God of the Re-bound

It was a great banquet.  Now it’s over…not just the banquet, but the season.   Not just the season, but, for him, the team.  

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Sunday was the end of the season soccer banquet.  This was our son’s second season playing for this team and with his teammates.  For him, a second season was a tremendous blessing already, since we were originally scheduled to return to the mission field in August.  Our disappointment of extension was our kids’ pleasure.  Our other son also had another season for the sport of his dream: American football, in which he lettered this year.

During the banquet, a big deal was made over the graduating seniors.  They’ll be gone by next year.  Their time playing with the team is over and they will have moved on to other things by next season.  Special presentations were given and special speeches made.  It was very nice.

Three weeks ago another soccer player moved away.  His dad was transferred to another location and goodbye’s had to be made.   The team, along with many other classmates, threw a big farewell.  He will be sorely missed. 

I left the banquet with a very quiet 15 yr. old.   He had a great time and enjoyed receiving the acknowledgements and certificates for his accomplishments.  Watching video highlights of the year and of the season playoffs added the finishing touch.  But then it was time to go.

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I noticed his somber mood and asked him about it.  The reality was this:  as missionaries, we come and go.  We glide in unnoticed and without much ado, and then depart in the same way.  Our son, like those seniors, will not be back next year.  He, like the other soccer player, will be moving away to no longer be part of the team.  But there are no grand goodbyes.  He is not graduating this year, nor is he moving during the season.  Does anyone know?  Does anyone care?

He was not indicating that anything special should be done for him.  He is not expecting any grandiose farewell plans.   He was simply expressing a very real and honest feeling shared by many MK’s (missionary kids).  It is a type of grieving.   It is, once again, a realization that your quasi-nomadic life brings you to these times of minor crisis and discomforting emotions.

This is where, as a missionary mom, it stings.   How many times have I said, “Lord, what have we made our kids go through?”  We know we are called; not just hubby and I, but our entire family.   And we know, and have seen, how God’s grace has enveloped our kids in all situations.  But that doesn’t mean I stopped being human, or have given my mothers heart over to hardness.  My heart is still tender…and when my kids feel pain, I feel pain.  When they rejoice over new friendships, I rejoice.  When they struggle through difficult times of confusion, I try to be strong and encouraging on the outside while my insides cry out to God for help.

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And help He does!  He floods our heart with His love and assurance.  He doesn’t reject our questions or our mixed emotions.  He understands, and He blesses.  He honors all who ‘pick up their cross and follow Him’.  Our obedience to His requirements may bring sacrifice, but much more are His mercies revealed  every morning and His grace proven sufficient.   Jesus has no problem when I dump my troubles on Him, because He cares about me and about what pains me.  

So once again we experience the strength of our Rock, the feathers of His gentle wings that cover us, and the joy that comes in the morning. 

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My son is going to make it.   I knew God was helping him move past this last down-time when he came home the other day and said, “I decided to join the basketball team”. 

Is He the God of the re-bound or what?

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10 thoughts on “God of the Re-bound

  1. I enjoy reading your posts. My husband was an AG MK from Kenya and I have heard many similar stories about his experiences…Currently, he is a high school soccer coach- soccer is a passion that has stayed with him from his MK days :0)
    I will pray blessings over you and your family!!!

  2. Pam – it goes back to being transparent. It’s not very comfortable, but it is the truth. That’s why I so appreciate the Psalms….David had no problem talking about his trials, his depressions, his questions aimed at God, but then always came around stating the ultimate truth in the midst of everything else…that God is loving and just and hasn’t forgotten us even when we wonder sometimes.

  3. ughhhhhhhhh…….
    unless you’ve lived this stuff, it is really hard to explain, but you gave words to the roller-coaster of emotions that we live in….

  4. red – that’s why there are probably so many vices people hook on to…

    anon- yes, I do love Him for that!

    AnneMarie – thanks for the prayer for my son (and I claim it for all my kids too) 🙂

    I had a friend tell me years ago that our newsletters were too ‘positive’. She said people want to hear the truth about everything, along with the praise testimonies. I got the message.
    Every so often I speak to women’s groups and have decided to forego three point sermons in favor of sharing my struggles in a very honest heart to heart way. Feedback is always similar:
    ‘thank you, we needed to hear that’. They feel more connected and definitely more motivated to pray in deeper ways for all their missionaries.

  5. God is good. He doesn’t make life an easier, but He does make it easier to bear and gives us a reason to bear it. How do those who don’t believe make it in this world? I honestly can’t imagine how they do it.

  6. Your work is so important and hope you and your family realize just how many people pray for you and don’t even know you. We have a deep heart for missionaries. We may never go in the same way but we pray.
    I also realize each persons experience can be quite different. I think my uncle was in a area where there were a group of kids that went to school together everyday. They also didn’t move around very much that I remember.
    Many Blessings,
    Debbie

  7. Debbie – God certianly proves Himself powerful!

    Resilience depends on us and our response to life’s circumstances. Some become bitter. But those who allow God to mold them during those times become stronger for it.

    Yes, on the field when we get together with the other missionaries once a year, he has a great time with other mk’s, mainly because they all understand each other!

    This post was one side of missions life. The other side is the amazing experiences our family has had that will stay a part of our kids their entire life.

  8. My wonderful Uncle was a missionary all while his 4 kids were growing up. The kids have such tight friendships with other missionary kids it made me kind of jealous at times. Many blessings on God’s plan for you. God does make us resiliant doesn’t He?
    Blessings,
    Debbie aka The Real World Martha

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