I have just walked through a whirlwind! Our only daughter has just left the comfort of life in American to serve for a year with a ministry in southeast Asia. The decision to go came during her very busy Senior year of college, with the preparations building and consuming all of us up to the moment she arrived in her destination, just yesterday.
Honestly, I had several coming-to-Jesus moments through the last few months. My daughter and I handle deadlines and stress a bit differently. After hearing a sermon on Helicopter Parents, I vowed to “land the helicopter!” When children are adults, there is a very delicate balance of roles as the parent. We are adviser, friend, consultant, accountant and the biggest fan. Hands off, yet hands on. Leading, yet remembering wise counsel from authors such as Dr. Kevin Lehman who says to “pull the rug and let them fly!” Ingredients for insanity, I tell you!
It was moments ago that she had several weeks before departure, then days, then the drive to the airport. Just thinking about not being able to hug my very huggable daughter for a whole year brought tears to the surface. We were blessed with prayers and blessings from friends and co-workers. Yes, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is all over this trip. He alone expedited her fundraising beyond what we could fathom. The visa and ticket were finally secured, the luggage (!) packed and repacked and out the door we went. We surprised my dear mom in law on the way to the airport with a visit and there were tears all around. The airport good byes were almost too much for me to take. One last hug, please!
She has chosen what is great and we are so proud of her. She has followed her heart, not only in pursuing her college major, but now in the path to take in this season. Wow! What courage, what passion, what drive! Watch out southeast Asia – you have great things in your future with our gal there!
I experienced something very cool after we left the airport. That is, after my crying fit in the van leaving the airport. Peace and a quiet voice. Even as I recall it now, I cannot believe the mercy of God in my moment of whirlwind. What had just happened? Did our girl really just leave?
Only as God can do, God spoke to my heart. Peace. Release. Comfort. The self-imposed weight on my shoulders – gone. Whoa.
It made me think of Elijah in I Kings 19. God told Elijah to go stand on the mountain and wait for the Lord to pass by. A powerful wind, an earthquake and a fire came, but God was not there. Instead, He was in a gentle whisper – after the whirlwind, earthquake and fire.
So this is a story of the quiet voice beyond the whirlwind. Tune your heart so that you also can hear that voice when He speaks.