I will admit that this week has not been a “fun” week for me. I had to say “good-bye” to my sweet daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby, Jaxon on Wednesday, as they moved from Alberta to Kentucky so my son-in-law can attend seminary there. I KNOW God has called them to journey with Him on this great adventure and my mind says, “Go with God! So happy for you!” but my HEART says, “Why oh why, God, must You take them so far away from me?” I wrestle with the selfishness of my emotions doing battle with the knowledge that they MUST follow God no matter what.
I will admit that many tears have been shed (and continue to be shed) because I have never been parted from my daughter for more than a few months at a time and we have been blessed to live only five minutes away from one another the last four years. To say that my girl is a “home-body” doesn’t come close to reality. We talk all the time either in person, by phone, or Facebook and rarely has a day gone by that we haven’t connected in some way. My son-in-law knows the close bond we share and rather than being resentful or jealous (as some husbands may be), he has embraced it. He didn’t have much of a choice 🙂
The double “whammy” in all this, is that not only have I had to say “good-bye” to MY baby girl, I had to say “good-bye” to my new grandbaby too. I’ve said it again and again, but my heart has grown three sizes in love with Jaxon. Knowing that I won’t be able to hug on him daily starts the tears freely flowing again.
This past Sunday, knowing that the day of “good-bye” was fast approaching I couldn’t contain my tears in the Worship Service, especially when we started to sing Bill Gaither’s “Because He Lives”. That is one of my most favourite worship songs but the second verse broke me apart…again. The first time I heard that song was when Robert McGrann, the worship leader of our church, sang it to our family the first time we brought our newly adopted son, Brett to church over eighteen years ago. Knowing how much we had longed and prayed for another child, when Robert sang the second verse to me as I held my new baby in my arms, not only did I but everyone in the congregation was brought to tears. Everytime I hear that song now, I am reminded of that feeling of holding a newborn baby in my arms and I remember Robert, (a sweet Godly man, who has since gone to be with the Lord.)
Interestingly enough, I don’t believe in coincidence, the first time I held my grandson, Jaxon, in a Worship Service, someone had selected “Because He Lives” as one of the worship songs. I remembered again the joy of holding a newborn baby, this time my grandbaby, and the tears flowed with joy all through the second verse!
This past Sunday however, it was not joy remembered. It was the ache of letting go. My arms empty, my heart longing to hold that sweet grandbaby once more. I had to leave the service to weep in the women’s rest room, too overcome with emotion to sing the rest of the song. I couldn’t sing, thinking about those “uncertain days” my children would face now, and me not being as much a part of their lives as I once was. But as God so often does, He brought a Godly friend beside me to comfort me, to pray for me and to love on me as I wept. It was the “calm assurance” I needed. When I returned to the service, our Pastor was already speaking and practically illustrated how it is through adversity that people draw closer to one another. I don’t know if he had any idea that this truth had already been playing out in “fruit” just minutes before as my sweet friend, Marilyn put her arms around me to minister to me.
After the service, I could not get the melody of “Because He Lives” out of my head. I didn’t know how I would face tomorrows without my children close by. I had never faced that before. I could feel the grip of dark depression start to overwhelm me again. I knew the signs. But God would not allow depression to bury me this time as it had done in the past. He brought to mind so many times in my life where I have faced adversity and I was comforted by Him alone. “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
When I finally said “good-bye” to my daughter, son-in-law and baby, Jaxon on Wednesday morning, waving through tears at them as they drove away, the melody of the song pounded in my head. I didn’t know how I could get through the day my heart ached so, but I knew friends were praying specifically for me that day and I could feel the prayers envelop me like a warm blanket.
Last night, I spoke to my daughter through the technology of FaceTime and praised God that we could still connect in real-time and see each other using that technology. Even saw little Jaxon’s smile at me when he heard my voice!
Today the melody and lyrics beg to be sung, because the words are true: “Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow…”