Updated: Jun 1, 2019
"...consider what great things he has done for you." 1 Samuel 12:24
Anytime we have visitors in Uganda we take them to the game park which is about two hours south of us. It is very tempting, as we drive through a park that we as a family have spent SO MANY HOURS in, to recount every exciting animal sighting from the history of the Cash family in Uganda. Jeff always cautions the kids not to do this. Why? Because it is a game park with wild animals and the leopard we saw in 1998 might not be in the exact same shaded brush in 2019. Go figure.
Jeff advises that we should let each game drive deliver its own story. If we talk about what happened before, while we are on the game drive, visitors can feel disappointed if their story doesn’t match another’s. Such wisdom…
The fall of 2019 will bring great change to our team and family. Kinley is headed to Harding University and Alex is headed to Oklahoma Christian University.
We are so thrilled for every amazing opportunity before them.
And we are feeling the impact already that such change will have for all of us.
For our Cashlings, this departure involves all the regular things they have come to expect from their global life, while at the same time beating with a new cadence that resonates unfamiliar. For the first time, two of our children will make their residence in a country they have only ever visited before. The America our children will engage is very different than Fort Portal, Uganda. The America our children will engage is very different than the America Jeff and I left 24 years ago. We are, every single one of us, stepping into new territory.
And while the regular questions do echo-- have we equipped them well enough? have I said all the important things? will they remember to call their Mom?-- it is another thing altogether that is resonating deepest in my soul.
After all the years of parenting, caring for, teaching and guiding, here at the point of their advancing departure, I am mostly overcome by all that these two young adults have so steadily been teaching me.
I am so often led by my children. It astounds me. And testifies to God. To His Spirit at work among us.
This really is the stuff.
Among so many gracious lessons, I am currently staggered in every good way by how these two use their voice and how they run their race.
Remarkably, they have each maintained a voice and a race that is their very own.
(Their ‘game drive’ is unique and they embrace it!)
I have seen and been taught by both their acceptance of the unique road they are walking and their commitment to walking the road honestly, authentically and with dignity.
They, neither one, are very easily pushed around. Not by expectations, or cultures or even their own pride. They each consider, name, honor and esteem the personality they have been given, the struggles they have been allowed and the most healthy way to navigate their life circumstance for the good of their family, community and self. All of this, is ever intoned with connection to and proclamation of Christ and God by His Spirit.
I have witnessed first-hand, how these two, iron to iron mind you, have shaped each other’s voice and spirit through conflict, controversy and personality polarity—to honor, hear well, and learn. I have witnessed how these two have done this exact same thing with their two youngest brothers.
These two know when to ask for help and how to receive that help, with open hands and hearts. And these two know when to stand their ground, also with open hands and hearts.
It is breathtaking.
Such raw, stunning courage in the hearts of these incredible people.
I am so grateful to be their Mom.
We depend on each other around here. There has been no other way to survive.
So, the most immediate road ahead is going to, indeed, ache a bit.
It seems like just seconds ago, really.
In those earliest morning hours when they were so tiny and their cries would awaken me before light. I did not even have to be completely awake—I just had to move to them. Whispering their name as I crossed the room. They couldn’t see me. I couldn’t see them, but in the hushed dark, my voice would turn their heads. My touch would quiet and still. Cuddling them close comforted and strengthened. I had all the nourishment that they needed. The alarm of their early morning cries would be eased and soothed. By me. By their Dad.
Those were good, good days. Fleeting. Yet sure.
And just as I would never deny those sweet babies of the cuddles and constant they needed of me then, I will not deny these powerful adults of the release and new constant they need of me now.
…to wait in a spirit of Praise…
Psalm 33:20-22, Psalm 34:1, Psalm 77:11-14
Just as my speaking their name brought peace then, may the knowledge that I am ever speaking their name in PRAISE to God, bring peace still.
Confident in the One who has saved us. That we never wait or walk alone.
God is with.
All of us.
Your prayers for their continued courage, resilience, adaptation and endurance are appreciated.
And for joy that is truly abundant as we all step into this next passage.
We receive the grace that maintains in the most excruciating, brilliant witness of God’s perfect design and delight in the lives of each one of our Cashlings.
Blessed be the name of the LORD!