Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Making Room in my Heart for More Love

I have been trying to comprehend my feelings of love. Emotions of love I have for more than one country. Perhaps you think that I can not love many places equally, or that in loving one, I love the other less. But that is not the case for me.

As a mother, I love each of my four children equally. But differently. Each occupies a place in my heart that no other can fill.

My first born daughter, Jackie, was born a very independent child. She was mature and handled everything easily. She was quickly to become my friend. My best friend. My love for her is shown in that way.

Along came son, Joshua. He was a serious minded child. Content to play alone, but in need of my presence for security. As he as gotten older, it seems our roles have changed. He now cares for me and brings me security. He does his own thing still, but likes to have loved ones nearby for comfort. I show him my love by being available.

Jewel! She quickly revealed a strength of character we had yet seen in any child. Strong willed, independent, and very loyal. The life of any party! My role with her was often to be a boundary setter as she knew no limits and thought she could do anything. She usually could, but at times to the detriment of others or endangerment of herself. She is now a young lady of 17 and still is a strong minded individual but has learned to be considerate of others. I show my love by supporting her in her endeavors.

Then the baby, Jayde. She is the social butterfly. She thrives on attention. She does not like to be left to her own devices and prefers to be part of a group. To show her love, is to look her in the eye and communicate. A lot!!!

I love them all greatly, but differently, just as I love my different countries equally and yet completely.

My home land, the USA, is the land of my birth. The land of my heritage. It is where I feel safe and secure. A refuge. The land of my mother tongue, of my sheltered childhood. I could not love another place more!

Venezuela is my adopted country. A place I chose to love and a people who returned my love, mostly. Just as a young bride leaves the home of her parents to begin a new life with her husband, I chose to begin a new life in Venezuela. I gave Venezuela my unconditional love. Yes, I know her faults and difficulties, but I love her still. I could not love another place more!

Then the Ye'kwana tribe. I love them with a passion! My time with them was the culmination of a life long dream. Our lives were filled with excitement and adventure. Emotionally draining at times, but very fulfilling! I could not love another people more!

Now, I am opening my heart to Paraguay. Just as a young person first in love, tentatively, shyly even, I am reaching out to see if that love is returned or spurned. It is exciting and yet terrifying! It could break my heart! Or , bring great joy!

Yes, I have a great love for more than one place, more than one people. One will never replace the other and all will be part of what makes me feel whole and gives me purpose in this life and the one to come.

1 John4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.


Mizz E said...

This is one of the most loving tributes I've ever read. It reminds me of the heart of my own mother.

Truly the fully realized human heart has room for all.

Daughter of the King said...

What a precious post...you indeed are what being a missionary is about....may we all be examples of the Love of the Lord as we go through our days....and wherever our mission field is.
Great post, Rita....

Sarah Joy said...

Amen! This was such a blessing to read. Thank you for posting it.

A Note From Theresa said...

Thats wonderful! I'm happy you have so much love. It whats makes you and your Husband such GREAT missionarys!

Never feel guilty about loving another country, like you do the USA. God put that love there.

Keep up the good work for our LORD!


Bob said...

As usual, I could not say it any better than mizz e.

redneck preacher said...

Groovy post Mrs. Missionary, wife, mother, doctor, teacher, comforter, adviser, and friend.


Pat said...

Rita, you are such a thinker---such a ddep and stirring post!! I echo your sentiments. After one child, and another is coming, you think "How can I love another child as much as this one???" But God fills your heart with those special feelings and will again fill you with love for a people He calls you to go to!! They will be special in the same but different ways...

Venezuela will always be your "home"---but God can provide all the grace you need to move forward to a new "home" and thrive and grow and LOVE!! And He will bring special people into your life and heart to fill voids and pain!!

Blessings to you!!

Pam said...

What a wonderful post sis! You perfectly described those off spring of yours!

Happymama said...

I have no doubt that Paraguay will love you too.


Frieda said...

I just loved this post and felt every word. I blessed to have such a heart that is so accepting of other cultures and other countries. May God continue to bless you on your path. Here is an Irish blessing for your new beginning:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Penless Thoughts said...

Loved this post Rita. Said so well, as always!!!

pink&blackjunglebunny said...

Loved this post, Mom!

Am I really a social butterfly?
C'mon, I don't talk THAT much, do I?

Haha! I have to admit, that you were absolutely right about me feeling loved when you look me in the eyes and talk to me!
AMEN there!

Anyone who wants to talk, I'M OPEN!!!



Rebecca said...

They will know we are Christians by our love.

marina said...

I have never really know a missionary but reading your story has truly touch my life and when God closes a door he always opens another one. God is truly with you.
thank you for sharing Gods word.

Abouna said...

Jungle Mom; I'm off topic here, but by the looks of the news today on Fox News Channel, it appears the people of Venezuela are rising up against Hugo Chavez. Thousands took to the streets today protesting against his plans for the country. Made my heart feel good to see it.