A journey ended – and a return home. My son, who has challenged me these last two years, sits across from me – and we talk, not argue, not battle, just quietly talk. A fresh breeze slides through the window, gentle, comforting. I look out the huge windows of this rental house that has leaked, flooded, paraded ants, and, refused to cool, with its broken air-conditioner. “I will miss these windows and this view,” I commented. “They comforted me, brought me joy through all those difficult times.”
Difficult times now in the past. My uncle gives tour guides at a historic home. He told my boys last week during a tour, “This house will remember you when you return.” If houses remember, this one will remember grief from Papaw dying, emotional battles of a teen warring with independence–and his parents, homesickness – lots of tears from lots of hearts – all covered with sustaining faith.
22 months ago, we thought this would be a permanent life-move. God said, “Go,” and we did. 22 months later, we realize we were just sojourners on a short journey. The mission of this journey? For awhile, I thought I had failed God, that I was not strong enough to be the person this mission needed. God gently cuffed my heart on that one. No – it was a journey of obedience, a journey of following my husband, allowing him to be there for his family for support during a time of great loss. Sometimes a journey just requires following – and loving – a willingness to leave behind comfort, support, and a heart home.
Last week, my oldest son, who is back home – told us that he and his lovely wife are going to be parents, due New Years Eve! God’s timing is always perfect.
My son, the one who just graduated, we sat in the family room, looking at the views, feeling the breeze and talked about going home. His heart is pulling him there, but his itinerary no longer follows ours. In about 2 months, he leaves for 24 months of military training. He is a different person than he was a year ago, even 4 weeks ago. He reaches for his bible, he hugs a bit more – and there is an evolving peace in him. I have peace for him.
Monday, we pack up and move back to our home that never sold. Before the kitchen table was packed up, I wanted share with you a prayer of thanksgiving – not for the going home – but for all that God has done for me these past 22 months.
“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
I praise you Almighty Father for being a faithful Father who does not abandon his children, for being a worthy God who teaches us to love by your very own brand of love. You created the plan for my life, Father, and though the deceiver plants mine fields designed to destroy, you take my hand and guide me through the path safely – though I shake with fear, terror and emotion – you do not give up on me or get frustrated that I am not as strong as you. You are my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
Thank you, Father, for never abandoning me nor forsaking me in the darkness of this journey, for filling my isolation with your love, your words, your encouragement. For being with me in the early morning routine, in the heat of the teen challenges, as I cried out in the night, filled with tears, praying protection for my husband, my children – and me. When I did not understand – and my brain tried so hard to figure it all out -to look forward to another time, you hedged me in from behind and in front. You calmed me, asked me to give you the box of my frustration – and you destroyed that box with all its frustration.
Thank you for teaching me not to look back, on either good or bad. I remember the Month, May 2010, where you told me to stop looking back or planning forward. Like a personal trainer for spiritual fitness, you trained me, one thought at a time to focus on now. My thoughts focus like a zoom lense on one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one now at a time – and in that I found peace and in that peace I found joy and contentment. Despair receded, the deceiver lost power to inflict pain, the tears dried up – that zoom focus did not allow for background confusion.
Thank you father for never abandoning nor forsaking my son who so challenged my heart. I hung on tight father to my faith that you would bring him through to you, recalled that you told me he would come to you at a different time than his brothers, that you would save him – I remembered those revelations and promises to me so many years ago. I tried to see him as you see him, and I learned to talk to him through you, through my prayers. I praise your mighty love as I see you gently reel him towards you, like the master fisherman luring a precious catch. How blessed I am that I am the daughter of The Great Father, who cares about my son even more than I do – who will go to lengths beyond my imagining to protect what is His.
I thank you father, for this new life being born to my son and his wife. I pray protection in the child’s journey to birth, just as I pray protection for my son as he continues a separate journey towards independence and you.
I pray that this homecoming be covered in your blessing, Father, just as I pray you give us the opportunity to let others know about the great love of your Son, Jesus Christ, and that your arms are big enough to wrap around anyone who wants to be Your Child. I love you, Dad – I just wanted you to know that. Words cannot express the love and thanks in my heart – but you already know, don’t you!
Love, your daughter