October marks when this “homesick” feeling starts to sink into my heart. I miss the colors, smells, and tastes of autumn in the United States…the leaves changing colors, the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, drinking apple cider.
By November, Clay knows not to be too concerned if he catches me wiping tears from eyes. (Don’t get me wrong. He gives me an understanding hug, and waits to see if I want to talk.) I get emotional, thinking about family and the holidays. My Dad’s birthday was in November, and I always get a little sad. And Thanksgiving was the last time I saw my Dad laughing and living.
Then there’s December…one of the happiest months of the year as we approach the celebration of Christ’s birth. But it’s a bittersweet time because it marks when Dad passed from this world into heaven. Eleven years have passed, and I keep wondering when it will get easier.
On top of those hidden heartaches, are the thoughts of all the family get-togethers that we’ve missed over the last three years…the birthdays, the Sunday dinners, the funerals, and the everyday stuff. I miss my family. I’m sad that I haven’t been able to “be there” when loved ones have been going through their own heartaches. I’m sad that my kids are growing up without memories of playing with their cousins or sleep-overs at Grammy’s house.
I know it’s all worth it. I know that our sacrifice on earth is small in comparison to the sacrifices others have made. I know that the ZK people need to know Jesus. And His sacrifice was the greatest, to ransom many.
Pray for our family during the holidays. Yes, we’re making our own new holiday traditions, and it’ll be special for our children too. Pray that we can focus on the joy of the season.