Practicing for Africa

This morning, I dropped off my second-born at the airport. It is exciting as she goes to visit her father’s and my alma mater, Liberty University, for the weekend. Taking Christianna to the airport is nothing new. I have taken her twice before, the first time for her month-long Christmas mission trip to Uganda, the second time for her Compassion International trip to Kenya. This experience, of letting go, is nothing new.

And yet, this time feels different. Tbis time feels like a practice run for something that, as she informed me on the way to the airport this morning, is 103 days away. This time I am practicing a letting go, not for a week or a month, but for multiple months.

Come January, my girl with a heart as big as Africa will be going to Africa for a long, long time. She will miss family birthdays, holidays, vacations and her sister’s college graduation, and we will miss her.

This week Christianna goes to Liberty for a scholarship competition, presenting an essay she wrote about how she shares the gospel in her life. Her essay is amazing; she is an incredible communicator. Whether or not she wins the competition, her words convey the truth of her life: she is called by God to take His message to the nations.

And then there’s me – practicing part of my calling, and that is letting her go to the nations.

I know other moms are practicing for and living out this same calling. The calling of letting our gifts from God become gifts to the world.

We want our children to live for Jesus, but living for Jesus costs something. It can cost a lot, actually, especially for missionaries and their families. Fear can grip a mother’s soul; worry can plague her heart; sadness can cloud her days.

This week, though, I’m practicing. I’m practicing prayer instead of fear, praise instead of worry, and joy instead of sadness.

I’m the momma of a missionary. Though I’m not on the plane, I’m on the team. And, by God’s grace, I will live my calling as courageously as my missionary does. (Any other mommas of missionaries out there want to say amen?)

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