Changes Forever?

My hubby and I are about to leave later today to bring our oldest, firstborn son out West to serve as a full-time missionary for two years in declaring the good news to those in the northern Utah, southern Idaho, and Star Valley, Wyoming areas that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. He will be a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we believe our church is set up in the same manner that Jesus Christ established His church when He was living upon the earth as a mortal. We have the same establishment such as prophets, aspostles, temples, the proper authority to act in God’s name through His Holy Priesthood, the sealing powers (as stated in Matthew), faith and works, baptism by immersion, repentance, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, etc. We believe that the Lord is the same today, yesterday and forever, which means that He has always had His people record words under His inspiration and that we have been blessed with another testament of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and that He knows where all His people are. (We believe there is yet additional scripture if and when we are ready to receive it, by living up to what we already have.) The greatest news is that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Our son is part of the great work in fulfilling the prophecy that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. This is one reason why there are missionaries from our church all over the world, including here in our own backyard!

Our son leaving for two years is both an exciting time for our family, and a sad one. I think back when my hubby and I were dating as seniors in high school. Upon graduation and after summer completed, I was to begin college about an hour away as he waited to serve his own mission (he ended up going to the Concepcion, Chile, South America mission). I would stay in the dorms at college Monday through Thursday, and come back for the long weekend until he left. My mother and sister were driving me there that first week, and we went to my future-hubby’s house to say good-bye.

As my mother pulled away with me in the car, my hubby and I began to cry. My mother declared, “Well, my goodness! It’s only four days! It’s as if you won’t see each other again.” My hubby and I locked eyes, and we knew it had nothing to do with the four day separation and everything to do that we both understood, without speaking any words, that our lives were about to change forever. It was time to enter the next phase of our lives. We were both excited and sad, just as we are now with our son. With our first child leaving home, we will no longer be the family that all lives under one roof as a parent/child dynamic. I suspect that it will never go back to that again.

I have such fond memories of our family-growing-up-together times as one whole unit. As a mother, it is easy to flash back to all the stages, some more favored in my mind than others. At the same time, I am eager to see and observe all that my son will learn and grow from this next stage of life for him. Eric is eager to learn how this experience will shape him. I know he has his own mixed feelings of being anxious and being sad, but ready.

It’s ironic that we were able to seal our two little boys, who are adopted, to us as a family in the Raleigh Temple a couple of weeks ago. We believe that the family unit continues into eternity; therefore, we are married for time and all eternity versus till death do you part. As part of this sealing, any children born to us after being sealed together in the temple for eternity as a couple are also automatically sealed to us as a family. If an adoption occurs, you must specifically seal them to us by going to the temple for that opportunity and blessing. So, for five years, we have operated as an “incomplete family”, but now we are once again a forever family. And now, we bid one adieu as he forges his own life away from us. It’s bittersweet, but we, too, are ready for all that it brings our family!

It looks like it’s snowing, but it’s not, though it was bitter cold.  We lost a lot of our pictures, and this is the one I found, and it ended up with splatters on it:

5 responses to “Changes Forever?

  1. Good luck to your son! How exciting to be embarking on this new journey. I still remember well when my brother left on his mission (Munich Germany, 1989-1991). Even as an 11 year old when he left and a 13 year old when he returned I could see a huge change in him. It always seems to work that way.

    Also, congratulations on the little boys being sealed to you! I have a friend currently adopting two from Haiti and if all works out as they hope we’ll be going to Utah this summer to attend their sealing.

  2. It’s hard when that first one reaches adulthood and leaves the family for the first time, isn’t it? You’re right though, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in the life of your family. It’s a good chapter though…I’ve loved watching my daughters grow as adults… seeing what good people they are, and being a little surprised as our relationship changes from mother/daughter to woman/woman (and closest friends).

    Have a good safe trip… you’ll probably be heading through our neighborhood at some point (Colorado). take care…

  3. I have a lot of friends that are LDS and have seen their kids go off on missions. What a transition.

    on a different note – We got our confirmations for Chicago. We are very excited. Both of the kids got nearly all of their first choices. We look forward to meeting you and yours.

  4. It’s incredibly difficult, isn’t it? I was astonished by how I grieved over my oldest son’s leavetaking for college.

  5. Hi Cindy, I never knew you were Mormon. My husband and I are not LDS, but we also believe that marital commitments and family ties are binding for eternity. 🙂 I admire your son’s strength and courage, embarking upon this journey (and your and your husband’s too, I can wholly imagine how difficult this is! 🙂 ) Congratulations on opening this wonderful new chapter in your lives.