For the past 8 months, there have been 422 miles, (3 states and 2 rivers) that separate me from the place I call home. And in this time, I have only been back once... 5 months ago. But who's counting?? Me! That's who!! I am homesick like crazy, and at a complete loss for words to describe it.
It's tough enough dealing with my own emotions... questions... and at times, lack of faith. But what has made this journey incredibly difficult is that I have to shoulder the pain of my children's longing for home as they know it. While they understand the conceptual idea of us relocating, they really don't get it.
I get asked the tough questions on a daily basis. Even on my "best emotional days", I am often challenged to keep my composure, and tackle the difficult questions of these little ones, whom I love so dearly. And this is tough. Naturally, there are many in my newest circle that encourage me with, "Oh they'll adjust..." or "Give it time" or "Once they make some friends..." And while I appreciate the words of comfort, I have come to realize that I am the one facing this emotional challenge. And quite frankly, there's nothing that anyone else can do or say to comfort the longing of my heart, or that of my children. At the end of the day, I have to deal with this. But how????
Recently we had an opportunity to travel those 422 miles. The kids were excited. I was elated!! But then our plans were quickly thwarted... and the said trip was immediately canceled. And it was me, the homesick mom, that had to deliver the news to my children. I believe I suffered the biggest heart-ache of my life that day...
See, up until then, I was the "super-mom". I presented this front of strength and poise, whenever they would express their desire to close this 422 mile gap. I was always there to reassure and comfort them, despite my own emotions. I always held it together. But not this time. In fact, I had no strength. No poise. Nothing even remotely reassuring came from me. And boy did they see my cry that day!! I WAS BROKEN!!
My goal was to get myself together and give them the devastating news. But I couldn't. I simply couldn't!! I began to talk, but tears immediately came streaming down, my voice cracked, and I lost it. That's when I learned... It's okay for my children to see me cry.
Naturally, they cried as well. But something happened as they observed my brokenness. They suddenly became more concerned about my welfare than their own. I became their priority. And by the end of that very long day, as I sat on the couch in a complete daze, Kam came up to me and reassured me, "Mom, we're gonna go another time." I was amazed at his maturity. I was moved by his compassion. I was comforted by his display of love.
So I guess being a mom sometimes means dealing with real life... and bringing your children along for the ride. And while I would love to bask in the glow of the wonderful zoo visits and the picnics at our favorite park, there are those tougher moments that I too must embrace. Sometimes they have to see me cry. Sometimes they have to know that I have feelings too. Sometimes they need to put those spiritual concepts into practical action, so that it becomes more than a Bible story. Sometimes the best way to teach is through demonstration. And sometimes, yes there are times, where the teacher becomes the student... and I am comforted through the life of my children.
Though I am still 422 miles from home.. though my heart is heavy with the pain thereof... though things are not the way I would have scripted... I have full confidence in the God I serve. I trust that He will cause ALL THINGS to work together for my good. I trust that He is using this life experience to shape me into the image of Christ. And even now, with tears streaming down my face, I trust that His mercy shall follow me... even for another 422 miles.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
~1 Peter 5:10-11