Tuesday, August 27, 2013

3 More Weeks Before Goodbye

The time is almost here. Three more weeks. 21 days plus 2. About 552 hours. Over 33,000 minutes. I wonder how quickly those minutes will diminish.

Eight years ago my daughter left for three weeks in Paris with her school's exchange program. I was fine. I knew she was coming back. I knew one of the teachers she was going with. And did I mention, she was coming back. Now the story is different. She is leaving to spend a year in Leeds, England attending Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training School. I don't know anybody there. I have never been to Leeds. Yes, I know I can take a virtual tour of the city. I still don't know anybody there.

Soon it will only be 551 hours before she leaves. I know that she is going to learn more about God, arts and social justice. I know she has a heart that wants to seek God, and bring hope to the hopeless. I know I trust her--because I know her. Did I mention that I don't know anyone else in Leeds? I guess I need to remember that today we have technology that will help us keep in touch very differently than when I first left Finland.

It was 1986. I was flying to Singapore. I knew two other people! My mother said goodbye, and we promised to write to each other. As soon as I arrived in Singapore, Finland started a postal strike. Then the Chernobyl disaster happened, and no letters came from Finland! There was no Skype, instant messaging, none of us had computers; I think Nokia was still making rubber boots instead of cell phones.During those first few years in Asia, I was still making calls to home via the operator. Even then, it was so expensive that it only happened a few times per year.

Times have definitely changed. I don't just expect an e-mail from my daughter, I expect face time, talking while looking at her (just to make sure that she is okay), reading each others blogs, and learning how God is working in her life. And then there is the possibility of visiting!! Maybe I will get to know somebody else in Leeds?

P.S. If you would like to take a peek at my daughter's blog, here is the link:
Broken and Beautiful Soul

15 comments:

  1. She is one strong and amazing daughter and very much like her mom. I too am very glad for our technology and how it has made living where we work less isolating for us all.

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    1. Amen! Technology can be so wonderful!

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  2. So far, yet so close....our world keeps getting smaller. Hope to hear more about these adventures...

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    1. Part of me is also eager to hear about these adventures (just wish they would happen a little closer to home:-))

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  3. How wonderful that you will be part of her journey, and that today's technology allows for that! And what an amazing journey your daughter is making.

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    1. There is always the hope of homecoming. I seem to remember you writing about the return of your daughter.

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  4. I think that the worrying has gone bigger now that the communication is easier. In the past all you could do was to trust that things were fine, now you expect everyone to be at reach, and if they are not, the mind starts stirring. I hope that your daughter will have a wonderful year, and you get to follow her journey with a smile on your face.

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    1. Just think Terje, I think she is actually closer to you than me! But you are right, my mother trusted that I was okay. There was nothing else that she could do.

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  5. How exciting for your daughter! I understand the separation anxiety you face. Mt son is across the country from me. Thank goodness technology allows communication. I hope you will get to know someone in Leeds.

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    1. Thanks Elsie! Getting to know someone in Leeds...it means a trip! And those can be fun, right.

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  6. Wow, what an exciting and nerve-wracking time for both of you! This brings back so many memories from when I studied abroad in Spain. I didn't know anyone there -- I was leaving everything I knew to live with a family of strangers for four months! It was my big moment to let go and trust that God would carry me through... and He did! Some of my favorite verses that gave me strength in that time were Psalm 25: 4-5 and Jeremiah 29:11. Even then, just 8 years ago, technology was more limited -- I had to reserve a precious hour a day in a local library to email my parents and boyfriend (now my husband), and I called them about once a week with international calling cards. Even though it was sometimes hard to be away, I now carry Madrid in my heart like a second home, and I often call upon the strength I got from that experience. I hope your daughter enjoys her adventure just as much as I did!

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    1. Thank you Jennifer for your wise words! I just might have to make some colorful posters of those verses for me to read daily....I also really need to get my act together for our Skype visit.

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  7. I sense your desire to hang onto those minutes and also to let her go. What an exciting adventure! My daughter was off to NY last week, and I'm loving the face time and tours of their apartment that I've received.

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    1. Thanks Ramona! Your words made it real, I can really see my daughters living place via the Internet! Something new to look forward to!

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  8. Wow, it sounds like it will be such a valuable experience for her. And yet, it is still hard to know that she is leaving. I loved how you mentioned the hours and then counted down. I am glad that you will have access to means to communicate with her regularly while she is away.

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