I’ve felt like JoJo these last few days: a toddler who rebels and throws a tantrum at the slightest resistance. I must admit my sin nature has risen up more than once in my inner conversations with God. I’ve raised my voice, rolled my eyes, and slammed doors…all without saying a word. I’ve crossed my arms in defiance while turning my back as if to say, “I’m done listening.” And while I appreciate those who’ve gone before us offering words of wisdom such as, “It’ll get easier.”…the fact remains, IT HURTS right now. If West Africa wasn’t so hot, I’d lie in bed all day with my head under my pillow allowing myself to sulk as if I, myself, somehow could mend my broken heart.
But I can’t. And honestly, I don’t want to. I want to live in this tension of missing my first born and praising God for this amazing opportunity HE allowed. Of wishing he was in the car with us as we travel and feeling that sting of incompleteness while at the same time imagining him surrounded by his buddies in the cafeteria. Of watching the village kids playing soccer and wondering if Micah would’ve dribbled that kid while at the same time inwardly cheering him on as he plays for RVA! (Assuming he makes the team of course ) Of praying with the boys at night and saying “Goodnight, Micah” to myself and secretly hoping he hears me in his head 5,000 miles away before it hits the pillow.
I have a feeling this bittersweet tension is going to become our new way of life. If God allows us to stay in our ministry in Burkina Faso, Elijah and JJ are gonna want to follow in big brother’s footsteps. It was actually hard to pull them away from the school during this past orientation weekend! The school staff and teachers were so genuinely committed to loving on the students and helping them reach their potential in all areas. I just walked around, out of breath, up and down those Rift Valley hills, with tissues in my pockets because I cried a river every time a sincere or caring word was spoken over my son. The fact that this school has 112 years of trial and error under its belt is a comfort to this Momma’s son-sick heart.
In the midst of all these confirmations, doubt subtly tries to raise its ugly head and cause us to second-guess our decision to send Micah to an MK boarding school on the other side of the continent. Voices of previous “I-could-never-send-my-kid-away”s or “He’s-so-young”s linger a little longer than they should over morning coffee. I could easily go down a road that leads to guilt and dead ends into depression. Or I could veer off Guilt Road and end up on Resentment Street thinking thoughts like, “If we weren’t in this type of ministry, boarding school wouldn’t even be an option. If it weren’t an option, Micah wouldn’t have wanted to go and he’d be home with us!”
And that’s when my brain comes to a screeching halt at the stop light of God’s voice. Over the past few days He’s gently pushed me into a different lane of thinking. He’s opening my eyes to see that the path He’s laid out for Micah requires sacrifice on our part. We’re not “sending” Micah. We’re letting go and allowing God to begin opening doors for our son’s future. Our sacrifice now is giving Micah this amazing privilege to attend a wonderful school that will help shape and mold him into the man God wants him to become. Just as it’s a privilege to serve God in Burkina Faso, it’s a privilege for our son to attend RVA in Kenya. I’ll admit it. I wanted to find fault with the school, in the staff, in the cafeteria (which was delicious btw–Can I
eat study there??). But my efforts to return home with my son were in vain. (Insert temper tantrum) He’s right where he should be. But, but, but… how will we pay for next year? For the next boys? Tisk, tisk, tisk. My Father gently reminds me that HIS grace is sufficient for TODAY.
BE THE BIRD. LET TOMORROW TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.
So…that’s a look into the fragile brain of a Mom who is trusting God to take care of her son at boarding school…and so much more. I have my “I don’t want to!” tantrums from time to time but at the end of the day, Jesus is my sanity and He’s teaching me to be a bird.