Saturday, June 16, 2012

As the Plane Descends

This post was written as our plane was landing in Ghana.  This is the first opportunity I've had to upload it.  Wow!  So, so many emotions. 
I am typing this as we begin our descent on the final leg of our flight into Ghana.  I have so many emotions swirling in my head right now.  Visions of hugging my family and friends have captured my thoughts for most of this 10 hour flight.  Sleep has been scarce, partially because Godwin is scrunched in my lap and partially because I can't turn my mind off.

As I’ve remembered the incredible emotion of our send off at the airport, my heart has recognized the cost of this call on people outside of our family.  My sister, Wendy, shared with me that her son, Camden had tears rolling down his cheeks the night after saying goodbye to Braden.  She said that this is the first time he has experienced sadness in his life.  There is a cost to cousins in our family.

My dear friend, Janet, hugged me tight several times.  Finally she said, “This is the last time I’m doing this.”  Then she hugged me tight.  “Oh, at least one more time.”   Then she hugged me tightly again.  It felt like both of us were holding on for dear life.  Honestly, Janet admitted not wanting to come to the airport.  This hurts too much.  Before we left to head to the plane, I saw her walking downstairs to leave.  I started bawling again knowing as she walked away this would be the image that I’d remember for a long time.  For my precious friend, there is a cost.

My dad only said five words to me our entire last day at my parents’ house, “I’m trying to stay busy.”  And he was.   He chose to focus on tasks that, in his mind, needed to be done.  Focusing on us leaving was too much.  Avoiding was easier.
At the airport, when I hugged him, he sobbed into my shoulder like a child.  “I don’t want you to go.  I focusing selfishly on the things that we will miss.  I don’t want you to go.”  I was sobbing too.  This is so painful.  We are taking our sons onto the other side of the world than their grandparents.  It hurts tremendously.  For my dad, there is a cost.
My mom took individual time with each of us on our last day.  She shared things she wanted to say before we left, and it was a tearful time.  She didn’t share what she told my sons or my husband, but she told me she was proud of me.  She said, through tears, that she sees us having our priorities in the right place even if sometimes she tells me they are not.  She said she loves me.  She loves me.  For my mom there is a great cost. 
Now that we are in Ghana, I keep thinking about my family and friends.  Right now, the only words of assurance I can offer are the truths of God’s promises.  He is with them too.  He will comfort them as only He can.  He will be the all sufficient one.  Our Rock and Redeemer will dry their tears…for only He can. 
My heart aches typing these words because it forces me to see how this affects other people.  I don’t ever wish to cause pain for anyone.  Yet, this decision to GO, does inflict pain.  It hurts.  So much.  On all sides. 
If you are reading this and you know my parents, please love on them extra hard for me.  Give them a needed hug every now and then and tell them you are delivering it from Africa.  If you know my sisters and their children, please do the same.  Hug the boys and Colby Grace extra tight for their Aunt Robin.  When Christopher comes home from Ethiopia, someone must CHEER REALLY, REALLY LOUD at the airport for ME.  That’s usually my role whenever I am super excited and I am super excited about this precious one coming home…but I need someone to fill in for me at the airport.  Tears are coming as I think about missing this incredible homecoming!
If you know any of my friends – Janet, Kristie, Paige, Stephanie, Patti, and others – please love on them right now.  I suppose because I am feeling the great void of not being near them that I think they are feeling the same thing.  Will you give them some encouragement for me from Africa?  The cost affects so many.
Many years ago, there was a song.  Some men at our church sang in a quartet and I still remember the words,
“We will abandon it all – For the sake of the call.”
Too often I’ve sung words to songs without really committing myself to the words coming from  my lips.  Today, I commit.  Today, I’ve done it.  Today, I see the vast cost of abandoning it all for the sake of the call.  Though the cost is great, I must say, “Yes, Lord.”
But it does hurt.  Yet, He gave up everything for me.  Everything.
“Though I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me.”
Psalm 139:9-10

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