First Goodbye

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As I said in my last post Abigail found WMA at the SHEM convention at the ripe age of 15. What I didn’t say was when she told me she wanted to go, where she wanted to go! She informed me she wanted to go to Iraq and I informed her NO she WASN’T. Of course she knew that would be my response, but the place she decided to be her first mission trip was to China. Wow! I wasn’t really prepared for that either but willing to sit down and see what Chuck and Helen Todd had to say.

I will never forget sitting in the room and talking with Helen and Kristy about the trips and what all was involved. When it came up about China Helen let us know that we couldn’t post online to the public she would be going for her protection.

Both sets of grandparents were nervous about her going to China, but the closer the day came for her to go, the more excited she became. She is deathly scared of flying and the bundle of nerves of going and flying for the first time was very apparent. I wanted to scream it isn’t to late to call Chuck and tell him you can’t go. But I knew that the funds for her trip had come in and she even had enough to start towards her second trip.

My mother wasn’t in good physical condition and we knew that she could slip away while she was gone, but God had brought her to this point and we had to place her in God’s hands.

As I stood watching her and Chuck go through TSA and then she waved one last time, tears blurred my vision. Why? I knew I was sending off my daughter that was a girl but she would return a young lady. She would see things that I had only seen through missionary friends that had stayed in our home when I was growing up and then in Missionary Service during camp. Some thought they were dull to go to, but missions had always been important to my family. While I stood there watching her go, I asked God for a sign that we were doing the right thing.

Some asked Michael how he would react to see her take off. As he replied, he had never done it before so had no idea how it would affect him.

You can no longer go with them to see them off, which was frustrating to me. All the years growing up when we saw my Daddy leave or return home, we walked him to the gate. Now for safety you have to say good bye before TSA.

We had bought a cell phone so she could keep in contact with us as much as possible. So, just before she boarded she let us know and we let her know that we were proud of her and praying. Then we went out to where we could watch her take off on her first airplane ride and mission trip.

As the engine of the plane revved up we got our cameras ready. I had some peace from seeing the smile on her face and seeing that she was ok and of course, I knew Chuck would take good care of her. As we stood on the balcony waiting for her plane, I looked at the sky and it was beautiful! God had given us a awesome sunrise for her to go into. That’s when I knew that no matter what happened, God was in control and I had peace.

December before hand we lost Michael’s dad suddenly. We really didn’t know how much Milton comprehended it all. But standing and watching the plane taxi and then lift toward the sky, I heard this small voice say, “NO come back Abigail, you can’t go to be with Grandpa yet.” Tears flooded my eyes already watching her leave and then with knowing he did understand more than we thought hit home. I told him that she was in God’s hands and we planed to watch her plane land in 10 days.

What was our reaction to her leaving? Anxious, nervous, but peaceful. Michael had kept our motel room so we would stay there until she landed in Chicago. We flipped our smart phone onto the nice app where you can watch the progress of the planes and knew the minute she landed. As soon as we knew she was safely there, we packed the car and headed home. About 10 mins later I got a text saying, “We are in Chicago.”

I know I’m not a perfect parent and I’m sure I didn’t react totally like others when they tell their child goodbye, but I can say, God was by our side and helped us release her into His hands and into Chuck’s.

Blessed to be a TMM (teen missionaries mother). I look forward to sharing more of this story next time.

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