Friday, January 13, 2012

Leavin' On A Jet Plane, Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again...

 We're on our way! Only 737 days to go!

One tired missionary-husband!
Heading across the Atlantic

After missing our London-bound flight in Chicago due to an airplane malfunction, we've been re-routed to Dusseldorf, Germany and I'm writing late at night as we cross the Atlantic.  By the time I'm able to post this, we'll be in our new apartment in Newchapel, just outside of London.  Hard to imagine right now.

Oh, how I miss my daughters tonight!  It's been even harder than I thought it would be.  Early this morning we said goodbye to Emily, Janet and Kristen, along with our two youngest grandchildren.  I think I'm glad neither Amy nor Jenn were in Salt Lake.  I don't know if I could have said goodbye to all five on the same day.

Never mind that we're grateful and excited about this privilege and opportunity.  Never mind that I'm full of faith and gratitude that this will be a time to learn and  grow and serve.  Never mind that I know that the Lord will watch over our family while we're gone.  Never mind that I knew it would be a sacrifice.  It still hurts to leave them all -- a lot.

You know that feeling you get after you've had a good cry?  That kind of soggy feeling around your eyes and a real soft heart?  That pretty much describes how I've felt since about a week before Christmas.  Once we arrived home from Washington, D.C., my heart started recording: the last Christmas Eve nativity we'll have with our family for a few years, the last family dinner, the last hug from each of our grandchildren for a while, the last time to attend church in our ward, the last movie with our best friends, the last time to Curves with another good buddy, the last time to wrap myself in the quilt Amy made that kept me warm and comfy through chemo, the last .., the last ..., the last....  You get the picture.

It's interesting what we let our thoughts do to us....but it's time for some new perspective. Well, I still feel a little soggy, but I've now come to realize that even that is a blessing. I could have missed this whole soggy experience!  Don and I are both lucky to be alive. I have to remember that. His last Christmas could easily have been 1995.  My last Christmas could have been in 2006.  But we're still here and we've been allowed so many rich and varied experiences since then.  So many blessings -- and some trials, too.  But the point is we're here and each new day is a gift.

Before we left, Janet (courtesy of her dear friend, Erin) emailed me a devotional address Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave at BYU in 2009, entitled "Remember Lot's Wife."  I finally had time to read it tonight on the plane and found it to be a deeply insightful talk.  You can find it at .  Elder Holland's words sank deep into my heart when he said, "Faith is always pointed toward the future....Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there.  Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the "high priest of good things to come."

It's incredible what faith and perspective will do for you....The gospel of Jesus Christ gives me both. I'm so grateful for every member of my family that I miss right now -- every daughter, every son-in-law and every grandchild.  I am grateful for all the experiences of the past.  They have made me what I am.  And now, I will choose to put my faith in God and in his Son, Jesus Christ and go forward trusting that there are great things in store, both in my family at home and in our work in London.

737 days of new experiences and opportunities and blessings -- for them, and for us.      ~Pat~    

1 comment:

  1. I'm tired of crying every time I read your blog. Tired of being so proud of you I could burst. Tired of things being hard but really perfect. Your mission is exhausting :)