It was nearly midnight. We had been in the car for a few hours, and yet no one was tired. Our hearts were full; he was coming home.
Ten and a half months of praying; the longing of time and space between us and the ever-present truth that he was at war was almost over.
“For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.” For a year, the 11th verse of the 91st Psalm was prayed over and over. My mother’s heart was aching for my precious son’s safety.
As it turns out, I am not good at having my children not with me. Add it to the list of so very many shortcomings, when my children are not in eye-sight I struggle to trust.
Long sleeps, hot meals, and holding hands saying grace were precious. Every moment was enjoyed. After a week of home, he said at the breakfast table, “I can’t eat it all. I don’t know why I am not hungry.”
I took a deep breath and silently prayed, “Dear Lord, let him be FULL; full of home and family, joy and peace, love and nurturing. Full of YOU.” And I could not help but wonder, did he notice that we are calmer? Did he feel that God has been working on us, so that we can love him better? Did he see us loving HIM more fully than in years past? Oh how precious and few the years are.
The years passed break my heart. The absence breaks my heart. Yet, the broken-ness of my heart, amazingly, has made more room for Him. When my heart was fully in tact, the walls were much closer together leaving precious little room. Now, however, the light escapes through the cracks and joy filters in through the brokenness.
Throwing myself into ministry projects and teaching Bible Study to numb the ache of a child’s absence has helped me remember that there is beauty in imperfection; climbing out of the pit of mother’s loneliness to serve brought light to me. Can I remember who I thought I was helping, teaching, “ministering” to? Yes, the people are dear and precious and cherished, but when I serve it is they who are allowing me to be healed.
Thank You, Lord, for carrying me through the season of a warrior son. Thank You for carrying him. I love YOU (and him) more for the journey.
He is back on base, in the United States. My son the Veteran, a great reason to remember.