It is safe to say that I've spent the last few days wallowing in self pity and longings. I allowed thoughts of home and lost memories drag me into a place of ache like I've never known. It was so confusing to be so convinced that THIS was where God wanted me....yet to know that a huge part of me screamed for normal. Screamed to be able to go back to life as a normal 22 year old girl. I entertained thoughts of what it would have been like to have finished out my last 3 semesters in the classroom so that I too would have been walking across that stage last Saturday. Once I had allowed myself to go there I couldn't seem to find my way back.
I've spent the past 5 nights staying up WAY late in an attempt to keep up with life, classes, and my sanity. Each night as the clock crept toward 1 a.m. then 2 a.m. then 3 a.m. (and some nights even 4 or 5 a.m.) I wondered aloud what the heck I was doing in this country busting my butt to simply keep my head above water. Why am I here killing myself to simply chip away at a degree one painful semester at a time? Why am I still struggling through one paper after another instead of kicking back watching the ink dry on my diploma? College is supposed to take 4 years to get through and those 4 years are supposed to be the time of your life. So why why why....
Well tonight God hand delivered a reminder of why. Why I love taking my classes online....why being here wins out over being there....and why I fell in love with here in the first place.
Once again I'm sitting in the office working on the endless amounts of homework that I have. The clock had barely passed midnight when Mario came through the door leading Antonio. (Antonio is the baby of the house) Even before they got around the desk to where I sat Antonio had started to whimper. Mario quickly explained that Antonio had woken up scared crying out for me....ME. Not the momma that he has never really known....not the brothers who have raised him as much as anyone....not some other random person God could have brought here to this place. Nope on this night in his moment of fear he cried out for me. At 2 years old he may not know a lot about the world or life. He may not understand why anything works the way it does or how to make the monsters disappear. Doesn't know the meaning of trust...or even the word trust for that matter. Yet he knows what it feels like and what it looks like. It feels like waking up in the middle of the night and knowing that when he cries out for me that I'll be here.
As much as I hate it deadlines for papers exist and tonight I was in a time crunch to get one completed before I got closed out. Therefore, crawling in bed with him wasn't an option at the exact moment. Yet nothing (not even an F on the assignment) would have made me turn that little boy away in his moments of fear. Instead I pulled him up on my lap. Wrapping his legs around my waist and nuzzling his head under my chin he sat silently resting against me. Once he was settled I began typing again...this time with one arm around either side of him. As I hit send on my paper (23 minutes ahead of the deadline...thank you very much!) I was reminded that taking classes online, miles from campus/friends/normal life, means that I get to hold scared little boys while finishing papers. It means I get to curl up on hospital beds beside little ones who have stolen my heart. It means I get to hold up wives who struggle to stand as they pry themselves away from their dead husband. It means I get to work with boys who can't seem to keep themselves out of trouble.
Don't get me wrong my heart still longs for there. I still ache for an hour of the past....but tonight God reminded me of why I love the present. What a picture we made tonight as Antonio and I snuggled up in the chair so that I could finish my homework! Yep ....it was a scrapbook of the heart kind of moment.