Today I shed happy tears in our city church. I received a hundred plus birthday kisses. Next week will be a different story––sad tears. It will be our last Sunday before leaving for the States. We'll have to say those goodbyes and receive all those sad kisses. Sometimes I wonder why God called me to be a missionary. So did many others when my husband and I left our comfortable life, a thriving business and family and friends to follow God to unknown regions beyond. One friend even asked if I liked snakes.
No, I don't like snakes. I don't like to fly, and I never like to say goodbye. I avoid it if possible––snakes and planes too. Why wouldn't God call someone who enjoyed those things, or at least could do them with ease? Of course, I know why––so that He will get all the glory because it is only through Him that I can do all things.
Last week my sister-in-law called to ask what I usually say to friends when we are saying goodbye here and in the States. What kind of question was that, I pondered. "I don't know," I answered.
"Don't you usually avoid it and instead say, 'See you later?' At least that's what you tell us." She said that we always say, "See you later, because who knows if we might see you again for some reason before we leave." The memories rushed back, and tears filled my eyes just thinking of saying goodbye.
I'm about to embark on a journey of many miles, flights, hellos, and goodbyes. There will be happy tears and sad tears, but I don't want to miss the experiences that bring those tears. Ecclesiastes 1:1 says, "There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven," (NIV). It's time for travel and new experiences. We'll meet new friends and old friends along the way and see our grandchildren––happy tears! Ecclesiastes 1:4 says "a time to weep and a time to laugh," (NIV). There'll be a lot of laughing when we see those grandkids, but a lot of weeping when we leave. I don't want to miss the blessing of being with them just because I don't want to cry when I leave.
Even though there will be sad tears, the happy tears will far out weigh them. How many can say they are blessed to have two "homes", one in their homeland and one in a foreign land––and loved in both. We are doubly blessed with tears also––happy ones and sad ones. But all result in the best for us––God's best!
God changed our travel destinations this summer, but we know His ways are not our ways, or His timetables our timetables. And, we know God's timing is perfect even though it may look illogical to us. If we wait for His timing, nothing could be better!
"God gives the very best to those who leave the choice to Him." Author unknown