Friday, April 19, 2013

The Heart of a Missionary's Mother

April 19, 2013

Written by Holley Jeppson, Lindsey's mom

Everybody warned me about what I would go through when Lindsey left on her mission, but I wasn't prepared for what happened.  I suspected it would be emotional, but I was shocked at why.  She had left for college for a semester and we really only talked to her a couple times a week any way, so I didn't think it would be hard or that I would be homesick because she had already been gone.  But I got hit with a lot of different emotions and would suddenly burst into tears at any moment.  The morning after we dropped her off I was laying in bed, crying again, and the therapist in my head would not shut off and I tried to figure out what I was feeling. I wasn't really sad or even fearful -- she is going to Arizona, for heavens sake.

 I really didn't want her coming home because I was excited, even jealous, for her experience.  But I was feeling a loss and that word just felt real.  So I think I figured it out.  When she was first born, I felt this incredible responsibility -- similar to a "really big" calling.  For 19 years, I have always had her on my mind.  When she was little she was with me constantly, but even through the last few years, I always felt the "stewardship" of her.  Tuesday night, when she was set apart,  I felt I was released of that particular part of my calling as her mother. I know I will always be her mother, but our relationship will always be different now. There was some relief knowing that I did my best.   After all, she had made it to the temple AND on a mission -- I don't think I can take credit, but it still feels good.  I had gratitude for how well she turned out despite my mistakes. But also a loss for the responsibility.  There was comfort knowing that she is in the Lord's hands and if I can trust anybody with my precious daughter it would be Him -- after all she was His first before this life.  When she returns it will just be different -- which is good.

Another thought that came was that I got a SMALL taste of what Abraham would have felt when he made the decision to offer his first born Isaac on the alter. Our friends had described that feeling when they sent their son on a mission and I felt it strongly as well.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that I've had to raise her and learn from her incredible spirit.  I love her very much and know she is going to make and incredible missionary.  They tell me these emotions will subside and  believe it, but it will not be something that I ever forget and will always stay imprinted in my heart.

A Mother's Love - Holley says goodbye to her baby girl