Two Wednesdays ago, I had already planned to drive to the City to see Jess and go shopping with her for eyeglasses, hopefully grab lunch together, and do some early Christmassy fun stuff, too. You may already grasp what a beautiful blessing just this much is in our life, this normal mom-and-daughter afternoon. A year ago it was a brand new chapter, and I have been grateful every day since. But this week, we had another surprise.
In our planning texts, Jess asked casually how I would feel about her big sister joining us. My contact with Joc has been almost non-existent this past year, though I do hear updates through loved ones here and there and my intense dreams about her have not slowed down. But this would be our first in-person meeting in many months, and for it to happen by her choice made it extra meaningful.
My baby girls are young women now, ages 23 and 21, both fully engaging in life with all of its light and darkness, all of its thrills and terror and beauty and ugliness. They are as similar as twins yet wildly different. And they are two of the most resilient, deeply feeling, and vital people you will ever meet. Seeing them together, across from me, after so many years is an immeasurable joy.
A few days before this, though I never told anyone, I was kind of on the edge of despair. For all my talk of gratitude and hope, faith and trust, I certainly have little stretches of time when the facts get too loud and scary, and I begin to doubt.
That Monday morning I was driving to the lake for a run and cried out loud to God, kind of spontaneously, “When are you going to bring her back?! I miss her so much!! Just bring her back!” Had you been in the car with me, friend, you might have described my outburst as a shriek. And not a lovely one. It was guttural and unplanned.
Though brief, all of that felt too much like anger, which is dangerous territory for me. So I tempered it with deliberate prayers of trust, shaping my thoughts and words with effort, making sure to verbalize that His timing is perfect, that I know it’s more important for her to be safe and happy than it is for me to have her close by.
You know that sometimes with motherhood, sometimes it is an impossible separation for us, to ever stop craving our children. Sometimes I miss them so much I feel like screaming or vomiting. Selfish, but there it is.
So I quieted myself and ran those solitary miles and went on with my work day at the farm. Next came a few days of extra spiritual/emotional work, choosing to trust Him when it did not come easily. And I will tell you that God was merciful. He sent me some relief, emotionally. I just felt softer, safer, more assured in those days. And forgiven for my outburst, too.
Then came Jessica’s text Wednesday morning. My hands were shaking, and I cried and giggled until my jaws clattered against each other.
Then my long drive to Oklahoma City, anticipating Jocelyn’s face, her ebony eyes, her smell, her slender arms and sneaker-clad feet. I had seen her from a distance recently, while driving, but that she hadn’t seen me.
When I found my girls together, they were happy and laughing, curling their hair. We spent just a moment in suspense, feeling the space between us, then we hugged tighter than ever. I laughed until I cried, again. And those slender arms squeezed me back. She was 23 and newborn and 9 years old and home with me and on a mountain top in Estes park and there in her sister’s apartment, all at once.
We spoke carefully at first, but that did not last long. All this joy and ease, all of this delicious energy, just poured out of us, into the room, filling the space between the three of us. I could taste the Love.
This is exactly the kind of thing that is both out of the blue and completely “on deck,” if you know what I mean. It is something for which we have been praying, and we have trusted and built up our faith stone by stone, but we could never know when the answer would come. In fact, sometimes the answer comes in glimpses, and that’s ok.
Last November, life was so different. We were stunned and fearful. I wrote this almost exactly a year before this thrilling reunion two Wednesdays ago:
I have spent the last two weeks soaking this answered prayer deep into my bones.
I know more is coming.
I know that God hears us. He is worthy of our trust, and He has better answers than we could every imagine on our own, certainly better solutions than we could construct ourselves. I’ll happily take these glimpses of joy while we wait and trust.
Whatever miracle you are waiting to see, please keep believing that the best is yet to come. Please muster the oxygen to fuel your faith, and fan each other’s flames too because we all need the warmth. Joy is coming. miracles are very real.