30 January 2008

God Is The Strength Of My Heart

We are headed to the IMB (International Mission Board) Candidate Conference in March. We are excited about many aspects of this week. Among interviews, medical examinations and a number of classes to attend, we will get to meet a host of people at the IMB. We will also have the opportunity to learn more about our people group in Caxias do Sul, more about the language school in Brazil and the school the children will be attending while we are in language school.

We received the official invitation on Monday (28th) and faxed our information back so that all the arrangements for travel and accommodation can be made.

And now I come to the part about my weakness. In my mind I have been preparing myself for being absent from my four children for 5 days. Five days in which they would have a wonderful time with my dear inlaws who are coming to stay with them. However, five days, for reasons of necessary traveling arrangements, have turned into seven. I'm not sure what dynamic exists here . . . I mean we're only talking
two more days. This is not a large number. But upon discovery of this fact came tears, and then more tears, and then some more.

In the midst of my emotional unrest I said to Robert, "I don't have the strength to do this." And then it occurred to me. Ahhh! isn't this just the place God likes us to be . . . a place of relying on His strength rather than ours. I have dear friend who was just here - - in a place of no strength of her own and relying completely on God. And God gathered her under His wings of refuge and completely provided for her in a way that only she can describe.

In comparison to the giant she just faced, my dilemma seems pathetic. I know that so many have much more to deal with than 7 days away from their children. But this remains very hard for me.

So I turn to God's Word. A little time in God's word brings an eternal perspective. And once again I remember that these are not my kids. These are God's kids. He's blessed me beyond any words that I understand or know by allowing me to be a steward of them as their mom. Sure I'm going to miss them like crazy. There is no part of me that desires for us to be apart. But then there's God. I'm His possession, and they are His as well. And if that doesn't comfort the soul, I don't know what would.

Does it make it easy? no, it does not. But it does strengthen and it does stretch . . . and maybe that's just what God is intending.


selahV said...

Dearest Kerri, I was thinking about you as I drove across town to retrieve my glasses which I'd left in the office of an appointment I had today. I was praying for God to bless you and thinking about your blog and what wonderful pieces I read this morning when I grazed here.

I decided to come back and pick up on various pieces to put in my review and lo, and behold, you are hurting. My heart so wants to wrap itself around you hon. I do wish those little darlings lived near us. I'd spoil them rotten. As I am sure their grandparents are going to do.

May I suggest a couple of things. Make a video of you reading a story to them. Read and then show them the pictures. Show them a calendar in the video and let them take turns marking the days off till your return. Say a bedtime prayer with them to be played at bedtime, and then you will have left yourself behind. Stuff some socks with rice and have your in-laws put them in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes to heat them up. Have them give out the socks for warm hugs from mommy and daddy to hold on their hearts as tangible comfort. Cover their pillows with some of daddy's old teeshirts and spray a bit of his cologne on them.

When we must be away from our children, it is we who usually suffer the most. We wonder what they are thinking with us being gone. We want them to have comfort reminders. We want to ensure that they know we are thinking of them. Leave little teeny love-notes for every day reading.

Then go and enjoy this glorious time the Lord is blessing you with. And when you feel twinges of child withdrawal, dwell on the pieces of your heart you left behind for them. I love you. Your hurt is in my heart and I'm gonna keep it here with me so you won't have to be bothered with it. And don't worry about it being too much for me to bear. I am gonna have help carrying it around as I continually lift you up in prayer each day. Bless you hon. selahV

P.S. Your pain and weakness is no less difficult for you than mine was for me. My giant is another's dwarf.

Vicky said...

Dear Kerri,
Thanks so much for this post today. It seems that we are walking as sisters on this road where our own strength would never be enough to get us through the journey that we are traveling. This morning in my time with the FATHER I spent much time focusing on Psalm 121...The Israelites were on a journey to worship and as they looked up and saw the moutnainous range ahead of them they could only look to the LORD, their maker to get them through.
I remind you and I remind myself this morning...THE LORD IS OUR PROTECTOR...HE will not allow the sun to strike us by day or the moon by night. Beth Moore explained that verse this way...HE won't let the things that CAN hurt us destroy us and HE won't let the things that we SUPPOSE would hurt us destroy us. Ours is a GREAT and AWESOME FATHER and HE so loves us.
I've never met you, but my heart loves you because of the JESUS in you and in me.

Have a sweet day with our LORD-