Letting Go

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As young parents, we dedicated our children to the Lord, not knowing where life would take us and how we’d have to let them go.

One of our two daughters marched to a different beat from the start. Whatever phase she was in, she was passionate to know all about it. In high school she became fascinated with ancient Egypt and Queen Nefertiti. After graduating from Spring Vale Academy and attending one year of college, she informed us she was planning to teach math in Egypt as a student missionary.

Thinking of our girl in the Middle East struck fear in our hearts, especially after 9/11. The months before she left were some of the scariest for me as her mother. Her travels would be beyond my control, her problems beyond my rescue. And I didn’t even know how we’d communicate.

My husband and I took our daughter to the airport. They let us go through security and sit with her a couple hours before she left — a young girl heading out into the wide, unknown world alone, not knowing anyone on the other end. We prayed much for her and her safety, to let her go and not be afraid.

But I could not find peace. Watching her plane rise and disappear into the sky, I told the Lord, “She’s in Your hands. There’s nothing I can do to protect her now.” Finally, a peace came from God. This was what He wanted all along: for me to just give her to Him.

Since then, she and her sister have traveled the world as students and missionaries abroad, conference attendees, or archaeologists in Jordan and Turkey. There have been a few frightening times when they couldn’t contact us to let us know they were OK. But it’s clear to me now that they have been so blessed by expanding their worldview past American borders. Their doors are open in all directions for whatever God allows into their lives.

Despite my fears, I worked up courage to travel to the Middle East last year with my daughter and son-in-law. Our trip to Jordan was indescribable. I finally understood why our daughter was so much at home there.

Our younger daughter began her masters degree in Global Health last fall. She already had a great job but wanted to serve the Lord by helping people. She is now in the Philippines and will live in sub-Saharan Africa part of 2015-16. Here we go again, Lord. Africa sounds so scary. Do You really want her there?

My heart faltered at the thought of war, malaria, and Ebola, and every part of me wanted to say, “No!” Then we heard more from her about what she’s learned, watched videos from global health conferences, and began to understand her desire. Did I learn anything the first time around? I did. She’s Yours, Lord, in Your control. There’s nothing I can do to protect her now.

The peace of God keeps filling me as we pray daily, asking the Lord to cover our children with His protecting hand. Today’s communication tools keep us in touch even when they are far away. While I’d still love to have my children in the same country with us, I know Who’s in control. My God never slumbers or sleeps.BA

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