I cannot begin to formulate the right words to describe the impact these two have had in my life this year. All I know is that He is faithful to provide--friends, daughters, and teachers through their lives.
As the year winds down, I wrestle in the bittersweetness of the pending goodbyes. I know my life has been changed by realtionship with these two. Much of my time outside of work or the classroom dedicated to pursuit of their hearts, a place which has brought me great joy in doing life intimately with them both. I feel as though a piece of my heart is being ripped out as I say goodbye.
Lately I stare at the ceiling at night, just wondering what will they do without me? How will they ever make it when they get back home? Prideful much...ummm yes.
The better question I avoid like a plague being, how in world will my life look without them?? What will it be like to no longer hear them shout "Mummy" as they jump into my car? As one mentioned in tears last night, Mummy, I call you everyday...I cannot imagine you just not being there. It is hard for me to imagine as well.
I have learned so much about dying to myself through them. About putting the needs of another above my own. About effectively (and NOT so effectively) being light in the darkness. About proclaiming with boldness the Truth in which I place my hope and trust. About boundaries. About walking with someone through the joys and the heartaches of life in a fallen world, nonetheless. That I cannot be the Holy Spirit, not even in my daughters' lives. They have taught me about grace--the need for it in their own lives and my own growing dependency upon it. About balance. About loving--the kind of love which has no bounds.
So often, I desire to be the Holy Spirit. To convict, to judge the intentions of the heart, to convict some more. With my daughters that has been no exception. Still unaware of the exact proportions of meeting them in that place (wherever that may be) verses calling them out of it, speaking with gentleness verses boldness, encouraging them with Truth or challenging them with it.
Then there's the battle of my time. Boundaries really. I see the fruit begin to bud as they are distanced from the weekend parties, the stress of studies, the drama with friends. When they are imerrsed, even challenged by, quality time with myself, friends, believing community, my family. I see glimpses of light for one-- thoughts which consider the possibility of something far greater. Maybe "Mummy" is not just religious and moralistic. Maybe, just maybe. For the other our time breeds encouragement, hard questions, radical convictions. A practical guide to biblical roles as a woman, sister, daughter, future wife and mom. A weighty call to know Him and make Him known, on the other side of the world that is lost.
As I say a final goodbye to my daughters next week, we all three board planes to the ends of the earth, I pray that our lives may bear fruit which furthers the Kingdom as a result of doing life together this year.
I pray that one may boldly proclaim the gospel among unbelivers. That she would honor her family and love her friends in way which honors the Lord. That God would provide her with a community of other belivers, to challenge and encourage, hold accountable and worship alongside her. The she would not be lonely, but stand in awe of God's provision through His Bride, even on the other side of the world, trusting Him to provide again as she returns home. I ask that He would protect her from lies and discouragement. I pray for boldness that she may continue in her pursuit of Him for His name's sake alone.
For the other, I trust God is at work. I believe it is only by His Spirit at work in us that we may know Him---that we may even know our need for Him. I pray she might know her need for Him. I pray that lies would be exposed for what they are--that they would have no authority in her life. In faith, I await fruit with patience and joy for what is to come. I ask God would continue to place His followers around her. That He would captivate her heart in a way man never could. That should she find herself alone in brokenness, no where to look but up, in that moment she might look into His loving and righteous eyes, that He might pierce through the years of toil and heartache like only He can, redeeming the years the locusts have stolen.
Intrigued and hungry to bring the words of Life to a world bigger then my own, I know my life is forever changed as a result of these two women (both of whom are older then me) yet whom I am so incredibly blessed to call Daughter. He is faithful to set the solitary in families...even families across the seas.