A hard decision

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At his desk

So after last week's post about my India indecision I thought long and hard about going. I prayed. Other people prayed. I obsessed. I analyzed. I did a ton of research and looked at lots of materials including the State Department link one of you gave which said things like:
 
There is a high threat from terrorism throughout India and terror attacks are a serious and growing threat to U.S. citizens traveling and resident there. U.S. citizens are urged to always practice good security, including maintaining a heightened situational awareness and a low profile.  Coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai in late November 2008 targeting areas frequented by Westerners have raised the risk of Americans becoming intended or unintended victims of terrorism in India.
and

In 2008, violence against Christians (including foreigners accused of proselytizing) has increased.  Mobs have attacked Indian and American missionaries and social workers as such activity provokes strong reactions in some areas.

This article didn't help, either, especially as it's taking place right where the group is going.

Because of some of the unrest there I just don't feel like it's the right time for me to go to that particular part of the world. I'm a bit conflicted that I feel this way; I tend to be very confrontational and non-susceptible with regards to intimidation and it does anger me somewhat that my fear of getting blown up stands in the way of me doing charitable work. I want to say yes out of spite. However, I don't feel that decision is mine alone to make. I have two children who depend on me at home, a family that depends on me, a community. I admire the courage of those who have chosen to go.

It was very hard to decide against going this particular time. Helping children is an issue close to my heart for many reasons; I love to travel; I want to see the world; I just felt that this wasn't the right time to go. I do plan on journeying with this group at a point in the future; I will keep you apprised. I hope that those who were gung-ho about my going are as equally supportive of this decision.

Homework

Thank you so much for your comments and your emails. It meant a lot that you took the time out of your day to offer insight or a prayer. I have it on my to-do list to write some of you back still. Please keep the India-bound group in your thoughts and prayers. I hope safety blankets their journey and I hope that many children are helped by this mission; here's how you can help.

26 Comments

A hard decision indeed. Kudos to you for considering ALL the factors and not rushing into a decision. I can't imagine the difficulty in making such a decision. Know that in your heart, you've made the decision you truly feel is best for you and your family. Another opportunity will come...

Well done. Great thoughts, thank you for your honesty on the thinking behind your decision, our prayers are with them.

That BBC article is... Ironic? (However not to be confused as Islamic)

I completely understand your struggle. I would offer you this thought. The body is made of many parts. Not all are hands or legs, some must be the head and the heart. Find ways to enable others to enter into the mission fields.
God Bless!
Bryan

Wow. I know that was a hard decision. Personally, there is no way I could leave my munchkins right now either (I've got an 8 yr son, 6 yr daughter, & 4 yr son). If you didn't feel 100% sure you should go, then not going is the right choice.

Good for you to make a decision. Your reasons are solid. it's all about timing. perhaps in the future, you can all travel as a family.

I think you made the right choice. My kids are 6 & 3 and I don't think I could have done it either. There will be other opportunities. I will pray for those who are going to go. I am sure many children will be blessed by their travels.

Always go with your hunch. India will still be there later.

Hey, Comrade. I don't know whether you made the right choice or the wrong choice. In fact, I can't know and neither can anyone else. Only God himself can ever know that. But I believe you did the right thing by considering all options and praying for guidance. I do hope you get another opportunity to fulfill your dreams and the chance to help make help an impact on people over there. I believe you could and would do just that. I personally want to go to that part of the world, as well, even though I'm aware that in such a place Heaven and Hell reside too close for comfort. One of my best friends, is in Africa at this moment (not allowed to say where) and I envy him and respect him all the more. But I hope you have peace of mind with your decision and that people don't give you a hard time about it. God Bless, Dana.

My initial reaction was "go girl!" but after giving it some thought, if you were going to be worried the entire time, then it wouldn't have been a productive or enjoyable trip for you.

A hard decision, but a smart one.

In situations like this, there aren't necessarily right or wrong decisions, and I know that it is a hard decision to make!

Keep this in mind for your next chance, which I hope you get: If I had really had the choice the first time I went, I would have said "no."

In retrospect, actually going was one of the greatest events in my life. I've now been there three times (work related).

Naturally, I'll support your choice, so don't worry about that!

Congratulations, Dana. It's bold to listen to your gut. When facing tough decisions, I think we all get swept up with the idea that "everything will be fine," and ignore the warning bells inside us. But caution gets a bad rep. We could all use a dose of caution.

Not to get all preachy up in here, but if more people listened to their inner warnings, the mortgage crisis wouldn't be a crisis. Just this morning I was eyeing a whale of muffin (it was a more a loaf than a muffin, frankly), and my inner warning told me to run from that calorie cave. (So in this metaphor, my muffin loaf is your India...aren't I clever?)

I know this was a tough decision. Ultimately, I think the Lord lays on our hearts what is best for us and how exactly He wants to use us. There is no doubt that this trip is a noble endeavor. But so is raising a family, and, incidentally, so is sustaining the influence you have through your writing. I admire you for thinking this through thoroughly and choosing what is right for you and your family. You have been a great witness in this process and I pray that you experience blessing because of it.
Oh-and I still think you'd be GREAT for one of these trips. I look forward to seeing what comes up in the future.

You are obviously the only one who can make this choice, and you made the one that is best for you and your family. After reading your links, I would feel the same way. We are called to be missionaries, but our first mission field is our family.

Good decision. I would've made the same one.

Plus, what would we have done without our Dana?

PS - Cool beans

congratulations on making what was a very difficult decision. the tone of your post sounds very content and at peace with the choice you have made.

good for you!

i totally respect and understand your decision now that i am a parent myself. three years ago a trip like that would have been no problem...now, with my own two, i could not contemplate the leaving of them.

one thing to think on, by including us, your readers, in this matter you have placed a spotlight on the cause and given invaluable exposure to their efforts. so, you have taken action in the way you can right now.

It sounds like a very difficult decision to make, but it also sounds like you made it from your heart, with the best of intentions for your family as well as for yourself. And if that isn't the recipe for a Right Decision, then I don't know what is.

I admire the people who can and are willing to go. As a mother of young children I just couldn't do it, either. There are so many local children hurting and in need, why not volunteer in your community? That is what keeps me grounded and from zipping off to Kazakhstan to their awful orphanages (my mom does missionary trips there. oh my, heartbreaking) and feeling like I'm making a difference. I can promise you, once you start finding out how many children in your immediate area are starving or being abused you can't hold yourself back.
Either way, I'm glad you were able to come to a decision you feel good about!

I would have made the same decision. Be at peace. :)

There will be other opportunities! I would have made the exact same choice, and I love international travel--but now that I'm a mother things do change a little bit. Your main missions field is right there in your home--you took photos of it (them). I think you made the choice properly and after good thought and prayer--I think it's the right one! Listening to the still small voice is always right.

Good, one less thing for me to worry about. The right time will come.

That had to be a tough decision to make.


Dana,

I was really hoping you would go..but given what
you've said I completely understand. I am sure you will have many more opportunities like this in the future. You know what's best for you and yours.. No one knows better than you.

Keep On Rockin'

Jimi

Ya know... being a mom changes everything. Also, cureent world-sitations do too. Jessica above put it well, "The right time will come..."

Dana,

I was one of the many who prompted you to go, its a "once-in-lifetime" kind of post. However, in light of the feelings of doubt and worry you have, and with the planes that have been coming out of the air left and right, I'm glad you decided against it. I think far too often we ignore our gut feelings on things, and end up in situations that we wish we weren't. I give you mad props, lady! ;o) Hope you had a great Valentine's weekend!

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