Longing for Mother 3

I will never forget the first time that I beat Earthbound. It was the day after Thanksgiving in 1997. I had spent most of my break playing through the final half of the game and after finally defeating Giygas I felt a longing for more. Reading in the strategy guide I knew that once I walked home and talked to my mom that this beloved story would come to a close but the thought of closure didn’t settle well with me. I longed for more. Knowing that the end was near I did all I could to prolong its ending. I revisited every town, city and wilderness space looking for anyone to talk to so that I could enjoy every last element of this adventure known as Earthbound. Reluctantly I chose to bring my journey to an end as I take a look at the photo album of me and my team’s progress. The photos appear and tears start to well up in my teenaged eyes. I keep thinking how much I am going to miss the relationships I had with these characters in this game and then towards the end of the “Smiles and Tears” song a 16-bit voice comes from the game that says “I miss you”. I sensed the melancholic feeling that comes from departure was mutually shared between me and this game. At that point I knew that there was a bond that I felt towards that game that I had never felt with any other game.

The credits come to an end but then to my surprise the screen shifts to Ness in his PJs with a late night knock being heard downstairs once again. Soon it is revealed that what I thought was the end was only the start of a new chapter. The tears of sadness that came from what seemed to be our parting turned into tears of joy and anticipation as I begin to dream up what this next chapter would look like!

The months go by and I can’t stop thinking or talking about Earthbound! As a freshman in High School I start recruiting my friends to play this wonderful game so that they could experience it like I had. Around this time the internet was starting to become more popular and through the access of this advanced technology we soon discover that Earthbound is going to have a sequel on the Nintendo 64! We freaked out. We were so excited that we even made t-shirts that we wore to school that said “Earthbound 64… just wait and see…”. Ironically that is exactly what we did. We waited… and waited. But we never got to see it released as it was cancelled altogether. To say we were disappointed would have been an understatement. Though we were disappointed life continued on.

 Longing for a family

I remembered this time in my life so vividly because I remember it as one of the first times where I longed for something so deeply only to be greatly let down with disappointment. I really wanted to continue the journey, defeat Pokey and put a rightful end to this amazing story but instead I was left hanging with a longing unfulfilled. As the years passed by I started to develop other longings. They were mostly good, right and uplifting desires that all of us humans have. There was one particular yearning that stayed on the forefront of my mind more than the rest- the desire for a wife and family of my own. For most of my teen years and all of my 20s I would constantly think about being married and having children. Wanting to see this happen I did all that I could to try and find the right girl to pursue in hopes that this would happen.

 I soon found out that the dating process though it might be necessary to find a wife it can be incredibly painful. For over a decade I experienced this pain with one broken dating relationship after another. Some of these relationships lasted only a matter of days and others for years. I found that the more of my heart and soul that I gave away in dating the more healing and repair I needed afterwards to receive back what I gave away.

 My 10 years of dating experiences can be summed up in two periods; the selfish period and the selfless period. During the selfish period both parties only cared about their individual self and what they can get out of the relationship whether it is physical, emotional or anything else. After many years of choosing to date in a selfish way I resolved to do so no more which resulted in me ending a relationship of nearly 6 years. To the eyes of those around me I had made a huge mistake and may have ruined my opportunity to be married any time soon, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

 Seeing the Mother 3 longing fulfilled

Selfless dating happens when both parties are doing all they can emotionally and physically to protect the feelings and the interests of the other, knowing that they are not guaranteed to marry each other. I waited a year before dating again after ending the final selfish relationship I was in. After this waiting period I begin to pursue a girl that also wanted to date in a selfless way. Everything seemed great. We both were attracted to one another; we both were living for the same purpose and shared a mutual value system. Having left such a difficult relationship and now enjoying one that was so others focused seemed too good to be true. Then due to us wanting to go in different directions in life the relationship was ended. This selfless relationship seemed so much better than the ones from the past so I was confused on why it didn’t work out. That confusion lead to sadness and the sadness turned into what felt like hopelessness and bitterness. At my very lowest point of despair I cried out to God asking why did this happen? Why am I not married yet? Why did it seem right and then not work out? In that moment I connected with God in such a personal way as He gently responded by bringing something from my past to help me in my present situation. Through my prayers I felt like God whispering this to my heart “Travis you can trust me for the desires of your heart. You desire to be married and you can trust that this will happen at my timing. You have also desired for a long time to know what happens in the sequel of Earthbound. As a gift from me to you I want you to look up the story of Earthbound’s sequel and receive fulfillment on something you have been longing for since you were a child. As you receive satisfaction and joy from reading about the events that unfold in your favorite game’s sequel I want this to be a symbolic reminder that I can be trusted to fulfill the longings of your heart.”

 To most it may sound very strange but that evening with God by my side I read through the entire story of Mother 3 found online and I finally received the fulfillment that I longed for since I was a teenager. Having the plot to the sequel revealed was well worth the wait especially since the timing of it helped me gain perspective of the value of trusting God for the things I want most. To this day when I think about Earthbound I think about the promise that God has spoken over me that as I put my trust in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart.

 Love, Faith and Earthbound

This event that occurred 5 years ago was a profound moment where I realized that God cares about me so much that He would use a video game’s release to remind me of His faithfulness and that He can be trusted especially in the area of me finding a wife. The longing for Earthbound’s sequel was fulfilled as it was released by Nintendo and then faithfully translated by the EB fan community.  Those behind the release and translation of Mother 3 did not know that it would be so important to me but God did and He used this accomplishment to remind me that the desires of my heart are noticed by Him and that He takes delight in giving me those desires but that He wants me to trust in Him for provision. I sensed from Him that He wants to use this as a personal reminder to me of His faithfulness to provide for the things that I long for. As I read the story of Mother 3 for the first time that evening I felt like it was a personal gift from God that allowed me to receive the fulfillment that I sought after since I was a child. Since then anytime I begin to doubt God’s faithfulness in the area of me being married I would remember the personal unveiling of Mother 3’s story I received which served as a promise to me that good things comes to those who wait and put their trust in God and His timing.

 Seeing the longing for a family fulfilled

Three years after receiving closure on the Earthbound story an even greater longing of my heart becomes fulfilled. In 2011 I received the great privilege of marrying Laura the most beautiful woman ever. We have waited all of our lives to find each other and we both agree that the wait was well worth it. One of the things that she quickly embraced about me was my love for Earthbound and on several occasions she has used references from the game to express her love to me. During our engagement we were talking about baby names that we were considering for the future. She told me that for the longest time she has had a list of girl names that she would want to use for her children one day but the only boy name she ever had in mind for a son was the name Lucas. Her not knowing at the time that Lucas was connected to Earthbound caused me to have an even greater level of confirmation that we are perfect for each other. Today we are happily married, living life to the fullest with our 16 month old son Lucas. Below is a booklet my wife made for me for Father’s Day to tell some of our story. She made the book by gathering photos of us that she had been taking throughout our first couple years of marriage and then comparing them to pictures of Earthbound fan art found on the web that appears similar to our photos.