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.
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.
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.
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.
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?