Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breathe Strategy - Feel Your Emotions

This has been a tough few weeks for me, especially the last few days.  My son left this morning for a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As I type this he is still on his flight to Brazil.  He left our home this morning at 7:00 am.  He caught a 10:45 am flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, then caught the next flight at 7:50 pm and will arrive in Sao Paul, Brazil at 7:40 am tomorrow morning. 

Last night we met with our Stake President, President Rodarte, and Adam was set apart as a missionary and the moment the words "you are set apart as a full-time missionary . . ." came out of his mouth I couldn't help the audible sob that escaped from me.  Tears rolled down my checks, I could not hold in my emotions.  I couldn't believe it was official, that he was really leaving and my heart was breaking.  I let the feelings flow instead of trying to lock them inside as I would have done in the past.

When we got home all of us were feeling the emotions and for the longest time we all just sat together in silence and cried.  Then this morning when my son and husband left for the airport the tears flowed again.  My daughter was crying and was really upset so I let her stay home from school.  After they drove away, we crawled into my bed and cried together. 

In the past I would have held in my emotions, especially around my children.  I didn't want them to be sad or to worry about what I might do with my emotions.  But I have learned to feel my emotions, to breathe through them and share them.  I love this quote from Melodie Beattie's book Co-Dependent No More:

If a feeling comes our way, we feel it, acknowledge the sensation then move on to the next step.  We don't censor, we don't run from, we don't talk ourselves out of feeling it, we don't pass judgment on the feeling, we experience it, we allow the energy to pass through our bodies and we accept it as our feeling.  Then appropriately respond to the feeling.  Then we decide what, if anything, we want to do about the feeling.

Letting my son go this morning was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but sharing the sadness that I was feeling with the rest of my family made it so much easier to live through.  I believe the appropriate response to how I am feeling is to keep sharing it.  First I shared my feelings in my journal as well as my immediate family.  I also talked to several friends about how I was feeling.  But most important of all, I trust my Heavenly Father to watch over Adam for me.  Only 730 days until he is home and every moment that I am sad and miss him, I'm going to feel it, acknowledge it and let it pass through me.


  1. I cried for you as I read your post for today. I wish I could say that I know what you are going through, but I have never sent a child off on a mission. Find peace in knowing that he is going about his Heavenly Father's business. He has been preparing for this day his entire life, and has made the good choices that have allowed him to be able to go and serve. You have done a good job as a mother, and now he gets to go teach the people in Brazil who need to hear his message. I once heard that we should look at missions as tithing on our lives. So, you have had Adam for 20 years (even though part of that time he was in the womb) and now you are giving 10% back to the Lord. In return, your family will receive blessings that you can't imagine, and in 730 more days, this amazing grown man will return home! I hope that helps you. Any time you need a hug, I have one for you! LOL I sure do love you!


  2. Bravo Renae you are doing great! This is tough stuff but I know you will all be strengthed and grow in ways you can't imagine during the next 2 years. I joked that Stacey's mission was my mission...because of how much I learned and how much it stretched me.

    None of you will ever be the same after this grand earthly experience...there are so many hidden blessings and amazing ways you will each be blessed as you ride the ups and downs of a mission.

    Collecting quotes and scriptures became a lifesaver to me as I traveled through the many emotions that separation between a mother and child bring. Here are a few... well done mom!

    "Missionaries leave their families for two years so that those they teach can be with their families forever."

    The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent from one another.
    Genesis 31:49


    Love you all,
    Karen Jensen

  3. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for being willing to share your deepest feelings. You need to know that it makes a difference. For me, personally...and I'm sure for others who may not be commenting about it. I had that very same experience this morning...not because I sent a missionary out, but because of other things that made me sad. My first inclination was to hide and make it go away. But instead, I talked to Craig. I talked to a friend. I prayed. And now I'm reading your blog. It's that second witness that I needed to confirm that I did the right thing. Thanks for being my second witness so often lately!


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