Today I awoke, made French toast with real French bread, ate breakfast with most of my family (my youngest is on the beach with a friend’s family), and watched my heart drive away in my daughter’s car.
Not only is she going back to her residential high school after the long weekend, she is driving my husband to the airport. As I’ve mentioned, he sometimes works away from home, and this is one of those times. Except this is an especially long one of those times. We will see him again in the spring.
He was here for my birthday, but will miss his own, and those of all three children, Thanksgiving, Christmas, our anniversary, New Year’s Day, and even Valentine’s Day (though we sometimes ignore that one anyway). He will miss soccer games and football games, school dances and church events, family get togethers and lazy Sunday afternoons.
And I will be here for all of those things, enjoying them, but with a nagging feeling of guilt at the unfairness of it all.
I will go to work, pay bills, buy groceries, wash the car, clean the house, plan lessons, and try to plan a baby shower for our niece. I will make a Christmas list and try to fill it, questioning what to give and what to hold back for our second celebration when he returns.
I will pray everyday for his protection and health and for his safe return. And I will pray also that my own heart will remain soft through all of it so that when he returns I will be a wife he wants to return to instead of a hard and bitter stone (a peach pit is more the visual image I see).
He tries so hard to take care of things before he has to go. We all have updated cell plans. I even have a new car- new to me- and not anything I ever imagined I would have again. I didn’t even know he was doing that- he came into the house one afternoon, told me to put on a stunning outfit and meet him outside. I had no idea what was up – but when I walked outside, there was my car – I posed next to it so he could have a visual memory of my shocked gratitude to carry with him.
Our gutters are clean, various closets that haven’t been organized in years are clean, the garage is reorganized and swept. Even our wills have been updated (mainly to identify the care of our children and let people know that we don’t want to be starved to death if we find ourselves in comas).
All the lose ends are tied. At least for now. And while I know those things make him feel better as he leaves, I can’t help but wish they were still undone. Not so that they were undone, but because having them done means not having him here.
I have prayed for safe passage today, lights to be the right color for safety, traffic to be light, my daughter’s sense of direction to be better than the rest of the women in our family, airlines to be safe and efficiently run, all the things I can think of.
But still, not only does my mommy heart beat outside my chest, my wifely heart is beating wildly as it feels torn in half. I know though, that what God has joined together, nothing can separate. And that is my pinpoint ray of hope today.
For any of you out there that know or have known a similar season of life, you are not alone. We are a unique group of women – those of us who wait. But we are also strong. God has made us with hearts that endure things that others cannot imagine. And he made us from our Adam’s rib – to stand beside him and know him and to be a part of all he must do. There is no one else on earth that God has given that privilege and honor. Let hope arise as we step into this calling knowingly and with full expectation that God will provide for our every need. Trusting Him is so much more than simply hoping for good things – it is knowing deeply that He is in control of all things.
“There is no other way to be happy in Jesus – but to trust and obey!”