In his absence…
I know, I know. You see all of my pictures with my smiling face…full of grace. You see the pictures of me having the time of my life. These pictures aren’t lying…at all. I just haven’t shared the other half of my story…
Let me preface this post by saying I’m truly thankful for my journey and all that has come forth in my life. Sometimes, I don’t realize my blessings of how God has rested in my spirit and has granted me undeniable favor.
Well, coming to Uganda by myself was a huge step of courage, strength and sacrifice. It wasn’t completely due to moving to a new country as much as it was dealing with the fact that I would be leaving my 8-year-old son behind with his father.
Although this was a pre-orchestrated plan, it hurts tremendously. I’ll be completely honest: I’m in pain and suffering with him not being here with me. My son is my everything. My life was and still is all about his happiness, development and overall well-being as a young man and as my son.
Some may think I’m absolutely nuts, others may feel that it may have been the best thing to do. You may not understand my thoughts or even my decision. Quite frankly, it may not be meant for you to understand, accept or appreciate, for that matter.
I thought I had the strength and know how to get through. I thought that I’d be okay because I’ve been down this road once before but….times get tough, really tough…tears shed hysterically and I get very lonely.
You see, before the traveling and living abroad scenarios, I’m a mother…a concerned mother who loves being one, especially to my sweet child named Christion.
Plenty of “sistahs” in Christ, friends, acquaintances and family members spoke words of encouragement to me prior to my arrival in Uganda. By the way, I was extremely meticulous when sharing my fears, hesitations and anxiety because I didn’t want to be transparent regarding my situation with specific individuals who didn’t understand my concerns or fear. I wanted to share with those who are connected to the same faith and in some respects, the same journey and sensitivity to my situation. Everyone was completely positive, honest and realistic. They reminded me that I would miss him dearly and that times will get very hard without him in Uganda.
Gosh, I just wasn’t ready for it. I’ve been away from him for 3 whole months and counting. I really don’t want to count because when I look at the calendar, I still have another month to go before embracing him in my arms again and seeing his beautiful face. That’s a looooong time for a mama like me.
The bright side of things…
God has shown me a lot about myself in these three months. I’ve learned to appreciate my relationship with my son exponentially. I have learned to lean on my faith and trust in prayer unlike any other time in my life. I have learned to appreciate family bonding time and the importance of consistent communication. I have learned to appreciate the actions of love and expressing it with purpose. I have learned who I am becoming as a woman. I have learned to be true to myself and to use the gifts God has instilled in me. I have learned the definition of strength, passion and determination. I have learned to truly appreciate…life for what it is, through challenges, triumphs and glory.
So, while I am on this journey, please believe that I have dealt with sacrifice, pain, fear, doubt and rejection. My life is not a crystal stair….no, no…its not. Believe me, I have faced some very dark times in my decision. Words can’t express my feelings or how hard guilt strikes me at times. I, however, make every attempt to press forward with a purpose and plan. A purpose that I know God will bless in the end. I’m here for a reason. Although the reason may be unknown at this time, it’s inevitable that we (purpose and I) will meet soon. I know that even if my presence in Uganda is for just one person or situation, it is purpose destined to be. I know that even in these moments, God will make a way to show himself approved. I know that coming to Uganda wouldn’t of happened if it wasn’t meant for me to be here.
So, where is he?
My son is with his father. In my heart of hearts, I found that I have compassion for fathers who want relationships with their children, especially their sons. I saw the need for my son to start having a foundation and a relationship with his dad. These are my reasons. Yours may be completely different.
So, I dug very deep and found some strength to let him go. No, this isn’t the typical summer vacations that I’m used to. This, my friends, is for the entire school year. It has only been by the grace of God that I’ve made it this far.
So, I push forward in my God given confidence that I can get through this. I want to look at this time of separation not as a pity party but as a time of reflection, sharing, productivity, love, building community and growth. God is working on me in his absence.
I share because…
…I know there may be someone reading this that has or will experience the same situation. You may be considering a move abroad but have issues with letting your child go for such a long time. Completely understandable. You may have doubts of keeping your child away from their father. You may have doubts on leaving your child with their father. You may even want your child to come abroad with you but the situation may not be the best suited. I’m not sure what your reasons are…but I know that you will make the best decision for you.
When my son was with me, I believe it was a great benefit to him. He learned so much about other cultures and experiences in abundance. I don’t regret bringing him with me. In the end of all this, I will better be able to communicate any regrets I have with leaving him behind.
There are several single mothers who have made the decision. No, it’s not abandonment but more of a sign of the times. We are no longer in ideal 2 parent households. That’s not my reality. Although, I firmly believe and respect the institution of marriage, I also understand that circumstances are not the same for everyone. When a child is involved, it means that sacrifice, separation and compromise may be necessary for the betterment of the child. Single mothers, it’s so crucial for your child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, if possible. Don’t forget that.
Point. Blank. Period. It’s hard. I’m human. I have feelings. I cry. I heal. Then, I start over and move forward…one day at a time. Then, the cycle repeats…not necessarily in that order. I share this part of my story with purpose, hope and transparency.
Until next time, be blessed.