I don't know about you, but I'm having the hardest time with it still being dark when I get up in the morning! I mean seriously, it was dark at 6:00am when I woke up, and everything within me said only a crazy person gets up in the dark! Well, my thinking was, only a crazy person chooses to sleep in when they've got 4 kids who will be up and needing to be taught school!
We had a very full but wonderful weekend. On Saturday, we had two places to be within a two-hour time period, and those places just happened to be about 30-minutes away from each other. Crazy. We went to a surprise 50th birthday party for a good friend of ours, and it was so fun watching the surprise on his face as he walked into a room full of people yelling, “Surprise!”. After that, my two jr. highers and I went to our church's kick-off youth meeting for the upcoming school year. It was cool to hear the different ways our youth are going to be ministered to this year!
On Sunday, we went to church and then came home and enjoyed the company of a sweet young couple who shared lunch with us. It was a great time of fellowship, and it was so refreshing to see such a passion for Christ and for the lost in this young couple.
Even with all the busyness of the weekend, I often found myself distracted with thoughts of my oldest girl. It's crazy for me to think that we haven't seen her in over a year now, and haven't had any contact with her since this past February.
Though I've accepted the reality of our painful relationship with her, the ache and longing to have a sweet and sincere relationship with her is still strong and painful.
There are times when I allow myself to go down the rough road of “if only, and what if”, but quite honestly, I find that's not a healthy place for me to go. Going there breeds condemnation and guilt and a sorrow that runs deep.
God has brought me a long way, in that I am better about not swallowing the accusations and lies that have been hurled at me, but it is definitely an ongoing battle.
I think of the tender relationship that I have with my own mom, and the sweetness I share with my 13-year old daughter, and I am extremely grateful to God.
And yet, as a mom, my heart truly aches to wrap my arms around my adult child and just hold her close. I long to hold her tight and tell her how very much I love her.
It's funny how I can still drive by “landmarks” that remind me of situations or tragedies that occurred before she left home for good, and I have a hard time passing by those places without having to swallow back the tears.
Sometimes I get angry at the enemy for stealing away my girl; for feeding her lies that she swallowed, and for deceiving her into believing that the world could offer her way more love and satisfaction than either God or her parents could.
The struggles didn't start the day she left home; no, the pull towards the world started long, long before. She left home in her heart and mind long before she left physically, and for good.
I truly understand now what it means to love someone so much that it hurts, and I know what it's like to have to look at pictures of the one who's left, for fear I might forget exactly how she looks.
I've given her to God, time and time again, and honestly, I don't worry about her anymore. I know that God loves her way more than I ever could, and I know how he's used this painful trial to bring me closer to Him.
Sure, I wish things had played out differently, but who am I to say what's best? As I look at my home now, I see parents who have been broken and yet, have come out better for it in the end. And I see children who adore their parents, and who love to be together as a family. I see sweet relationships between parent and child, and a peace that resides in a way that never was before.
I've been through the ugly, and I've got scars to show for it; scars that will never let me forget what my God has done in this heart and home.