Monday, May 23, 2011


My daughter Betsie has been gone to Thailand for over a month now. This whole time, people have been asking if I was missing her. I answered that I was, but I was doing okay. Now I'm not doing okay. I mean, I'm doing okay in the sense that I'm not a walking lump of sobbing and snotting. I'm okay in the sense that I can still manage to put on my big hair nearly every day and force myself to eat my daily allotment of dark chocolate. But now I'm really, really missing her and the empty space just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I'm painfully lonesome for her pure and simple.

I got teary eyed while talking to her via Skype for the first time today.

That place in my heart that can only be filled by her presence is getting achier and achier.

I love all my children. Each one of them is a precious gift to me. Each one is unique. And because of their uniqueness, they each fill a unique place in my life and in my heart. Some are my cuddlers. Some are my responsible helpers. Some are my strong ones. Some are my silly ones who make me laugh. Okay, to be honest, all of my kids make me laugh.

And I'm missing that special part that Betsie plays in our family. I'm missing our long mama-daughter talks late at night. I'm missing how she plays with her little sisters and brother. I'm missing how she helps me and Anna cook at suppertime. And I'm missing how she understands me in a special way because we are so much alike.

Today she poured her heart out to me about an issue she was facing. And I poured my heart out to her about an issue I was facing. She was the only one I've told. I can tell her because we struggle with the same weaknesses, the same sins.

I leave in 10.5 days for Thailand. And while I'm traveling, I'll be counting down the hours and then the minutes til I see my girl, not over Skype, but face-to-face and we hug and laugh and talk about God and clothes and friends and boys and struggles and false eyelashes.

I am going to be so very, very happy to be back with my girl.

But I'm reminded that as time goes on, these separations will become more common and longer. And our reunions and face-to-face talks will become farther and farther apart.

One day I'll be in Africa. I want to be in Africa. I dream of being in Africa. A huge chunk of my heart is in Africa already.

But a big part of my heart will be back in America with Betsie....and Anna...and eventually parts of my heart will be scattered all over the world wherever God takes my David and Patrick and all the rest.

I really wouldn't have it any other way. I want more than them being with me for them to be with the Lord living in His will and for His purposes.

But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

And it doesn't mean that for the rest of my life I won't be looking at maps whenever one catches my eye and searching for the outlines of the places that have grown dear to me simply because those who are dear to me dwell there.


Betsie said...

your words written from your heart make mine ache. Is it selfish of me to want to keep you all to myself when you get over here? What students? What Thai friends? Just you and me. But I have to share you with the Lord's will, just like you're sharing me. I love you, though. A lot a lot a lot.


Elysa said...

I love you a lot a lot a lot, too!

Redeemed said...

Okay stop ! I can't handle this , Elysa - You have made me cry now ! I can not imagine what it will be like for you when you are on the other side of the world and they are here. My heart aches for you. I know you will do what God has called you to do, but that does not mean it won't hurt. Praise the Lord He is going with you !
Love you my precious sister - will be praying for you daily !

Elysa said...

Thank you, Cindy. Yeah...He never promised this path would be easy but He did promise He'd be with us if we're walking His way.