Joe and I had a storm yesterday. We were minding our own sweet business and going about our day- Joe at work and me, at home with my mom, trying to babysit a garage sale. And, as life will have it, all of our priorities changed with a single phone call. I hate it when that happens.
The phone call was from our daughter telling me that she and her year-old son need a place to stay for a while since she had left her husband while being in a very difficult marriage. This bombshell, dropped into our lives, brings a lot of different perspectives. First of all, everyone is safe and healthy and the situation is NOT life and death. That established, from a purely selfish perspective, we are looking at some HUGE changes in our lives - for all of us and even for Hank, our dog. I would call this situation a head shaker because that is the only response I had to offer as I played all the different scenarios through my mind. As I have repeatedly mentioned, I'm a list maker, a problem solver, a girl who has to have a plan. Didn't I just tell the blog world I don't function well without a plan (see last post)? OH NO!
I immediately called Joe and explained what was going on. I'm sure he was perplexed as I was when we hung up the phone. I know questions were racing through his head, as well. I know he was trying to figure out his own response to this news and he was rightly concerned about mine.
I like to think that I usually handle tough situations with a fairly even response. Oh, I may get excited until I can wrap my arms around the situation and I don't think I panic - at least for very long. Yesterday, I stayed calm on the outside while my insides were going ballistic. I believe someone was playing pin ball in my head. The question continually going through my mind was, "What are we going to do about this?" Our lives and our home are not prepared for others to live with us - especially a baby who is just beginning to walk. Our house is not baby proof. I don't have a job. How will we afford this? How can we be supportive emotionally and financially when we have so much going on in our own lives at the moment? How can I help fill her with the support she needs when my own pitcher is so dangerously low? And, truth be told, I am hanging on by a thread as it is and I am just plain scared. Scared of change, scared of the intrusion into my routine. I don't want to have to deal with this - at all. And, yet, Love reminds me I am bigger than these feelings.
My mom was here when I received the call. I asked her, "What are we going to do about this?" Her response was so wise - "You are just going to love her and, when you do, it will make her strong. It will make you stronger, too." I read that now and it makes me cry. Yesterday all I could think was "I don't know if I am strong enough to do that." Today, I'm still not sure; but, I'm willing to give it a go.
Joe got home last night and we were able to have a very frank and honest discussion about options and expectations - of each other and of our daughter. At this point, the discussion was just between the two of us and not with our daughter. It was a bit of a storm. I guess, really, just a fairly strong gust of wind or, maybe, a squall. And, we both (well, mainly me) spoke out of fear, frustration and anxiety. And, to keep this metaphor going, it did clear the air.
After we were finished sharing our thoughts and letting them soak in, I went upstairs to our bedroom and looked out the window. It was around 7PM and dark on the east side of our house and the sun brightly shining in the west. It had been drippy humid all day and the air was heavy with a storm wanting to rant and rave - fit my mood perfectly. However, when I looked out the window I was surprised to find a reminder of a promise - a full rainbow (a double one) - two perfect arcs back lit across the dark sky. I just stood there and cried and, finally, I was able to be thankful and to, once again, praise Him in this storm. Perfect timing, God. Another whisper of love and, this time, wrapped in a rainbow.
I know that loving someone is a great responsibility. Yesterday morning, before I got up, I prayed God would use me as His vessel throughout the day to show his love to all those strangers I would meet at this garage sale. Little did I know He planned to bring the opportunity into our home and for one of our very own.
We have an opportunity to make a difference in our daughter's life, to help her rebuild her self-esteem, to see her laugh and to enjoy her family. To help her to live her life with honesty - to learn to trust us and to trust herself. To help provide her the tools she needs to make good decisions in her life and to know others believe in her. We have the opportunity to show her God's love and to be examples of His Grace. Scares me - you bet! And, I'm thankful for the opportunity and will not take the responsibility lightly.
Joe and I are excited because we will have the opportunity to develop a relationship with our grandson - uniquely his own and our own. We will love him like crazy. We may not have had that otherwise.
Today, I'm still scared. But, I know God's love is bigger than I am and His love will sustain us. And, the truly amazing part - He has a plan and I'm a part of it.