On Mission

leaving them behind…

I don’t really like the title… but I can’t seem to get that phrase out of my head. Because that is what I did… and I did it on purpose and because God had called my hubby and I to do just that…

Last May, we had an incredible opportunity to head to the Middle East to share and encourage refugees. We obviously couldn’t take our oldest child with us who was just two years old at the time for various reasons. I was twenty weeks pregnant with our youngest, so I like to laugh and say that she’s already been overseas. After weeks of going back and forth, asking God what He wanted us to do, We made the really difficult decision to leave Ivey behind with our family and GO! But yet – it really wasn’t all that difficult of a decision and we really didn’t leave her behind… Ivey went with us as we prepared, as we were gone, and now as we have been back for at least a year.

As we prepared, we shared with Ivey about what we would be doing (in words that she would understand such as telling our friends around the world about Jesus, encouraging people who are really sad, etc.). We didn’t shy away or hide it from her. We also prepared her by preparing fun things for her while we were gone. We made a paper chain for her to take a day off each  night – helping her see when we would be back. We bought little presents like a book about loving her and her favorite Disney princess coloring book and stickers. We asked her grandparents to give her those items on certain days.

As we were gone, we made sure to call back and check in as we were able. Sadly, Ivey got pretty sick with a stomach bug so during one of our facetime chats, she literally vomited right in front of us… It left me with such a feeling of helplessness and distance I will never forget as a mama. But it also taught me more than I could have ever imagined! I was reminded in the distance and helplessness that we gave Ivey back to God a long time ago and HE takes care of her far better than I ever could! I had to be reminded that His promise applies across the miles…

As we have returned, we continue to remember our time in the Middle East – not daily and maybe not even weekly at this point – but she still remembers and talks about how “mommy and daddy went to share with others about Jesus.” We brought her home a few little goodies from our time there and we continue to pray for those that we met while visiting these sweet people.

Was it hard to leave Ivey for two weeks ?  More than these words can express…

Was it worth it?  More than you will ever know…

Our child saw us obeying Christ’ commands to GO. She saw that we had no fear in obedience. We pray that she realizes that although we love her to the moon and back, we love Christ more. We pray that she one day realizes and remembers that Christ’ mission is much bigger than her and us and our family…

You may have the opportunity to go – and while I’m a HUGE fan of just bringing the littles ones along with us, sometimes it’s just not possible and God calls us to obedience anyway.  Will you GO? Will you OBEY? Sometimes God calls us to obedience as a model for our children and when they see us doing what He’s commanded, they will want to obey Him one day too…

Iveywelcomehome
The sweetest moment was seeing this beautiful sweet face when we returned home…

 

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