Lily Jo ‘s at YWAM what a big step for a homeschooler. For five years she stayed home with me and we laughed and we cried, we fought and we had a good time, we learned and we were lazy. Homeschooling was a wonderful ride. Zackry would accuse me of keeping her home from school because I wanted a playmate, I suppose there is a small bit of truth to that. Lily Jo was so full of life, curiosity, and constant chatter that she didn’t do well in school. The teacher would give a spelling test and the word would be dog. “Spell dog”, the teacher would say and Lily would shout out, “I have a dog, his name is Jed”, and off she would go. The teacher would tell Lily to be quiet, study, and focus or she would miss recess and Lily would miss recess . Lily Jo never realized her teachers were upset with her, and she never was upset by the discipline. She tried, but I knew that either her spirit would be broken and she would fit in or we would have constant sentences to write, principals to see and agitated teachers to listen too. So we stayed home. We did homeschool. Lily did not lack for socialization. we joined a co-op, speech club, science class and theater, choir, hikes, walks, talks and studying with other homeschooled friends. Life was very busy and very full. When Lily graduated high school she signed up for YWAM, in Honolulu, for six months. She would be gone over the holidays and out of contact most of the time.
She’s my last one, my baby. I lost a husband on a business trip, he died in his sleep. I held a baby in my arms as she took her last breath. I have suffered lost and through the suffering I have learned not to hold on to the ones I love. When their time comes their time comes there is nothing I can do to stop it. So I have let the ones I love go and experience life. So it’s Lily’s turn and she’s off.
When Lily signed up to go to YWAM I began to think about Hannah, in the Bible. She could not get pregnant. Those around her were having babies but her womb stayed closed up, she so longed for a child.
I longed for Lily. I had my boy, Zack whom I loved very much and Dona May, who was a joy and a mystery with Down’s Syndrome and I held Naomi in my arms as she breathed her last breath and that’s when I thought I would never have another child. But six years later God gave me Lily, she was full of life, afraid of nothing and she made me laugh. I dedicated her to the Lord and I said “She’s yours Jesus”…..and now at 18 years old he’s calling her back. I sense Jesus saying “You’ve cared for her and now I’m calling her back to do my work.”
I always wondered how Hannah could pray and long for baby and promise to give him back to the Lord . She kept her promise and gave Samuel to the Temple Priest, Eli to raise up as a man of God. It seems like that would have been such a heart wrenching moment for Hannah when she said goodbye but yet there was joy in that giving of Samuel. Samuel grew to be a mighty amazing prophet of God. And that is what I want to do for my children, let them go. I dedicated each one to the Lord and when he calls them I want to be ready to give them with joy not to hold them back out of fear or anxiety or the fear of “what ifs” or “I miss them” but to fully let them go live their lives.
So in September I sent Lily Jo off to Honolulu and then over the Christmas holidays she headed to share her love with the people and children of India and Sri Lanka. And in 17 days I will be hugging her neck.
I am so proud of her and so honored that God would allow me to raise Lily Jo to send her off on a mission. She’s a legacy. A Legacy of Christ’s love.