by Gail Faulkner
I was a young mom with three children living far from home, in a foreign country having left all that was familiar and comfortable behind. My chaotic thoughts seemed to run in every direction. I wondered if my children would be scarred for life after being placed in an unknown culture with a language we could not speak and not a friend to call their own.
Those years are faded memories now, but lessons I learned are tucked deep within the secret places of my heart. God was tender and personal.
Allow me to share a few lessons I learned as a mother on the field.
It is good to be fully dependent on the Lord – painful, but worthy. I think we have experienced some of that in 2020 with a worldwide pandemic. Strip everything away and the spiritual battle of loving God with all our heart, soul and mind is no longer clique words, but life itself. Teach children to be dependent on God.
God is a God of details. He met the needs of our family in ways I could not. We met a French/American family that had 6 children and became immediate friends. Fellow missionaries were instant Aunts and Uncles. Sibling relationships cemented deeply. The Lord provided a beautiful home with wildlife, fruit trees, exotic plants and flowers that made this strange new home exciting. Nationals were welcoming and kind to us.
In those early days of settling, I felt like Hagar in Genesis 16:13, “I can call the name of the Lord who spoke to me, ‘You are a God of seeing.’” The Lord saw us in that unfamiliar place, and as I journey back to those days and to the present I can still say, “I have seen him who looks after me.” Do not miss those opportunities to point your children to a heavenly Father who cares for us.
I learned about God from a different worldview. I am so thankful we were exposed to poverty, different skin colors, foreign languages, strange food, discomfort, and loneliness. We try to protect our kids and make their world comfortable, yet it robs them of learning the heart of God for the nations. Face the unfamiliar roads with bumps and let that grow and mature your family. Sometimes God calls us to go across borders and other times we find the world in our own backyard. No matter where we are, we have been entrusted with the holy calling of telling God’s story. Let that be your legacy.
I learned that God takes care of moms, too. We never outgrow needing a mom. I found mine on the mission field. She did not birth me, name me, and she did not raise me. I will never forget the safety of her embrace as she wrapped her arms around my frame to comfort and hold me. She whispered in my ear that all would be ok, and I was not alone.
Her name is Elizabeth. She has no biological children, but hundreds of “adopted” children all over the world. I am one of them. Years later she is the one I call when I need a word of wisdom, gentle guidance or even a stern correction.
You do not need to birth a child to claim the precious name MOM. Our influence touches those around us and our obedience to simply love ushers us straight to the heart of those we invest in throughout life. Open your arms and welcome others in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gail Faulkner attends Hillsdale Baptist Church. She has been married for 39 years. Gail has 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Her new hobby is gardening.