Thursday, May 5, 2011

Down memory lane (and pictures too)

The early years
     Thirty-seven years ago this spring, I arrived in LAX from Madrid, Spain. Anxiously waiting for our family were my abuelo and abuela who had emigrated from Cuba to the United States many years before our arrival to California. We were very fortunate to have grandparents waiting for us as we made the transition to learn a new language and call America our new home. The dreams of a better tomorrow were in everyone’s hearts as we envisioned a country full of opportunities as long as we'd worked hard and played by the rules.

     It should not have come to my surprise that while Tony and I began to prepare  for full-time missionary service in the early part of last year, my mother expressed her disappointment in our pursuit. It was over a phone call late in the evening where she reminded me why we came to the ‘land of milk and honey.”  Shortly after our phone conversation, I prayed and asked God to work in the heart of my mother. Our relationship was strained afterward. We stayed away from the topic of missions and any talks of MAF. My mom had accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior in this country like I did many years prior but asking her to give up the American Dream for her own daughter was something too difficult to imagine.
California Dreamin'
        When summer came and it was time to travel to Idaho and be accepted as a career missionary in Latin America, I continued to pray. “Lord, if this is truly your call, I ask that you may grant her your peace about our entrance into missions.”  There were no miraculous signs after we returned home and shared the news that we had given up our jobs as public school teachers to serve cross-culturally in missions. However, the Sunday before Labor Day, my mother addressed the “elephant in the room” and accepted our decision to serve in ministry after nearly twenty years spent in the field of education.
Even though my mom had decided she had no choice in the matter, I sensed I had to lean on the Lord for the months that would be filled with questions and discussions. And so I prayed….and prayed that would orchestrate His will in all our lives.
...but the greatest of these is love

As the days on the calendar always reminds us; time never stands still. Last weekend, we celebrated Easter with my parents and we reminisced over lunch many wonderful memories. I was thankful to God for the gift of a simple meal shared with loved ones around the table. But what was more special was the voice mail message my mother left on the answering machine when I got home. “Laura, I want to tell you how much I admire your courage and love for the Lord. I don’t want to be a burden as you leave and prepare for something the Lord has called you to do. I love you and you have my blessings.” My heart swelled up with gladness in awe of what God had accomplished in over 12 months. I don’t seek self-adulation in anything that has transpired; I can only stand back and watch the wonders that God performs as He asks us to, “…walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthinas 5:7