Trusting God as I Say Goodbye

by Kathy March

Many years ago now, when I was a recently-wed young woman, I had a startling conversation with my mother-in-law.  We were discussing her sorrow over the fact that her children and grandchildren were scattered across the country.  She so desired to be close to all of them—to be a part of their daily lives and to watch her grandchildren grow up.  Then she shared a dream of hers with me: a dream to buy several acres of land, build a large family home, and allocate plots of land to her children so they could also build family homes.  Initially, I was amused.  Soon after, I was appalled.  At the time, I could not even imagine living in a “March Family Compound.”

This morning, I stood at our side door and hugged my son and his wife goodbye.  They had been living on the west coast of the United States—miles away from us, but still an easy air flight away.  Now, they are on their way to China.  My son has accepted a two-year position teaching in a Chinese high school, and they are thrilled at the chance to experience a new culture and lifestyle.  And as much as I am grateful for their spirit of adventure and their new opportunity, I would rather not say goodbye to them.

I would much rather buy a plot of land and allocate a portion to them and be a part of their daily lives.  I am the one that now wants the “March Family Compound.”

Isn’t it interesting how life “goes full circle?”  I now recognize that my mother-in-law’s desire was rooted in love and not in control.  I would like to think that my motives for keeping my family close are the same.  Yet the Lord has been teaching me that I am not in control of my grown children, and that He is the author of their life story.  In fact, Acts 17:26-28a says this:

From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  For in Him we live and move and have our being.

This Bible verse assures me that God has determined the best places for my children and grandchildren to live and that He has great purpose in that determination.  The purpose is so that they will seek Him and reach out for Him.

Really, what more could I want for my children and grandchildren?  If their lives are full of passion for the Lord, if they have learned to seek Him and to serve Him in all places, that would fulfill my greatest desire.

So, as I pray for my beloved children heading off to China, I will commit to trusting the Lord to draw them close and continue His work in their lives.


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  1. Oh, my — what a moving post. I know what that pain is like, but God bless you for your willingness to let your children go serve the Lord in a far-away land. He will bring you blessings you might not have received otherwise. Watch for them! Thanks for sharing with us. Wish I could give you a hug.

    • Kathy March says:

      Linda – I would certainly welcome your hug! Thanks for your kind words and I so appreciate the reminder to be on the lookout for blessings!

  2. i can identify with much of your post kathy. we said good-bye to our oldest daughter and family when they went to kiev, ukraine the end of august (yes, they’re w the PCA there). in some ways it was easier to say good-bye this time. She served there for 6 yrs. until 2008 when she married (a man who went there on a mission trip!)

    now they are returning for 3 yrs….with their just turned 2 yr. old son. yes, i hated to see them leave, but was glad she didn’t have to go by herself as she has before.

    i’ve also had dreams of a plot of land where we could all live b/c none of our children/grandchildren live nearby. one lives in the northwest, the other in AL. we can’t even go to one on the way to the other!

    but i doubt that plot of land will ever exist here on earth. makes me sad for now…but look forward to the eternal time when we will be together with Christ. sorry i didn’t discover your blog BEFORE the conference. mine is come visit sometime. m

    • Martha – it is hard to believe, but I just now found the comment you submitted last November! Sometimes I think I have got these new communication mechanisms mastered and other times, I realize I have a long way to go. Anyway, thank you for your kind and encouraging words and also for your website and blog. I enjoyed reading some of your entries and they really reflected much of my heart, as well. I think your perspective of spending eternity with our families definitely helps manage our hopes and dreams for spending time on earth with them. Thank you again, Kathy

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