Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Mission

Our friend called this morning and asked me," How did you say good-bye to your kids for two years when they went on their missions?" I knew Becca wasn't saying, I don't want my son to go on a mission~just how do I handle it?"

I remember that feeling so well when Chris was called to serve in the Amazon~ in Manaus, Brazil 14 years ago (can that really be possible?) and also when Jen was called to the Edinburgh Scotland Mission. Their missions actually overlapped spreading our immediate family out to three continents. We also felt that same feeling again just last year when Laura, Robert, and the boys left on what I now call, Laura's mission, to Italy for three years. I feel Laura is truly serving her mission being Relief Society President and learning the language and building the kingdom just as any missionary does. Similar feeling occurred when Jen and Lowell moved to Scotland with their first baby on the way and when Chris and Missy moved to China with three precious grandkids in tow. Jim and I are no strangers to the absentee kids scenarios.

Laura, Chris, Jen Together in 2006~
A Rare Moment For Adults Children
Living Apart

When your son or daughter goes on a mission you have to realize that you want them to just don't want them to leave...there is a difference when you think about it. As was pointed out to us in the MTC when Chris left...they are at an age when they are going to leave anyway.

What better way for them to strike out into the world than on a mission Serving the Lord, under the watchful eye of the Mission President, refining their work ethic, and learning to focus, having an opportunity to see into hundreds of homes and lives, learning to live with a companion, and all the while gaining maturity and insight that truly allows them to enter adulthood with a real edge and advantage. They return with a far better understanding of what they want and how to achieve it in the years that lie ahead.

As a parent it gives you the opportunity to sacrifice and consecrate in ways you may never have done before. It is a selfless act to sent a child on a mission, knowing you will miss them, but that they truly are off on a wonderfully enriching experience, that you have always hoped they would choose for themselves. Even better, they will be bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many that will then know and understand how wonderful it can make their lives. As you are supporting your missionary it gives you a special way to say thank you to God for all He has blessed you with throughout the years. Is it betcha. Is it worth it...absolutely!

We have missed all our kids when they have been away...and still do. This is another reason why I love blogging so much. I feel it is the Mom's responsibility and the Dad's too, to be the glue in the family once the kids are up and running in their own lives. You have to look for unique ways to keep your family close when time and distance separate you. A mission is a perfect time to get started on that and to help the siblings stay close. There is little that brings Jim and me more joy that to have all of our little chicks gathered into the nest and together...but when that is not possible you have to do something else. By being creative in your efforts~there is no such thing as an empty nest. We believe families are forever and your job is never ever done once you are a parent and grandparent. What kind of a God would create a world that would be otherwise? Not the One we know and worship!

What will you do or what have you done when this time comes for you? It reminds me of the scripture, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear." When we follow God's plan for us we can just go forward in faith~knowing the choices we make are the right ones!"

Happy Mission~Brandon! To your family all I can say is, "Hold on to your hats...the blessings will be showering down upon your heads very soon!"


Miss Jen said...

What will I do? Probably cry and then blog or blog and then cry!