Sunday, February 18, 2007

Go Ye into the World....

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15
When I was 16, I was called to missions. I spent the summer of my 17th year in Europe with Teen Missions doing evangelical work and almost spent my 18th with The Continentals doing the same thing. At 19, I felt led to go to Australia with YWAM, but I was not allowed the opportunity because it was "too far away". I sit back at times, and wonder what things would have been like had I been allowed to go.
Kati is my oldest. My first. My only daughter. She is DLP- daddy's little princess. She is most like me.
I have not always given her what she needs in terms of being mothered. I worked outside the home until she was just out of 6th grade, so dad took care of her and her brother during the day times. The last two years have brought about a stronger bond between the two of us that I cherish.
I tend to not smother her, suffocate. I refuse to "be one of the girls" with she and her friends and they appreciate that. It didn't work well for me growing up, so I'm trying not to pass it on. I let her have opinions, ideas and try to support her in what she wants. In doing this, I remember- as does she- that I am her mother, and not her friend. Someday, when she is older, if things work out right, we will have the chance to be friends rather than mother and daighter. There is a time; there is a balance.
This means there is conflict between us at times, but afterwards, there is discussion and unity. It's been hard since she got "hormonal", teenager-y, woman-ly. But, she has this place in my heart that beats so loudly in my ears. She is a mini-me. Headstrong, loving, confrontational, impatient, tender, caring, compassionate, nurturing, funny, witty. smart and lovable to her bones.
Other than wanting to be a vet through the age of 7, she has had her heart set- passionately- on traveling the world. That world. The big scary one, full of war, conflict, terror - and as she puts it- lost souls. What started as a passion for art, writing and travel (that girl can write, let em tell you) has developed over the last year into a desire for the mission field. In Africa. A-f-r-i-c-a.
It takes my breath away.
She will be going on her first missions trip this summer, locally to Mexico, hopefully with our new church. Then, next summer- God willing- the plan is more, well, far away. Maybe Peru, or India, or Panama, or .... with Global Expeditions. Although she just turned 14 and is chomping at the bit to go this summer, we have a few things on the plate. Transplant and all. Selfishly, I told her I want her here to be with me through surgery, should it come this summer. She gets it. So, we look to next year.
Her current studies include the current Physician's Desk Reference and Civilian Under Fire: Humanitarian Practices in the Congo Republic. Heady stuff for a 14 year old, but she laps it up. Her one grandfather was a doctor. The other, a missionary every day he woke up and took breath to anyone that he came in contact with. I think she is the best of both of them.
I know that I have two options here:
1) Hold her so tight, that she resents it and rebels. Potentially walks away from the things that God is laying on her heart. Her destiny.
2) Loosen the strings ever so lightly, pray like crazy, so she can grow, learn, mature, decide, buy-in, get with God's program for her life.
No matter what she decides, I'm behind her. I will not stand in her way because I'm uncomfortable. Because I don't want what I want. I want what God has for her, what she wants. There is no I in her destiny.
She is mine, because God gave her to me. I am here to help her grow, to help her hear God's voice and support her in those things that she decides to do with what God has given her.
Even if it means holding back tears while driving her to the airport on some not-so-distant day, watching her take her passport and ticket, maybe her husband and my grandkids, and go off to her mission field. In Africa.
They don't know the blessing they have on the way now. Do they?


Blogger Pass The Torch said...

Wow. What a gorgeous post. It sounds to me like you're doing so many things right. I can only hope I'll have the same strength as you, when my daughter thinks she's ready to go out into the world.

I wish her all the best. I'm sure the experience will be unbelieveable.

Thank you so much for your supportive feedback in my comments. It means so much to me...

7:21 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

Gee, I told my kids that they may move into another house when they grow up, but only if it is right next door to mine!!!

Please, Sweet Jesus return before I have to give them up! Actually, before they become teenagers works well for me!!

Another beautiful post Kelli. By the way, how is it going with the decision not to switch to the other dialysis thingy? Is everything still okay?

We're praying down here in Texas!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I am just so impressed that she wants to go. God has obviously laid it on her heart and who are we to stand in the way - however difficult. What a wonder to have a teen w/ that passion. She will be forever changed and she will forever change some part of the world.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Qtpies7 said...

We were very fortunate that our oldest children's first out of the country mission trip my husband was able to go with them. I felt much more comfortable that way! My oldest 3 were born in Germany. We lost the children's passports and birthcertificates and birth abroad certs in either moves or a flood. But anyways, the US Government LOST record of her passport and stuff! So we didn't know what we'd do, because she would never be able to get a passport or driver's license or anything if we didn't get that stuff settled! My dd prayed and told me she knew God would work it out and that she would be going on that trip, after all, God had supplied the money for the ticket for her to go. So, I kept trying. I sent a COPY of military moving papers stating she was my husband's daughter with much prayer over it, and then sent the new passport!
What a testimony she has, and what a GREAT and AWESOME God we have! It was actually amazing, because she felt that she didn't have a testimony because she grew up in a Christian home and hadn't been "saved" from anything drastic, like drugs, so this was good for her in many ways.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Su Bee said...

I just stumbled on your blog for the first time, and I've been reading for an hour. You are amazing. I have worked in dialysis, (hemo and PD) for 12 years and can tell you - folks with an attitude like yours are few and far between. Keep the good faith and stay your course and know there's so much for you out there. Thank you for your candor and for sharing your expirences, it's more valuable than you can know.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Theresa said...

As much as we want to hold our children close and keep them safe from all harm, trust me, the rewards of letting them go and watching their beautiful wings unfurl is priceless! Even when you are pretty sure they've made a wrong decision, watching them learn to soar on the great wind of God's grace and mercy is a treasure you can't get any other way. Letting go is hard, but holding them tight tells God that you really don't trust Him to take care of the children that He loaned to you.

4:07 AM  
Blogger Terri @ In His Hands said...

What an inspiration you are! I hope to have a 10th of your courage!

5:11 AM  
Blogger Distybug said...

What a beautiful is hard to let go and see if they've been listening to what you said all those years. God bless you and your daughter and my God protect you both.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

I'd say you found the balance. For her to know, at 14, what her calling is, well that's just amazing. Of course you're torn, Kelli, but my word, you must be so proud of her.

Think of all the exotic places you'll get to visit! I would love to go to Africa.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Wow. What an awesome daughter you have. How hard it would be for me to truly trust God and let my own go off to the other side of the world without me.
Great post of faith and love.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Sheesh. I can hardly stand the thought of Caiden going to kindergarten. I'm never going to make it! :)

My sister-in-law and her husband work with YWAM in Australia and LOVE IT. She has a blog (See my sidebar; I can never remember the link!) all about it, if your daughter wants to check it out. They're not in Africa, but they've been all over the world, so their pictures and musings might interest her!

It always helps me to remember (especially with Miss A.) that He loves my kids even more than I do. I'm going to remember that when I have to walk Caiden to kindergarten this fall.

Beautiful post, Kelli :)

(p.s. Yes, Chris rocks. I tell him so daily.)

8:09 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Wow. We had a guest speaker at our church Sunday - a pastor from Tanzania. I could have listened to him preach all day. Such passion!

How awesome that Kati knows her calling, at her age. God bless her and her precious mama.

10:08 PM  
Blogger martha said...

our oldest daughter is a missionary in kiev, ukraine. she is in her 5th yr. there. i wasn't surprised to have a child go to the mission field, but it was especially difficult to watch her go alone! (she is our only single daughter.)that's when is had to remind my brain of true biblical theology. my child is safest NOT b/c she is close to where I can watch her or even a spouse can watch her. she is safest when she is where God wants her to be. her days were numbered b/f she was born. we say we believe it, but when the rubber meets the road, we often forget or at least don't want to think about that. i guess the bottom line question we have to settle is: can i truly trust God to do what is best with my child wherever in the world they are? it isn't always easy to get that resolved in a day or two, but when we do, our view of God is so much bigger!

11:18 PM  
Blogger justabeachkat said...

As the mother of a daughter (who is now 25), I soooo know what you're going through. It's not easy. Every day is hard. I found that I had to do a balancing act...some days I was her friend and other days I had to only be the Mom. It depended on the day and her mood. Hang in there. If you can make it through these teenage years without too many scars (pick your battles - somethings just aren't important in the long run), you'll come out on the other side with a wonderful gift.

7:00 AM  
Blogger PEA said...

Hi Kelli:-) Thank you so much for coming to visit me at my blog!! I find this post so very interesting...too many mothers think they can be a "friend" to their son/daughter and to me that's the worst thing you can be! It just doesn't work. It's wonderful that your daughter wants to go help the under priviledged but I can understand how hard it will be to see her go when the time comes. My youngest son was planning on going to Africa to work and that worried the heck out of me but...if that's what he wanted to do, I was not going to stand in his way. Thankfully it didn't pan out and now he's only a 3 hour drive away! lol xox

9:13 PM  
Blogger Blessed Beyond Measure said...

We have a woman in our church who is losing her battle with liver cancer. She's my age, late 40's to early 50's. Her daughter is in college. When she hit a hard spot in her treatments, her daughter wanted to stay behind with her. Her mom sent her right back to college. It wasnt about the mom, it was what God was doing with the daughter and I so admired her for knowing that. The girl has since graduated, the mom is still fighting the battle. It's never about us. Its' about what he's doing with us, through us, in us. Good for you for seeing that.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've been checking on your blog for quite some time now and I had to comment on this. I have a 16 year old who will be 17 in May and she has a heart for missions. She belongs to the church youth group and a group called Surf The Nation. She has just told us recently that she wants to do mission work instead of head straight to college. I know this is truly the right place for her, but like you it will be hard to see her go to places that may not be all that safe. May the Lord bless our daughters on the mission field.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

What a difficult path. I hope you walk it with grace and dignity.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

It's one of the hardest things to do.

But God gives parents a full quiver . . . of arrows. Arrows you shot - sent into the world. It's what they are made for.

9:45 PM  

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