Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I just miss my son. It will be hard to breathe and my heart literally aches with the heaviness of wanting to wrap my arms around him. Most days, I am used to this new normalcy. Yet, sometimes I gasp tears of sorrow, desperate to hug my son.
My son knows that I miss him, but he has no clue as to the depth of this pain. I write him encouraging letters and even send him packages occasionally. This last week, I really, really looked forward to Monday’s P-day emails. It has been one of those times when I really miss our missionary.
Early in the morning, we received a brief email, letting us know he was okay, but that there would be no emails until later in the week.
Apparently, his zone is going to attend the temple together on Thursday. This means his preparation day for the week (also my day for EMAIL) is moved to Thursday. I am thrilled he gets to attend the temple with his fellow missionaries. But, oh! I just miss him!
So, I went to a source of strength for this missionary mama: the Facebook group, Missionary Mommas. This is a private group for all mothers of missionaries.
This worldwide group helped me get through the incredibly difficult first days of our son’s mission when I did not know how I could go on. They have been a source of inspiration and insight throughout our son’s mission.
And, once again, these amazing missionary mothers came to my rescue … only it wasn’t a missionary mother! A MAN had snuck into our group?!? It was a missionary father, whose words so perfectly captured my feelings and also gave me hope for the man I hope my son (like both of his sons) is becoming.
Thank you so much, Trent John, for letting me share your incredible post. You may have snuck into our mama’s group … after this post, you also snuck into our hearts!
*I’ve only made two changes to help with understanding Trent’s post, capturing the bittersweet feelings of a missionary parent.
As a missionary mom trapped in a man’s body, my time of being a missionary dad is coming to a close. [One missionary] went to Argentina and has been home for 9 months and my other son will be home from Japan in a month.
I won’t miss it, but I will miss it. Well-meaning members will say, “oh you get double the blessing” nope, sorry it’s been the most difficult time in my life. Or “oh, he is coming back so soon that was fast!” Nope, it was like an anchor dragging across the ocean floor.
I would not want my sons doing anything else, I wanted them to choose to go. It had nothing to do with bringing souls to Christ, I wanted them to bring their own soul to Christ. Both have done that in the most beautiful way.
My son that has been home, he’s not around much, is this man, a man that is soft and kind yet driven and focused. He talks and does things like I would imagine Christ would do. He has a foundation of service and forgiveness under him.
A dear friend picked up her son in Japan and while there tracked down my son and sat down with him and videoed the conversation.
1. My son speaks Japanese. That blows my mind.
2. He has transformed into this man….. this man who I can’t even explain.
What in the world has missionary service done to my sons? For me, they decided to serve and God took them and transformed them into future leaders of His Church on earth.
Are they perfect? Hahahaha, no. are my kids better than yours? Nope. But they came unto Christ, and I will forever be grateful for their example to me as a dad.
You moms…. you are the heroes of this earth. So many of you doubt and feel you are coming up short. Come ride with me in my cop car and I’ll show you parenting done wrong. You moms are the reasons prayers are answered, lives changed and protection given. You are the true warrior behind the warriors. Those days you walked the halls at church with that small child and never caught class or sacrament, but you sure wore out the carpet in the hall. Those days count, look at what your sons and daughters are doing.
Remember that knot in your arm, the one you had all week from them falling asleep and you did not want to move and wake them. Well, now they are off, walking the streets across the world doing their best, serving Christ. You miss them, just like I miss mine. I am a cryer and if you ask me about how I miss them, I can’t put into words how I miss them, my eyes will tell you.
I will not miss it, not one bit. But I will miss it so much. In the most painful yet beautiful way, their best 2 years have been my most difficult yet beautiful. From a random stranger please know that you are Gods best. A missionary mom. You have changed the world, thru your children that you raised. The child you raised is bringing their own soul and the souls of others to Christ.
You have not come up short. You moms are perfect.
There is nothing more to say. Thank you so much, Trent. Your words reminded this warrior mom why the pain of missing her son is worth it.
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of almost 20 years.