Tonight I started to pack my suitcases to head back to Japan. I am scheduled to fly back next Thursday the 24th. It is amazing to think that I’ve been home for two months to care for my parents. A teammate of ours prayed for many sweet memories to be made during this trip; God answered that prayer abundantly! The most precious moments were during the dozens of visits I’ve made to see my father in the nursing home, reading the Bible aloud, praying for him, holding his hand and telling him I love him very much. I’ve had some unforgettable moments with my parents, times I will look back upon for years to come.

I have to confess, this period been an extremely emotional time in my life. I’ve had a lot of time to mourn and to think deeply about life. I definitely feel like I am at a great crossroad in my life. My dear parents are frail and failing, Matthias and I are newly arrived on the mission field, and I am already 35 years old (I’m no spring chicken). It feels kind of like a mini mid-life crisis of sorts. But it’s a good one, since I am reflecting so frequently on the brevity of life, the swiftness of the years, on the importance of making this one life truly count for something.  I am also learning to treasure every moment with my loved ones and to savor every precious memory like a good meal. A verse that often comes to mind is this one:

Psalm 90: 1-2, 12
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past,or as a watch in the night.

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

As I face the heartbreaking reality of my parents not being around for many more years, I am left to cling to God, to hold fast to His good plan for my life. As someone wisely said, I don’t know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future.