“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” — Ecclesiastes 3:1
All missionaries have to face seasons of letting go, and our family is certainly no exception; my husband, two sons and I have let go of a lot as we have been preparing ourselves to serve in Haiti.
Some things were sentimental: our dog Kali, who couldn’t move to my in-laws’ house with us during our support-raising time; the house that we brought our firstborn son home to.
Some things were inconsequential: thrift store kids’ toys, books covered with crayon and markers, clothes that fit the boys two sizes ago.
Other things have caused floods of tears: the quenching worship of our home church; the friends we raised our babies with; close relationships for our kids with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
And yet these are just the exterior things. For me, God has also worked miracles of release in my heart. I let go of my expectations (I’ve moved internationally before, I know how this is done and how it will feel), let go of my control (Why won’t our house sell? Why is support raising taking so long?), let go of my autonomy (I can do this on my own).
I now realize that for years I walked around with tightly closed fists, clutching those expectations, that control, that autonomy. But our Lord is nothing if not faithful, and he has slowly pried open one finger, then another, then another, until my palms are flat open… face-up… empty. I’m stripped of my defenses, soul achingly bared to my Father in Heaven. I won’t lie: it’s been painful.
But you know what I’ve learned? I can’t receive the Father’s gifts with full hands. I can’t embrace the new until I have let go of the old.
As our family’s French language study in Quebec comes to a close and we depart for our final destination, you’d better believe that I’m going to be the first one off the plane, hands empty, arms open, ready to embrace my new home.
Visit the Schandorff’s page on the MAF website »