A few weeks ago, in the damp cold of a black February morning, I slid out of bed in sweatpants, slipped my tennis shoes on, and climbed into our van. The ride was surreal. Lights streaked past my window and cars sat alone in black parking lots. The mood in our vehicle was a mixing bowl of adrenaline coated excitement, grief, with a sprinkle of exhaustion.
|Collin & Kelly Photo by: K. Gillespie|
It wasn’t until the boarding call was made for the bus that I reached to hold my first born. His strong, muscular arms wrapped around me tight, his hooded sweatshirt absorbed my tears, and his heart pumping enthusiasm calmed for only a moment as he said good-bye to those he loved. Visions of embracing him as a white haired newborn drifted into my mind. I acknowledged then, that I held no power to stop the flowing sands of time. Our family huddled together in the cold and offered our waves from the curb as the bus carried Collin into the waiting presence of his drill sergeants.
Hours later, I sat again inside our van. Underneath my skin, chills shook my body. I waited for my husbands’ final preparation for our own trip to be completed. Our children also sat upon their benches, sandwiched between their pillows and blankets. In spite of being wedged, they still managed to bounce and wiggle until the ignition fired. As soon as the tires began to roll, the intensity of both sadness and relief engulfed me. It felt like a key part of me was flying farther and farther away- I prayed that God would hold me together. While I waited upon him for comfort, all I could think to do was put my seat back, and wrap my head inside the fold of my pillow. It’s funny, I found it to be just as absorbent as my son’s sweatshirt.
|Photo by C. McManus|
We drove through the day and into the crispness of the night. A black sky was embellished with stars and an impressive meteor offered its greeting as we crossed the plains. We have since that momentous day, begun a new adventure as a family. My husband’s new job first lead us to a Kansas cabin on a lake. The first weeks there were a culmination of anxiety stripping and mental resting for me. This began with a miraculous simplification of my daily schedule, walking on silent roads, breathing clean air, tending to my health, and loving my family. February’s cutting winds couldn’t snuff our new flame of hope for restoration. Every day this hopefulness was stoked within me by our family’s change of pace and the devotion of my husband. I believe both he and God rescued me. Now, I am not rushing about any longer, checking off my long to do list, driving myself into poor health. Simpler days have found me again. I am soaking in the fleeting moments of our sons and daughters at play and learning, songs sung by the strum of a guitar, visions of colorful blocks built into planes, and a three year old buried in blankets while I write. I have let go of the good we once enjoyed in our everyday moments, to embark in faith on a season of God’s best.
Now, I sit at the desk in our travel trailer. I am surrounded by both new and familiar things we carted inside our van across the lonely rolling plains of Kansas and Oklahoma. Even though my surroundings rock due to the movement on the opposite end of the camper, I feel such gratefulness. I now have my husband working only 5 minutes away these days, compared to 45. I feel so blessed by this answer to prayer..
|Photo by C. McManus|
We are all growing in ways we wouldn’t have in the insulated comfort of our old routine and life. It’s like a mirror has been hung up in front of our hearts and minds- reflecting what we’ve been wrestling with, believing and valuing. So, for our family, this blog documents a new start. I can’t help but believe that fresh insight will come one day at a time, revealing the heart of God’s desire for us. Somehow, I sense that walking down these lonesome dusty roads will play a key part in our family’s future and purpose.
As our story unfolds, your welcome to join me, find encouragement, and be a fellow witness to God’s grace…
” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31