Our daughter Angelica’s marriage to Stephen delighted Jerry and me because it brought us one step closer to being grandparents. Their talk of moving to Europe stretched over the first year of their marriage. I simply chose not to believe it.
When Stephen accepted a job offer in Hungary, my heart sank. They were expecting their first baby in the fall and now my tiny dream-come-true would be across the globe.
He moved to Budapest when Angel was in her third trimester. They wanted the baby to be born in America so Jerry and I joyfully welcomed her home. Taking care of Angel became my full time job – seeing that she ate properly, kept her feet up, and took walks. I read a book on natural childbirth so I could be her birthing coach.
When baby Fiona Elizabeth arrived two weeks early, we were ready. Four and a half hours after arriving at the midwifery, I was cutting Fiona’s umbilical cord. Just four hours after that, Angel and her tiny newborn were safely back in our home and Stephen was winging his way to Florida. He arrived that night and the new little family was complete and bonding.
When Stephen left a few days later, he began to count the days until he could have them join him in Budapest.
Through Skype, he watched his baby grow. The often grainy, jerky picture seldom gave him a clear view of his precious daughter.
Fiona’s birth certificate came, and then a social security number assigned. Next came passport photos and her passport was ordered. Immunizations were scheduled. With each passing step, I knew I needed to shore up my emotions for the dreaded day when “my girls” moved to Europe.
I prayed for strength for that day. I read scriptures about God’s sacrifice and His presence. I learned about “pressing in” to touch Jesus.
Matthew 9:20 says, “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ ”
In Mark 5:30 Jesus says, “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples answer, “You see the people crowding against you . . . and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
In Luke, it tells how large the crowd really was. Luke 8:42 says, “. . . the crowds almost crushed him.” Still that lady pushed through the frantic crowd to touch Jesus’ clothes. I needed to be like her and press in to get the strength that I knew was available to me.
I refused to discuss their inevitable departure with anyone. “It’s too soon,” I’d reply.
As January ended, Stephen flew to Florida to retrieve his family. I knew that our house, once filled with joy and laughter, would soon be hushed. I knew my world of hectic schedules, a tiny infant, and taking care of Angel would end, leaving me unwelcome, empty time.
On a rainy February morning, we took them – Stephen, Angelica, and three-month-old Fiona, with two cars full of suitcases, to the airport.
Sitting inside the airport, I held Fiona, breathing in her sweet scent, praying that I would never forget her smell, the feel of her in my arms, or the look of her precious face. I knew if I let one single tear escape, my strong front would crumble and make everyone uncomfortable. I smiled down at the baby as tears burned my eyes. I quietly gasped to Jerry, “I can’t do this.”
“You’re doing just fine,” he whispered.
“We’d better go,” Stephen said cheerfully.
Why is he so darned happy, I silently raged.
“Because he’s following My plan.” It was my Lord speaking into my heart. That day I hated God’s plan.
As Jerry walked me to the car, my shoulders shook as I freely sobbed. Back at home, we held each other and openly wept.
Our house was so quiet I thought my ears would bleed from the roar of the silence. I felt like my world was spinning, sometimes making me feel dizzy. My heart and my head argued as I fought off depression.
Just like the woman with the issue of blood spoken of in the gospels, I knew I had to press in closer to Jesus. I had to force my way through the blur of emotions that I felt daily to push up against Him and touch the hem of His garment, because, Jesus – and Jesus ALONE – could give me strength and heal my aching heart.
I realized that when we face adversities and run from Jesus or get mad at God because things aren’t going our way, we miss the healing He has for those who move forward and receive it.
Just as that woman’s faith brought her to the healing God had available to her; we have to continue to push our way through the craziness of every day life and press in to touch Jesus. He is faithful to comfort us whenever we allow Him.
I’ve made that my daily goal. For me that means reading the Bible every morning and praying constantly – being always mindful of Christ. That helps keep my heart open to what He has to say to me and open to receive His love and healing
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