To America and back to Lebanon Covid free, despite high numbers in both countries, is nothing shy of a miracle and we are so grateful. Our time in the States was precious and hard all in the same breath. The first three days were a high for me, as all our guys + girls were present, in addition my parents who took the risk, and my brother and eldest son who took the flight. So, there we were, all together. A first family Christmas in 10 years, was just such a treat. I will treasure the memory of Mia taking the lead in the kitchen. WHOO HOO a girl at last! I will never forget Meredith’s tick-tock potatoes and Tyler’s gloves he gave to my Dad. Games were played. Stories were told. A treasure beyond words.
Then everyone scattered, except Darron, I and the two youngest boys. Off we went to Darron’s Mom’s and brother’s home. For the next 15 days we hunkered down with lots of home cooked meals, long drives with Jacob (we got 22 hours in) and helping however we could.
I was not prepared to face a mountain of thoughts and emotions that left me feeling at the bottom of a steep incline.
The main source of those feelings was the reality that we don’t have a home in America. This equals exposing others and imposing on others. Also, it means that by the time we move back to the States our boys will probably all be in University or beyond and no longer in “need of a home”. Therefore, I was processing another layer of boys leaping out of the nest at 15 and 17. I was also wrestling with God over our vocation that asks us to literally leave our boys.
Another thing that triggered this grief was our boys’ school was delayed in opening the dorms by 2 weeks. So, what were we to do with them? I cannot fully explain the despair I felt as I waited and knocked on doors, trying to figure out a plan for them. Then a beautiful plan unfolded.
Often on Jacob and Nathaniel’s school breaks they work on a farm. The owner and friend of this farm offered to put them up in one of his Airbnb RVs. So, two days before we flew back to Lebanon, we left the boys at their little “home”. Jacob and Nathaniel did on-line school and worked on the farm in their free time. They would make their own breakfast and lunches, then the “village” would bring them supper. That village comprised of 9 different family-friends caring for our boys. Bringing them warm nutritious meals. Doing laundry for them. Helping with groceries. And moving them back into the dorm. What support! We are so incredibly grateful for these hands and feet of love in action.
Despite my doubts and emotional hurdles, I look back with great clarity of God’s leading and provision. Arriving back in Lebanon, within a few days, we entered a complete lock down with supposedly no walking in the streets, driving, and grocery shopping allowed (however, in reality it is not quite this strict…dogs have to be walked and fresh fruit, veggies, and medicines must be bought). Devastatingly, the hospitals are so full that patients are being turned away. Many who are fortunate enough to being admitted are having to stay in gurney’s, in the hallways, sometimes for days, before rooms open up for them. Some patients are being treated in their cars.
I know that my boys would rather be there than here. So once again, I release them.
And I am thankful. To how God’s leading, His provision, and His calling. It is worth it.
I have been pondering this quote:
“What happens to us is relatively inconsequential, what happens in us and through us has far reaching consequences.”Clarence Shilt
May our lives be a vessel that can be used and may our children feel held and loved despite our absence.
Thank you, village. Thank you, God. Thank you, readers for your care and compassion. As you release things that are dear to you may you experience clarity to the purpose and the vision and the calling. May you also see evidence of His provision for your deepest needs and heart cries. In addition, may things happen in you and through you that impact the world around you. I am convinced there is no greater joy.