There are only three days until I leave for India now. I was talking to my mom and dad last night about the trip when I realized how weird this was for my mom. Don’t get me wrong, I know that sending your child overseas without you has got to be a challenging experience, but I didn’t know why it was affecting her so much.
Last night we sat around our dinner table and she couldn’t help herself from tearing up. I couldn’t understand, because I will be going with my dad and I will be safe with him. She knows that. So she shouldn’t be worrying. However, she explained to me that she wasn’t worrying. She was just sad that she was missing this experience with her daughter. I realize that this isn’t a small thing, I am going half way across the world to a place where darkness is everywhere, I am going to see God in ways I never have, I’m going to meet people who’s lives depend fully on the Lord, and I am going without my mommy.
Let me tell you a great memory that I have of my mom. In the eighth grade my family went to Kenya, I had refused all week to put my hair up. Well, one of those days, I found my head itching uncontrollably. I asked my dad to look at my head and sure enough, there were cute little lice jumping all around my head. My mom and dad had sat down in their room and they pulled the little creatures out of my hair and I had the pleasant job of squishing them. Yay… Well, that night our trip leader went out and found some lice medication (a lot like pesticides for your hair), and my mom sat in the bathroom that night and rubbed that nasty stuff all over my head. The next morning I woke up lice free. She helped me fix my hair up everyday on the trip. Every night for a couple weeks after that trip my mom would straighten my hair and pull the dead lice eggs out of my hair. She had been there the whole time helping me patiently, and kindly. It was an experience that we both shared and can look back with a (sort of) smile together.
Throughout the planning process of the trip, my mom has been crazy, and I didn’t know why. She constantly told me about the things I would see, and how I would feel about things, how crazy the airports were, how I would love this or hate that. I was going nuts! Everyday she asked me how I was feeling about the trip, one day she asked me at least three times within just a couple hours (believe me, after a few months of this you would go crazy too).
But my mom wasn’t trying to pester me, she just wanted to experience this all with me, like she had in Africa, or the Dominican Republic. She wanted to be able to see her daughter change, and be able to understand why. And now I see why she tears up when she thinks about me leaving. And I know now how much I will miss her when I’m gone. Because lets be honest, there is absolutely no way that my dad will ever help me fix my hair!
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
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I am excited for you sweet girl. I am emotional too as I can only imagine what you will see. Of course I will be praying for you. And as far as your long hair, please put it up! No more lice!
I have had the wonderful privilege of traveling with your sweet mom. She was with me and my husband this past summer when we took our two teenagers out of the country for the first time. For all of the fun and “coolness” that she brings to every group that she travels with, she also leaves a huge piece of her heart at home. I know that she secretly held in a few tears as she watched our family experience serving together…,.as she thought of you girls and your dad. Experiencing the beautiful gift of the opportunity to be His hands and feet to the hurting on the other side of the world is beyond words. However, to get to see God’s hand on your family…on your child… as He moves through her… is a gift greater than you will ever understand until you have a child of your own some day.
So, Yes. Your mom is excited for you! Above all, she is excited to watch you as you grow in Christ…that is why is allowing you to go, with or without her. You belong to HIM. Go and experience all that He has for you sweetheart. I will be holding you up in prayer as you and your dad make memories for a lifetime. Also, I will be praying for your sweet momma, as she entrusts your time in India to God.
Many prayers from Alabama,
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