Sunday, September 6, 2009

The missionary mother of a teenager


Often times people don't think about the life of a mother of a teen on the mission field. Mostly, people think of the young mother with young children. Of the trials and difficulties of this time of life. This IS a difficult time of life, I was there, but in a different environment. Worked nights, full-time, stayed at home with my infant daughter so she wasn't hardly in anyones care other than mine or my husbands. Difficult times indeed. As a young kiddo I homeschooled her AND worked full-time night shift, and hardly slept at all during those times. So I GET what it's like to be tired all the time – frustrated all the time – but loving every minute of it! On the mission field, people always think of the young mom – often times unsure of themselves, or struggling without resources. Not often does one think of the “older” mom. What does it mean to have a teenager on the mission field?

My young girl – becoming a woman
Have I raised her in a Godly manner?
Have I given her the ability to resist temptations?
When I am not with her, does she look to her God?

When troubles arise
in a school she does not know
in a culture she does not know
with peers she can't relate to
what will happen?

When she comes home crying
because she can't speak the language
When she struggles in class
when class mates make fun of her
How do I respond?

When she struggles through hormones
When she realizes that her clothes matter
when her hair matters
when her looks matter
She still comes to me and is looking just for a hug

The mother of a teen on the mission field
Who struggles with her own inadequacies
But not letting those show to her daughter
Who is trying to deal with her own

The mother of a teen trying to model a Godly woman
trying to BE a good woman
trying to be a wife and a mother
But struggling with all the responsibilities of ministry work

Where is the balance?
No one sees the struggles
No one sees the pleading with God to ease the pain of her child
No one sees the tears as her child relays the pains she is going through

The hours of homework help
The books you read to help you understand
The hours on your knees for your child
The lectures
The mother/daughter talks
The laughter
The crying together
Knowing there will be things she will miss
No prom to attend
No dances at all
No clubs to be involved in

But the joy she is receiving in the experiences she has
That's she's NOT a missionary kid, but a kid missionary
That she is learning another language
That she thrives in caring for others outside of herself
That she loves on kids in the village
That she is just herself

So as I realize there are so few who understand my situation
that there are few who relate or even think of my struggles
I stand in the knowledge that my God cares for my child
that He gives her just what she needs
And gives me just what I need.

So I ask you to remember – not only those with little ones to care for
But for those of us who are trying so hard to rear a Godly woman in an unGodly world

4 comments:

Ted said...

I am confident that Jesus sees and understands. (Jesus was the ultimate missionary kid - sent to one of the least likely places in all the world - Nazareth.) Thanks for all that you wrote and, more importantly, thanks for all that you are doing: for your daughter and your husband and the folks in Honduras. May my prayers join with the prayers of MANY others for Maddy and you and Mike.

Becky Aguirre said...

I love this picture! Definitely typifies your position as a Mom and missionary...so many challenges for MK teens, aren't there?

christina said...

Erin
You describe it so well, the hardships, the challenges, the joys, the laughter and the tears.... Thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts!
Christina

Jamie Wright said...

i've been meaning to comment on this for a while. it is simply so beautiful. i LOVE your heart for your daughter! and I know that God will honor it!!