One year ago . . . .

. . . I was in Brazil.  

I am looking over my journal from that trip.  

I missed my children a lot while I was gone.  We said goodbye to them on June 22, and I didn’t see them again until July 5.  That’s a long time for a momma to be away from her children.  The day we left, I wrote this in my journal — 

It was difficult to say goodbye to the children today.  Rachel cried, worried that something could happen to us.  Lauren sobbed, loudly.  She clung to me, and Patrick had to peel her off me and carry her to the car.  I cried after they pulled away. . . . 

I know I am doing what God wants, and I know I have an important role here with the three teenage girls.  I also know this will be good for our marriage.  But it is hard to leave the children.  I miss them so much already.  Lauren said on the phone that Griffin was saying Momma and Dadda a lot.  I hope he doesn’t forget me.  

I think the toughest part is feeling so out of control.  I cannot do anything to protect them.  I have to trust God.  It’s a good reminder that I’m not the one who protects them anyway.  . . . 

You know, that was very true of that trip.  Being separated, on different continents, in different hemispheres, made me feel so helpless and very out of control.  I don’t really like for our family to all be in different places.  I feel safer, more secure, when we’re all together.  So that was a major stretch out of my comfort zone.  It was a great lesson in trusting God and a needed reminder that, even when we’re all together, I am not the one who keeps everyone safe anyway.  

I went to Brazil because Patrick believed both of us should go.  I went out of honor and respect for my husband.  And I’m so glad I did!  What good memories I have!  And now, as a missionary wife hosting teams of youth, I appreciate even more the things I learned from the missionary wives in Brazil.  Jan had hosted many, many teams of people over the years, and I sure did pull from her example as I hosted a team last week!  I could not have known how God would teach me things on that trip that I’d need now.  I still don’t even know all He will do in the future with those experiences.

I do know that our hearts are knit together with the hearts of the people in the small church there.  As God has given to us, we have shared with them.  We are family with them.  And that could not have happened the same way if only Patrick had been there.  

I wrote prayers in my journal during those days in Brazil.  One of the prayers I wrote was Please use me.  Don’t let this trip be a waste.   I wanted the trip to make a difference in me and through me.  If I was going to go so far away from my babies for so many days, I did not want a bit of that sacrifice wasted.  

I assure you.  God is faithful, and He has not wasted a bit of it.  I am still realizing ways He is using my experiences in Brazil to teach me and move me and make my heart more like His.  



Filed under Christ, Christianity, faith, life, missions, religion

7 responses to “One year ago . . . .

  1. Gmama

    Dear Jenn,
    God is always faithful. That trip was not only beneficial for you, but you also gave us a wonderful opportunity to be with our grandchildren on a day to day basis and to bond with them in ways we never could if you and Patrick had not made the decision to go on the trip. I will always thank you for trusting us with the responsibility of caring for them. We also have many fond memories. I understand when you say that it is difficult for your family to be in different places. At the same time you were gone, you and Patrick were in Brazil, two other grandsons were in Peru and another in Germany. We learn to be content when we know the separation is for the glory of God. Thank you again for going.

  2. … and besides all the deep spiritual application … we wouldn’t have the recipe for Fajita Soup. It’s ok to think with our bellies on occasion, right?

  3. Gmama

    The soup was an added blessing. Thanks!

  4. WV Grammy

    Ditto to Gmama’s replies.
    Love you!

  5. Hey Girl…just saying hello! 🙂

    Share that soup recipe, will you? 🙂

  6. I can so relate! The 1st time I was ever away from my 3 guys was for a mission trip for Katrina cleanup—I had the same feelings. Today I have one more week until I move with 2 of my guys and leave my oldest to stay and attend college. God prepares us for days like this in small ways…but it all fits together… thanks!

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