Today, though, is Sunday. S has been gone four nights now, which doesn't sound very long, but for me, it seems more like it's been a month or so -- and whatever the time, it's been too long since I've spoken with our daughter or given her a hug or told her I love her and that I'm so proud of the young lady she's growing into.
One reason I'm so proud of her is that she serves in our church Sunday School faithfully each week. The leaders adore her and it has become a routine for me to get up early to bring her in to first service on Sundays, only to go home and pick up the rest of the brood to attend second service. S usually serves one service and then attends the other. S is naturally gifted in working with particular children who are more timid or need special attention to stay focused in class.
This morning, I woke to bring her to first service. Her brother, Z, woke and dressed, too, because he's used to coming along for the ride. And at once we both realized that S was not here, not ready to go and would not be serving today at our church service. It hit me like a brick wall.
When we arrived for second service, pretty much every person who knows the situation and attends our church, came up to offer a hug and some encouragement and the more they encouraged, the more I cried. I felt especially foolish when faced with another mother who recently lost her daughter in a suicide and there she was supporting me and encouraging me and what could I say to this woman whose smile was brighter than anyone else's in the whole room? Why couldn't I hold MYself together?
I have had several moments (though I do wish they'd string together into one lengthy one) of peace that passes understanding. That's not to say I don't want S to be home right then, but to say, it gives me a chance to breathe, to reach out and be within touching distance of the Lord and to feel absolute trust and faith in Him during this time. Could I go back in time and stop S from leaving, it seems I would; but then, I would be choosing to miss out on these rare opportunities to feel so close to Christ! So it's difficult to balance the sadness I feel, with the blessing of knowing the Lord better because of these circumstances.
Here's a song we sang in our service this morning and it was just so powerful and spoke to me especially during this time of trial.
Hallelujah, God is Near
We also have really learned (or been reminded) what real community and friendship is about. So many people love S and love our family and have just been serving us through prayers and childcare and meals and time and encouragement. Everyone has been incredibly awesome. We are so blessed.
Thank you so much for the continued prayers of my readers. I feel them, I really do!