Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The Ticking of the Clock
Without a doubt, I think the hardest part about being a missionary is being separated from family and dear friends. Don’t get me wrong; certainly there are other factors that are challenging. Different foods, different bugs (and many more of them I might add), different weather, and a different culture, just to name a few. Regardless, these challenges pale compared to the pain of residing 6000 miles away from those dearest to one’s heart. Recently, I have heard the incessant ticking of the clock: eight days or 192 hours, seven days, or 168 hours, etc. before Departure Day, aka D-Day. Enjoying the company of extended family, I will suddenly feel my heart seize up and the ache of a broken heart—the realization that I will lose this easy camaraderie in a matter of hours. My eyes swell with tears and our boys (18 and 21) laugh and roll their eyes and our girls (9 and 12) snuggle closer. I envy the boys’ ability to compartmentalize the impending pain of D-Day. I suppose when I was their age I could have done the same. And yet, I notice that they clear their calendars so that our last few days here can be spent together. I observe the cuddling and vying for “who gets to sit by brother” when it’s time to be seated. Clearly, they too hear the incessant ticking of the clock. Although I’m dreading D-Day, I’m also looking forward to being back on Guam and continuing our work there. I’m anxious to look into the gold-studded smiles of our students. I’m eager to hear the melodious singing coming from the dorm rooms, and I can hardly wait to pour my heart into what I teach in the classroom. One thing that is constant through all the changes our family has encountered in the last few years, is God’s faithfulness. He is truly faithful, and despite the pain of having to say goodbye, I am truly grateful for the privilege and joy of working in Micronesia. "Let them give glory to the Lord and proclaim his praise in the islands" (Isaiah 42.12).