Plans can change, right? We all know this. And yet, when the idea crosses our minds that maybe, just maybe, God is changing the direction in which we are headed, we’re gripped with panic. “What do you mean, God? I thought we were going this way!”
I’ve prayed for countless things over the years that have, literally, brought me to my knees. Some of those things seem silly now, but others are just as looming, just as urgent.
But the biggest of all of those have been my prayers for my kids.
Dear lady standing next to me at the public bathroom sink,
Yes, I have an issue, and it’s called OCD. The chemical misfires in my brain tell me that if I don’t wash my hands exactly as prescribed by professionals, my hands will be contaminated with all sorts of nastiness from touching the stall room doors– to the detriment and deterioration of my personal health.
Of course, you realize this too, that’s why you’re washing your hands. But you don’t do it with the same urgency, the same conviction, the same desperate scrubbing motions and the “Oh man, I lost count there, am I at two minutes or only one and half?”
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life. —Proverbs 13:12
We are waiting right now. Waiting, again.
Seems like so much of life is lived in the grey area of leaving one abiding place while waiting for the door to swing wide on the next. I feel it more keenly now, as I look into the not-so-far future and see that our family is moving into a season of transitions, of children striking out and finding new places to call home. We are in the waiting phase of anticipated goodbyes and yet, we hope for one more hello.
I knew it would come, knew she would say it before her time in Idaho was up:
“I might stay, Momma. I hear God saying something, but I’m not sure what it is yet. Maybe it’s stay.”
You may have asked yourself what the sound of a mother’s heart simultaneously breaking and singing sounds like. Do yourself a favor–try not to find out.
Do I agree with them all the time? Of course not. We are 15 separate human beings, of varying lives and faith. We each have our own story: one of how God got us to where we are now, whether we want to admit it or not. And now, our lives have met.
We have a tradition in our house. Clean-up after dinner is the teens’ job. So we do it to music. Loud music. Every night, until tidying is done, we can be found belting out tobyMac, Hawk Nelson, Skillet, Paul McCartney, and anything else that strikes us.
When I left it was difficult, there’s no way around that. But just how hard? Getting on the plane was just an act, but the good-byes were much more emotional. By getting on that plane, I left my family for three whole months.
It’s been almost agonizing, watching the box at the foot of her bed fill with sheets, spiral notebooks, wool socks. Bit by bit, the elements of my daughter’s life are being distilled into the essentials–the things she cannot leave behind, and the things she will need the most in her new role as a midwifery student.
There are textbooks– most with laborious, detailed titles like “Emergency Delivery Protocols for Out-of-Hospital Midwives.” There are flip-flops for hygienic showering. There are well-loved t-shirts, and the little white stuffed rabbit she has carried with her literally around the globe.