When your missionary daughter says to you she loves you but doesn’t miss you, is not homesick, and doesn’t want to come home, you really know that those apron strings are being cut.
Direct quote just two days into her MTC experience, “I love you guys so much, don’t miss me too much because I’ll be having the time of my life …I am definitely not homesick yet”
But I am ok with that. I have never been one of those mums who dies a little bit inside every time her child steps out into the big wide world and discovers something new to explore (without being there to make sure they don’t hurt themselves).
My parents left home when I was 19. They packed everything up, stored it away (including me), rented out our family home, and moved to the other side of the world to discover their family history roots in the UK for 2 1/2 years. I was left behind to fend for myself.
I wasn’t sure I was ready for that. But I had no choice. I was thrown into the waters of life and was told to sink or swim.
It was a difficult time for me. At times I struggled to keep my head above the water line. I really didn’t know who I was without my family.
Looking back on that experience now, it was a defining time in my life. I discovered an independence I never knew existed. I discovered an extended family within the church that became my support when I needed it.
But most of all I discovered who I was and what I believed. I no longer just believed on the traditions of my fathers. I learned for myself the rich blessings available to me, as I trusted in the Lord. I began to apply everything my parents had taught me, and I discovered that it was all true.
My parents had planted the seed of faith in my heart, but that faith wasn’t going to grow much more without me applying it on my own. I no longer needed the faith of my fathers to get me through. They had helped to plant the seed, now it was time for me to nurture it.
So when my daughter says to me she loves me, but doesn’t need me, it is not a sign that I have failed. It tells me she has found her swimming style and is on her way to becoming all that her Heavenly Father wants her to be.
As a mother of a missionary, every time I receive an email or a letter from my missionary daughter I feel fed, and alive. My faith is strengthened as I see my purpose here on earth bearing the fruits of my labour. She is discovering for herself who she is, what her purpose on earth is, and is bringing that purpose into the lives of those she teaches.
Hang on, did I just throw my daughter into the waters of life and tell her to sink or swim? Or did she jump herself?
Whatever it was that just happened, I know that she is making the most of the experiences she is having. Her faith is increasing, and she is discovering who Heavenly Father wants her to be. And she is having the time of her life.
What more could a mother want…