Giveaway

7 Truths When Letting Go of Your Missionary Child

7 Truths When Letting Go of Your Missionary Child

Guest Post from Brenda Yoder

Brenda is a fellow author and speaker. We get to meet up at conferences we both serve at. She is such an encourager. Her latest book, FLEDGE, is a Godly perspective on launching our children for Him. Her post regarding letting her missionary child go comes from her heart. Read through to learn how to WIN a copy of FLEDGE on Monday, June 18, 2018.

“Our firstborn, Jenna, went on a mission trip her junior year in high school and spent Christmas Day at an orphanage in Mexico. When I read her senior scholarship essay about establishing an orphanage where children would feel known and loved, I realized God had captured her heart for orphan ministry.

Jenna is my only daughter, the oldest of four children. As she narrowed college choices, she settled on two Christian colleges. One was two hours away and the other was eleven hours away. Just as God grabbed her heart for orphan ministry, he grabbed my heart as a fledging mother who needed to let go.

I was rehearsing how to tell Jenna she should attend the college closer to home when the Holy Spirit convicted me. “You’re not letting her choose,” He said. “I want to work in her life but you’re standing in the way. Loosen your fingers so I can work. You have to release her to me. If I’m calling her away to the mission field, a college that’s far away is just a stepping stone. Let go.”

I stood in my living room crying. I got the message. God told me to back off and take my hands off my only daughter. It was a lesson in obedience, like Abraham with Isaac. I’ve had to surrender at the altar again and again.

Jenna went to that far away university, which also took her to Guatemala several times and confirmed her call to orphaned and vulnerable children. She currently is a full-time missionary doing orphan care with Back2Back Ministries in Mexico.

Since Jenna graduated, two more of our children have fledged. My youngest is still in high school. Releasing a firstborn, single daughter to the mission field has been a life altering journey.

Here are seven lessons I’ve learned since God said, “Let go.”
  1. When worried about her safety, God reminds He’s her safety. I have to trust her to God’s care.
  2. Seeing a child immersed in their calling brings joy. But it’s bittersweet when it takes them to another country.
  3. Family time is scarce when kids are far away. Our family is only together about twice a year. Rather than lamenting the times we’re not together, I embrace the time we are (there’s more about this in Fledge).
  4. I miss common mother-daughter experiences like shopping or hanging out. It’s just that simple.
  5. Being a missionary parent is a unique role. There’s a spiritual battle for children called to vocational ministry. Their needs are different because the demands of the mission field are unique, similar to that of service men and women. Our role is to support her emotionally and spiritually.
  6. I must be strong even when I don’t feel like it. A missionary child needs a mom who’s strong and supportive rather than worried and weepy. I take my burdens to God, trusting he will provide. This often is an act of obedient faith.
  7. Raising kids means we let them go so they can cling to God, not us. This is a conscious choice.”

Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind is based on Psalm 127: Like arrows in the hands of warriors are children born of one’s youth. God was right when he told me to take my hands off my firstborn, and he asks the same of you. Our parenting job is to raise our children with tender hearts positioned towards God. When we hold our children too tightly, we get in the way of God’s perfect plan. He asks us to let go.

Brenda Yoder is a national speaker, author, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and life coach whose passion is encouraging others when life doesn’t fit the storybook image.

For more on letting go and everything else relating to the fledging stage of parenting, get Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind. It’s available online and at major retailers.

Join Brenda Yoder on Facebook for her upcoming Fledge Parenting Forum, on Instagram, Twitter, and at brendayoder.com.

NOTE: I have personally benefited from this book. So much so, I want to share a copy of Brenda’s book with one lucky winner. Simply leave your comment below and share this blog post on any social media platform, and my children and I will randomly select a winner on Monday June 18, 2018.

GIVEAWAY – New Adoption Bible Study

It’s giveaway week!

Today, the gift is for everyone. It’s a personal gift, as well. You see, the FREE gift is a two-week sample of my latest work, “I Call You Mine: Embracing God’s Gift of Adoption” from New Hope Publishers. It’s to be released on September 10, 2018. However, you can enjoy the sample today.

Following is an excerpt from Day 1 of the study:

“His name was Sasha, and he was three years old. He clung to the fingers of the middle-aged woman who walked him into the doctor’s office that summer afternoon in Izmail, Ukraine. Our son’s orphaned status was obvious. His shaved head, mismatched clothing, and downturned eyes pricked my heart. My first eye contact with him seemed to seal his fate to mine. He was ours, and I knew at that moment that my love for him was
unconditional.
It was during the adoption of our youngest that God led me to
understand my own adoption. I was not an orphaned little one in need of earthly parents as Sasha was. I had parents—but I lacked embracing and feeling the loving arms of my heavenly Parent. For most of my life I had been rebellious.
I served no one but myself. Although I had been raised in a Christian household, I was not a Christian. I felt ugly inside. I didn’t love myself, let alone others. I needed a Parent to rescue me, to save me. To adopt me. Unconditionally. Forever.

I’m overwhelmed when I stop to really consider the mess I was before God adopted me. It wasn’t just that I was headed toward an eternity without Him. I needed His loving care, guidance, and discipline in this life. Right here and right now. I needed to understand the goodness of healthy boundaries, the depth of unconditional love, and the safe feeling of completely belonging to a family who would never abandon me. I needed to grow up under the watchful eye of a Father who would teach me and keep me safe, who would continue to love me even when I made
mistakes.
When God adopted me, when He made me His and took me in as a full and privileged member of His forever family, it changed my life, my perspective, and my potential in a way I never could have experienced apart from Him. And it was all because of His unquenchable and overpowering love for me.
Having experienced that kind of love from God, I was able to reach out and adopt and love a child who also needed to experience that kind of love. I wanted to give our child in an earthly way what God had given me: healthy boundaries, the depth of unconditional love, and the safe feeling of completely belonging to a family who would never abandon him. And most of all, I wanted to introduce our child to the God who loves unconditionally—and who loves far better and greater than I, as a
parent, ever could.
I chose my son—just as God chose me. And just as He chose you.
God finds us first—before we even realize our need for a Parent and for a family. The orphan doesn’t select the parent. The parent chooses the orphan. That is how the family begins.
It’s the same with us. We don’t reach out in love for God first. He chose us. He loved us first. That is how we joined His family.
And it all began with love.”

How to Receive the FREE Sample

If you would like to receive your two-week sample, simply click here to visit my little SHOP and complete the pop-up form. The download of the two-week sampler of “I Call You Mine” will be emailed directly to you. You can read it on your favorite device.

Pre Order “I Call You Mine” directly from my publisher (by July 31), and they will also send you a FREE copy of Jennifer Phillips’ “30 Days of Hope for Adoptive Parents” devotional.

May you have a blessed week.

Attending the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ SUMMIT Conference in Dallas this week? See you there.