Monday, October 12, 2015
At this very moment our daughter is flying over the great expanse of the Atlantic Ocean - and I stand, feet firmly planted on the ground, musing. For once it isn't the looking back through the lens of regret or sorrow. Instead, I find myself looking back with joy.
Not too long ago a friend said, with great compassion, she wouldn't want to have to face the things I have had to face. I don't blame her. I never would have chosen them for myself. But on this quiet evening, with the light gilding the edges of the clouds I catch a glimpse of the blessings.
They are scattered along the path - stretching back more than fifty years. There is the starry-eyed girl dreaming of marriage to the love of her life and somewhere in the distance two hoped-for little boys. All these years later I wonder if I ever thought any farther than that.
Could I have possibly known there would be the yearning for a little girl or imagined the miraculous way she would come to be ours? I didn't know.
I didn't know how tightly my heart would wrap around those three children and how I would long to freeze time so that things would never change. I can still hear their little voices and feel the warmth of them. So many happy memories.
Time is relentless, but it is also filled with unexpected delights. I didn't dream, all those years ago, of three young adults who would fill my life with such incredible joy. As they grew, I knew it mattered less what career choices they made and more that their hearts belonged to the Lord.
"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth."
III John 1:4
No one told me, all those years ago, that the dream would include more children, but somewhere along the way I learned to pray for them - unseen and unknown. And then they were there - two daughters-in-law and a son-in-law- God's answer to our prayers. Blessing upon blessing.
We are a few months away from our forty-ninth anniversary. A few weeks ago, the oldest of our grandchildren called with the happy news of her engagement. Oh my heart. Wasn't it just a few years ago she burst into our lives bringing with her the gift of grand-parenting? I could hardly stand the joy of it. And now there are seven, five granddaughters and two grandsons. I couldn't have dreamed a happier dream.
So I think of my daughter - high above the clouds - and I'm reminded that as deeply as I love my family and as much as I've done my very best to take good care of them (and oh how this controlling Mom tried to make sure all was well with everyone), it is all out of my hands. I cannot keep the sorrows at bay; I cannot protect them from every harm; I cannot make everything work out well for them. But I have a Father who can.
The hard times have come, but He has been with us. And tonight, I remember all the joys and am thankful.