If you've been around awhile, you might recall that on August 1, 2009 our foreign exchange student from Norway arrived: Julie.
The same month she arrived, we managed to conceive Lucy. Not exactly the timing I was going for. A teenage daughter was new territory for me...and so was a baby one.
I spent much of that year bewildered at God's timing. I knew I couldn't see the big picture...yet that didn't stop me from complaining about how weird His timing was. Incessant bewildered complaining about weirdness is not flattering. Trust me.
I still don't have the big picture. I'm not meant to. But I have more pieces of the puzzle, and when I look back on events from then until now I can smile at His way of weaving life together.
|Julie and I that November...I'm holding her stomach because her is flat and mine was not :)|
Looking back, I can see Julie and I at the college visit we went to at a near by university. We wandered around that campus that November day, joking about how she could come back here and go to college and of course meet and eventually marry the man of her dreams...her American dreams. ;) We sat through the financial aid meeting, the question and answer time...ate in the dining hall (which made me want to enroll there and live in the dorms because the food was AMAZING...of course I was preggo so food itself was amazing.)
But I left that university that day knowing Julie would not be back here. The idea was ludicrous. College in Norway is practically totally paid for by their government. And why would she come back to Iowa? I mean really, have you seen Norway?!? And if she was to come back to America for college, she'd certainly go somewhere new and exciting.
Looking back I see myself...overwhelmed. One husband, three boys, one teenage daughter, one on the way, a dog, a ministry, and three bedrooms and one bathroom. I went into survival mode, but survival mode doesn't often let you enjoy life fully...the way God intends.
In early June of 2010, I remember standing in the airport with three boys and a 5 week old baby...saying goodbye to Julie. She had to go through security and then sit on the other side of a window-wall. We both sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed some more. I had such a feeling of wanting a do-over. You know that feeling? That feeling of knowing if you just could do it again, you'd be so much better at it.
Late this winter, I got an email from Julie, sharing about how she was seeking out where God was leading her after she graduated from school in Norway. She'd looked into all sorts of exciting adventures, but nothing felt quite right. Meanwhile, God was lining up everything to fall into place for her return to Iowa.
God does such weird things in such a great way, doesn't He?
Now...today...I am fully adjusted to the four-kid thing. My 3 bedroom, one bath house will soon be turning into a 5 bedroom 2 1/2 bath house...and my teenage daughter is returning. And this time, I get to be her friend...well a mom-friend anyway. She's in charge of herself this time. No curfews, no telling her who she can't date (although I'm sure to have an opinion ;) it's different this time...and I'm excited about that. That year of craziness had a purpose...a purpose far bigger than me.
One month from today we will pick her up from the airport. What an adventure. I'm thankful for God's version of do-overs.
*and if you're new, and would like to read more about the time when Julie was here, you can click on the link titled "hosting" under "Stuff I write about"*