Sometimes when she’s home I want to hug her so close and squeeze her, cup her face in my hands and stare into her ebony eyes. I want to press her close to me and stroke her long brown, satiny hair and smell her and cradle her like the baby she hasn’t been in nineteen years. But I get this feeling of restraint, like when in a sleeping dream, a book or newspaper appears and the harder I strain to focus on the words, the blurrier they become. Eventually my efforts to read wake me up, and the dream is gone. Dissolved. Sometimes I feel like if I squeeze her too tight, if I want her home too much or cause her to feel all the love I have for her, she’ll be gone again.
That’s fear, not faith. And it’s never love that drives people away; it’s Love that brings them home.
She’s home. Home for dinner, home for movies, home for laughter and silliness and talking about everything under the sun, both serious and easy. Home for her horse and our family and memories old and new. Home to figure things out and also to just relax.
She’s home for Christmas, and my heart is bursting hour by hour, over and over again.
Nest feathering… Preparing the Apartment for her stay has been as much fun (more so even) as decorating a nursery for a newborn baby. I have felt every bit of the same joyful, nervous anticipation I felt just before her due date almost two decades ago. And daily I think of our friends Brad and Trisha who right this minute are expecting their first child, also a girl, Avery. I am beyond words excited for them! They’ll be amazing parents, I know. Avery is already a lucky little girl. And in what will feel like moments Avery will be a young woman visiting her parents for Christmas. And they will be so elated they will scarcely find words for the feeling.
Of course, our baby (not a baby anymore, I know!) is a busy girl, so it’s not like she’s here all day every day. But she’s here. Close. It’s music to hear her walk in the front door, her pretty, sing-song voice saying, “Heeeyyy, we’re here!” (She often brings a friend.) And it is beautiful just to see her tiny-feet sneakers paired up against our work boots. Cooking for her is a total pleasure, too. It’s become a running joke that somehow on the nights she eats at the farm, I manage to repeatedly serve either some variation of pork chops or spicy Italian food. It’s the weirdest ongoing coincidence ever. Last night we had homemade chicken and dumplings, so maybe the streak is finally broken.
Sometimes when the house is quiet and I am thinking about all that God is doing for us, in this arena and others, I can’t stop smiling with my whole face. My back teeth chatter together gently, and I giggle until I cry. Of course there are still needs in life, still unanswered prayers. We know that. Except that they aren’t unanswered. Every wish deep in our hearts has already been heard and addressed. Every tear shed, already invested in laughter in the future!
This is for you too! All the faith you have been living is already accomplished in a miracle bigger than you can even imagine!
Brad and Trisha are experiencing a miracle different from ours yet still very much the same. They have been waiting to be parents for a long time, just like us. They have loved their daughter without seeing her, just like us. They have trusted God and the power of love and prayer, just like us. And their broken hearts are mending. Only to burst again with joy. Just like us.