their sacrifice makes your sacrifice possible, and it’s all to God’s glory.
I sure hope my son and future daughter-in-law read this! I’ll be needing some love soon enough. 🙂
Grace and Peace