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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Don’t Miss A Thing!

Posted by admin in October 24th, 2010
Published in faith, obedience

We just finished our eighth week in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and we love it more each day. Someone asked me what I miss most of our lives in the U.S. Things? No, not “things”. I don’t miss movies or TV or restaurants or shopping malls or having a car. I don’t miss our house or the dry cleaners or the grocery stores or even Starbucks. I don’t miss any “thing.” I do, however miss people. I miss my Mom and Dad. My Dad has been very sick since we’ve been here. He was in the hospital for three weeks battling pneumonia. Now he’s back at the VA center in Norman, Oklahoma, because he still needs ‘round the clock medical care. His prognosis doesn’t look too good, but he’s a survivor and he’s always done things on his own terms. It’s been tough though being so far away from him and wondering every single day, “Is this his last?”

I miss my sister who has always taken care of all of us and continues to do so. Cindy is made of some very strong stuff. If she was a metal she would be platinum: breathtakingly beautiful, one of the rarest elements on earth, resists corrosion, endures extremely high temperatures, never tarnishes and is called a noble metal. She’s a valuable woman who cares for my parents, her family, is a partner with my brother-in-law in their construction business and is holding the hand of her best friend during breast cancer treatments. Yes, pure platinum.

I miss our grandkids and no matter what people say, Skype ain’t just like bein’ there. Little Kempis, just two years old, went into the hospital for a routine tonsillectomy. Coming out of the surgery, in the recovery room, he coded three times and had to be rushed to Children’s Mercy Hospital and kept in ICU three days. I cried all day worrying for him and for his parents. Later our daughter-in-law Jamie sent a photo of little Kempis all hooked up to wires and my heart broke. Scary. Awful. Anxious. He’s okay now, and we do thank God for that. But we weren’t there for our family and that was a terrifying experience for them. And we were gone.

I miss my cousin Donna and her sweet face and cheerful disposition. There’s something so innocent and pure about her. I miss my best friend Margaret and her strange humor that always catches me off guard and gives me a big belly laugh (big describing laugh here).

We have a good life in Lithuania. Absolutely. My students (all 43 of them from seven nations) are exceptionally smart. I love each and every one of them and pray for each and every one of them by name every day. I love my colleagues who are hardworking, inspiring and just fun to be around. I love Lithuania. It’s well-ordered, clean, and very efficient. The people are honest and though shy, still very good to us the stumbling, bumbling foreigners. I love my university where 24 nations are represented and I can sit in my apartment and watch students walk past our window going to and from classes and each one matters and each one is significant and each one is known to God. I love the time Daryl and I are able to spend together waiting at bus stops, walking to the market, discovering new things about our city, sitting and reading (or working) in the evenings. I love cooking simple little meals that we share together at our simple little kitchen table in our simple little 500-square-foot apartment. I love that I can wear the same outfit three days in a row and no one cares. I love that my hair can have an inch of dark roots showing and no one judges me because fifty other women on the street look just the same.

But most of all I love teaching and being in the classroom. I love designing fair midterm exams that measure me as a teacher as much as they measure what my students have learned. I love holding office hours and praying with students and crying with students and hoping and rejoicing and being excited about their futures.

However, as wonderful as this place is for us—as perfect a place for ministry as we could ever imagine—there is still a great cost and that is the longing and missing of family, friends, and loved ones. There’s a peculiar pain in missing birthdays and anniversaries and milestones and hospital emergencies and long family dinners and hugs and kisses from little ones. My prayer, and belief by faith, is that God will honor our time here and that He will somehow redeem the time and that our grandsons Jack and Kempis won’t forget us and that baby Athena won’t remember that we missed her first year out of the womb. That somehow in God’s economy of redemption the relationships with them will be resilient, the love forged stronger and the connections deeper because we walked in obedience to Christ and He made up the difference. Our prayers are that family members who have taken up the slack in our absence will be blessed beyond description and all their needs will be well met.

“‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the Gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (and with them, suffering) and in the age to come, eternal life’” (Mark 10:29-30).

Now I know why Jesus added the word suffering here. Because being away from the ones we love is painful, yes even scary, but this is what Jesus has asked and we look to His promise trusting that He is faithful and He will honor His word which is above His name. Peace.

5 users Responded In This Post

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454. Janelle Coyle said,
October 24th, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Terri, love reading your post. You know I’m a retired social studies teacher. Do you have an e-mail I can write to you directly????

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455. JiHyeKim said,
October 24th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

How blessed are the students to have a professor like you : )

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456. pam said,
October 24th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

There is a cost to count when we obey..sometimes He does indeed remove us from those so close to our hearts. I can not imagine. Thankful you know the One who can be your comfort and yes I too, believe He honors our obedience of love. Blessings of His best to you…may your abiding with Him be sweet.

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457. anna jane said,
October 27th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Sis, I’m writing on Anna’s username. So, what about you? I think you are the purest of gold – so beautiful, valuable, a form of metal used by our society to express our deepest love to others at times. Yes, I think pure gold – better than 24 kt. You are missed more than you know – no one can fill your wonderful shoes (not just because your feet are smaller than mine) but because you are an amazing Godly woman, you blindly go where you are called (blindly as in wreckless abandon in trusting the Lord for His care and guidance and direction)…You are the epitome of ‘wonderful sister, teacher, aunt, daughter, friend, cousin, mom-by-marriage, grandma-by-marriage’ – I believe, in fact, you are listed in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – where there are several areas your name can be found – (1)faithful, (2)one who is most loved by family, friends, students, peers, (3)beautiful inside and out, (4) one to go to for best cooking, feasts, banquets, (5) homemaker, (6) intercessor, (7) blessed among women. Love and hugs and looking forward to seeing you in December.

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460. texas sister said,
October 30th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I totally agree with your “real” sister’s post above…

beyond 24 karat pure gold, refined by the Master so that when He looks into you, He can see our wonderful Jesus!

Ah, the center of HIS will! the best place to be.

so sorry for the kids and for little Kempis.
I wonder if this little apt. will be like most newlyweds’ favorite place to be…together!

love, kisses and most of all prayers the moment a thought comes

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