Confessions of a missionary wife: homesick

by mendibpng

joe and noah

I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven lately. At least once a day and sometimes more, I feel the ache of missing someone I love. It doesn’t matter that I live in Papua New Guinea. I would feel the same way if I were back in the U.S. because I would be missing family in other parts of the world. I wish I could share in the greatest joys, like when my cousins got married (and we couldn’t attend) or when loved ones celebrate the birth of new babies. Oh how I wish I could give little Katie (and other babies that I haven’t met) a cuddle! I wish I could see her mama laughing at her antics and share in those moments.

Added to that, it’s also really hard to be here when our loved ones are struggling with a great difficulty or dealing with the grief and loss. I wish I could physically be present for them during those times. Instead, I resign myself to saying a prayer and sending them a quick email or Facebook message.

When I think about heaven, I think about how much I long to see Jesus finally face to face. I wonder if He will look like the friend I’ve pictured all these years of knowing him.

I also think about all the friends and family who are dear to me, and how we will have such great reunions once we get There. I know I can’t sit down and have a cuppa with those of you on the other side of the world right now, or my sisters, who are in the same time zone but who live miles away…but if I can just keep my gaze on eternity, I know there will be so many opportunities to be together AND there will be no more goodbyes!

Some days the sadness starts to creep up on me, (it happens often when I see status updates or pictures on Facebook)  I work at being thankful for the people I DO see every day. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on what is NOT rather than what IS. And even though I can’t see Him, Jesus is right here. He knows the grief and pain of what we humans go through, although ours pales in light of what he went through. I often try to escape the feelings but I have found that they just weigh me down. Soooo…for me, I have to stop and embrace the loneliness for a bit, tell Jesus about it and let it go.

And now I’m off to do some serious playdoughing with my three year old twins, who are with me every day. Some day they will go off to school like their big brothers and sister and I’m gonna (for sure!) remember how little they were, and how they seem to appear everywhere I go in the house. My best moment this morning was looking down at Jacob who had squeezed into a comfy chair with me this morning, just content to be close to me. That’s the way I want to think about Jesus every day.


6 Comments to “Confessions of a missionary wife: homesick”

  1. Mandy, I’m going to look for the letters I saved from the 1980’s, (letters I wrote home) because I’m positive I have one that is word-for-word the same as this blog you just wrote. Much love to you, (Aunt Pat)

    • Aunt Pat, thank you for saying this–I am glad I am not the only one who feels homesick once in a while! 🙂 I hope I have a chance to see you when we head home on furlough and to meet Isla!! Love you too! 🙂 xoxo

  2. Mandy,
    You are a strong woman and I am so impressed by what you do with your kids and how you support your husband and how you faithfully press on. I look forward to seeing you again someday too. I always thought you were a wonderful catch for Ben. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Love, Callie

  3. Mandy, I’ve found myself thinking the exact same thing recently, especially when friends and family back home are struggling or sick. Knowing that we’ll have all eternity to be with those we love is such a real hope and consolation in the pain of separation, isn’t it? Thanks for the reminder today 🙂

  4. I found this blog by just googling ‘homesick missionary’.
    Homesickness is so introspective – since it is a personal longing for our personal longings – and it can feel impossible to share. How cool to just google it and find someone saying exactly what I’m thinking, though longing for a different home.
    I like how you said to stop and embrace lonliness for a bit, give it to Jesus.
    Maybe because we are doing a good thing, it feel wrong to allow ourselves a moment to grieve what we have lost?
    I love your eternal perspective.
    I just wrote about being homesick, wanting to share the experience with those back home, and it is a blessing to read a sister in Christ (who i havent met) echoing the cries of my heart and submitting herself to God’s authroity and perfect plan.
    Thanks for your post.

    • hi Catherine Grace! I had a chance to visit your ‘homesick missionary’ post and I agree, we are in a similar journey even though in completely different environments–because of our eternal perspective. I saw your pictures and was homesick for the land where I grew up, amongst becaks and delicious spicy food 🙂 Keep walking your walk of faith–the first few years are really tough!! Thanks for understanding where I was coming from!

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