Tuesday, May 15, 2007
My time at home was bitter sweet. I loved being back with those that I love and enjoyed the familiar way of life. I loved being back in the land of bathtubs, starbucks, cable t.v., easy and cheap cell phone service, home cooking, and let’s face it simply being able to speak my own language. However, with the luxuries came a price: leaving my children behind. I learned what it meant to separate my heart and leave part of it behind. Furthermore, I spent my two weeks at home in inner turmoil and under the hand of a torturous devil. The Devil did his best to throw every road block at me he could and add insult to injury at every opportunity. You all know how the beginning of my trip started. I spent an entire day in the airport when I needed to be going to appointments, finals, and meetings. I lost an entire evening with people whom I was only going to be with for 2 days. Furthermore, because I lost those precious hours and missed the important meetings I was forced to reschedule new times to take care of the things that I needed to take care of. Since I missed Thursday I was only left with Friday to get things accomplished at school and was booked that entire day. Therefore, I had to pick another day to drive back to Canton (2 hours) to take exams and meet with professors. Meaning I had to spend yet another day away from my family and friends. Wednesday morning I got up early to make the drive. A little over half way there I noticed that lights had lit up on my dash but I had no idea what they meant. I called my dad but being an hour and a half from home the best I could do was keep driving and hope for the best. Long story short my car made it to the school but died in the parking lot. I was able to get it jumped and prayed my way to a dealership in Akron where they worked on it all that day and part of the next. The original plan had been to spend all day Thursday with my mom. She had taken the day off of work. I had a doctor appointment and then we were going to do a little shopping. Well seeing as how I had to wait for my car to be fixed I finally made it home in time for a late dinner Thursday night. $510 and a missed day with mom later and my car was fixed! Not too much to pay right....! Remember how in my past post I mentioned that all I had to do for the fund raiser was make a power point and give a talk...well I may not have actually had the power point done. Jen and I had started it before I left but she was going to finish it and send it to me. After some problems on her end and my discovery that I didn't even have power point on my computer I finally came to the realization at 8 on Thursday that I had nothing to show the following evening. As I was faced with this fact and forced to come up with a solution I ended up heading to Belpre. Some of my new friends from there stepped up and offered any assistance they could. They saw my desperation and quickly scrambled around to find the best solution. However, that best solution came in the form of a brand new power point that took until almost 2 a.m. to finish. 2 of those new friends stayed with me the entire time and actually did the entire presentation for me. Problem solved I got back into the car that I had spent all day in driving first home from Canton and then to Belpre. Might I remind you that this is the same car that we just put $510 worth of work into that same day. It was a ridiculously foggy night and the hour drive turned into more of an hour and a half drive as I drove 30 down the river road. I was about 3 minutes from home when all of a sudden out of the fog stands this deer. Directly in front of my car just waiting for her next victim. I swerved (yes I know you aren't supposed to do this but it is instinctive) and would have made it around her had she not moved...but of course she did. Just as I got beside her she took off and ran right into the side of my car leaving a couple of nice looking dents. I was able to drive the car home and simply climbed into bed ready to forget about the entire long and exhausting day. I had been robbed yet again of a night with my parents and was feeling very worn down. Even though my last 5 days of break went by without catastrophe I went through many moments of extreme turmoil. I spent one evening shedding my share of tears for the year. I said one of my harder goodbyes and then cried my way through the rest of the night. It wasn’t just because of the goodbye but the reminder of the goodbyes that were to come. Not to mention the fact that the devil had seen his opening and was using it to manipulate/influence the situation. He had seen the raw/hurting part of my heart and was rubbing salt into the wound. For the first time in my life I could literally feel the devil reach inside of me and wrap his hand around that open part of my heart and begin to squeeze with all his might. I have never felt a stronger fight of good and evil going on within me. I could hear the devil’s taunting voice saying “what kind of a God asks you to walk away from those you love” or “you don’t have to go back” or “you don’t have the money to be doing this you should stay and work this summer.” He could see the tender spots of my heart and was doing his best to hit every nerve. I felt like the entire time I was home I was sitting in a court room where it was my heart, soul, and body on trial. God was playing the part of the defense and the Devil was the prosecutor. The devil was there asking all the difficult questions. He was there doing his best to lead the witness. He was there to badger, abuse, and manipulate. However, the most amazing part of this new trial feel of life was watching God step in after each of the Devil’s attacks and give HIS rebuttal. There was definitely a fight going on but God had it all under control. I may have spent an extra day in the airport but God ended the day by putting me on a plane beside a women with whom I could share my Honduras experience. A women with whom I exchanged information with. A women whose brother was having surgery in Canton the next day and was planning to take a taxi from the Cleveland airport to Canton to meet up with her family. How very much like God to place a women beside me on the plane that was in need of a ride to the exact place I was headed. I may have missed out on a day of finals but my time with her was worth it. Even though it meant I had to spend a day in Akron with a broken down car it gave me little other option than to sit back and relax. I spent 24 hours with friends who have become very near and dear to my heart. So even as I drove home bummed at the fact that I had missed the day with my mom and spent a ton on repairs for my car, I had taken a break from the crazy schedule I had been leading and allowed myself to enjoy my time at home. Little did I know that the very moment I was driving home my father was walking through the door with a profit sharing check for $503. They had received them the Friday before but my dad had been off that day and they had forgotten to tell him until the next Thursday…the same day I had written a check for $510 for my car.. It was also the same day that my mom decided to take the following Monday off so that we wouldn’t have to miss our day out together. God’s answer couldn’t have come much quickly or clearly. Sure that same night I had to go to Belpre to make a power point but again God provided the answer in the form of new friends who were ready to rise to the need placed before them. I have no great answer for how God fixed the fact that I hit a deep on the way home from making that very power point. However, I can say that the last deer I hit totaled my car and sent me to the emergency room. It puts the whole two small dents thing into perspective and reminds us that it could have been much worse. Though my time at home was plagued with struggles and pain I could hear God reminding me that he had been teaching me lessons the last 4 months that would prepare me for the road ahead. I learned some valuable lessons while home but the one that kept repeating itself over and over in each situation was God’s faithfulness. It was as if He kept whispering in my ear that if I were just to trust Him life the situation would seem so much more bearable. It will never be easy to live here or there. My heart will forever live in two places. However, I feel like this trip taught me that though it won’t ever get be easier if I keep my eyes on the Lord the transition will be much smoother and a lot less painful.