If you have been reading my blog for long, you know that we just sent our oldest daughter, Rebekah, to attend a YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Taiwan. I used to think mothering young children and homeschooling a houseful was hard, but the challenges of launching a young adult, particularly overseas, dwarf those earlier struggles.
Without prayer, God’s Word, and supportive friends, I am not sure how I would weather this current season of parenting. It is difficult to avoid worrying about Rebekah while she is in Taiwan. I need to remember to trust God to care for her.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
When anxiety and worry threaten to overwhelm me, prayer is the solution. Communication challenges, logistical concerns, and restless nights have all drawn me to my knees on behalf of my oldest daughter.
While Rebekah is in Taiwan, the most convenient form of communication is text messaging. We are blessed to be able to keep in touch, but texting is certainly not ideal for communicating clearly. I can not see her expression, hear her tone of voice, or discern whether she is hesitant to answer a question or just busy. In my efforts to understand more completely, I always try to read between the lines of her texts:
- Can I take the words at face value?
- Is everything really alright?
- If it is not, what could I do about it anyway since she is on the other side of the world?
I can not know the first two answers for sure, but clearly, the most effective way for me to help Rebekah is to pray for her. So I do—as often as I think about her.
Earlier this week, we were not sure Rebekah would be able to access her funds to pay her school and outreach fees. I researched ATMs, international wire transfers, and other options while she was busy with classes or asleep.
I am at a disadvantage since I do not know how banking works in Taiwan, and I am not there to help her in person. But God is with her; He knows exactly what she needs to do and can use the wisdom of those around her to guide her. As I pray for her, I am trusting Him to do exactly that.
The twelve hour time difference has challenged my sleep schedule. During my day, I know Rebekah is asleep, so it is easy to have peace. While I should be sleeping, though, she is awake and going about her day. Thoughts and questions about what she is experiencing flood my mind.
Have I slept like a baby every night? Not exactly. My sleep schedule resembles that of a new parent, although I have slept well a couple nights since she has been gone. During the wakeful times, whether minutes or hours long, I pray for Rebekah. The first week’s teachings at DTS focus on hearing God, so I am asking Him to speak to her and help her recognize His voice.
As I pray for my daughter, anxiety dissipates. I know that God will answer every prayer. I experience the peace Paul promised the Philippians. God provides me with the rest my body needs…or just enough energy to get through my day.
What circumstances give you the most anxiety as a parent? Please share them in the comments.