Aug 15, 2006Family Uncaged, Find joy today

The first time I flew home to Texas, I wept. We’d been in the midst of turmoil on the field from every possible angle. I walked into church and couldn’t stop crying. I’d speak, get three or four words out and burst into tears. The Lord was gracious then to send me many, many friends who laid their hands on me and prayed. I truly believe had I not returned home at that crucial time that I would’ve packed my bags. Thank you for all of you who prayed us through that first year in France!

So now that I’m back again, I’ve been joyful. No tears. When Patrick and I speak to ABFs at our church, we smile, tell good stories and welcome questions and prayers. It’s by far a more upbeat year. The kids are connecting well with their friends and we’re doing our best to stuff our faces full of Mexican fare.

I did cry once, though.

Some of you who know me, know I’m the girl who pines for permanence–which, in my mind, is symbolized by a white picket fence. My dear friend Ginger even made me a wonderful quilt when I moved to France that had squares of white picket fences so I’d feel “at home” wherever God placed us. Thanks, Ginger.

In Texas, we didn’t have a white picket fence, but we did have a lovely home in a great neighborhood. The last time I flew in, I couldn’t bring myself to look at our house. But this time I asked the kids if they’d like to drive by. They said yes. Sophie, who had seen it earlier, said, “Mommy, are you sure you want to do this?”

We drove into our neighborhood. I was fine until I saw the pool the kids swam in. I kept steady breaths, but my grief lumped my throat. We turned the corner onto Lakeland drive. And there was our house. Neglected. Sad. Weeds everywhere. The beautiful ivy gracing its columns had been torn away. The flowers were gone. The fence was in disrepair. The house looked as if its eyes were closed–all the blinds were shut.

I told my friend Sandi the other day how someday I long to see my perennials grow. To see them flourish in one place. And instead, I saw weeds and decay, remnants of a life I used to live. On our way out of the neighborhood, Patrick said something like, “Closure is good, but this kind of closure sure hurts.” Indeed.

Oh Jesus, I want to be content. I want YOU to be my home. To be my white picket fence. To hold me when I feel so far away from what is familiar. Please grow my roots down deep. Help me bloom where you plant me. And if it be Your will, could I please see my perennials grow to maturity?