When we dropped my daughter off at the Provo MTC, I saw the mother from the car in front of us fall apart. She had gotten out of the car and was SOBBING, reaching her arms out to her young son as he left. And the son? He looked back at his mom, concern and uncertainty etched on his face.
How could he experience the joy of stepping fully into his mission if he was worried about his mom? He needed her strength.
Please, please, please, keep it together when you drop off your missionary. Some are excited to go, some are nervous. If you lay your broken heart on your nervous elder or sister, you’ll only make it harder for them. If you’re sobbing to your excited missionary, that won’t help them either. Wait at least until you get in your car and pull away. Then, if you must *sigh* let it flow.
I do not speak from experience in this, I admit. I was thrilled to the core when my daughter left, and still am. I do listen to the CD she made me rather frequently (she’s a pianist). I miss her. However, I do understand that it is very difficult for many mothers to say goodbye to their missionaries. There are so many different circumstances that weigh in.
I sound judgemental. I don’t mean to judge the mother who was sobbing–I know it’s hard. My heart broke for that sweet mother. But as mothers of these modern day stripling warriors IT IS OUR JOB to
- Stand firm in the faith
- Support their sacrifice
- Encourage and uplift them in their need
- Make sure they know THAT WE KNOW they where they are supposed to be
So cry if you need to – after they’ve gone. Write supportive, encouraging letters for those times when they feel lost and alone. Teach them to pray and rely on their Father in Heaven who will support them in all things. Lend them your faith in those moments they might need it. Pray constantly for their faith, safety, and ability to endure.
And then reap the rewards. The evidence of their increasing in faith and humility. The stories of their sacrifice and service to the Lord. The Spirit that floods your home and heart. The increased desires you will cultivate to do missionary work of your own. The powerful influence of an older missionary sibling on the little ones at home.
I am so grateful to be the mother of a missionary.