We drove nearly 1,000 miles each way to visit our older son earlier this month. This is an annual trip that our whole family anticipates with great preparation and joy! We’ve lived five states apart for almost five years now, and it never gets any easier. We miss our son like crazy! He’s loved beyond words.
We always break up the long trek and stay overnight at a hotel at a halfway point, which we’re all ecstatic to see! We usually eat breakfast at the hotel the next morning before we head out, which is not a stellar spread, but passable and convenient. We’re always grateful, especially for the strong cup of coffee! My younger son enjoys the pastries whereas my daughter selects the healthy oatmeal. That pretty much reflects the contrasts of their personalities. Haha. Twenty months apart … and so unique.
When we arrived our son and his girlfriend had dinner ready to go in the oven. We all could practically kiss the ground when we arrived at our destination! 🙂 Ah, one hug with my son and it made the long trek so worth it! This mother truly relished our time with him, noting the changes in his maturity level and personality since our last visit. Yes, he’s entirely more mature than most his age, but he’s still my little boy on the inside. To think that once I held him as a helpless baby and now he stands so tall and strong, independent and wise. The prayer of my heart is that he will walk so close with our Heavenly Father, listen to His voice and live out his days according to God’s plans. I pray that for all of my children.
Our visits are never long enough as there’s so much that we pack into each one! We had dinner at an Italian restaurant with my son, his girlfriend and her parents. This was the first time we’ve met them, so everyone was a little nervous, I think. But, they’re very nice people. The lasagna was likely the best I’ve ever had!
We had lunch with our former pastor and his wife at Outback. We shared such a special time of fellowship with them, as always. They are not only our former pastors, but dear, dear friends of ours. They’ve visited us at our house as well. Whenever we get together, it’s as if no time at all has passed since our last visit. We just pick right back up. Kindred spirits.
Putt putt golf … minor league baseball game … Mother’s Day lunch … the beach … shopping … dinner with special friends … reconnecting with other family …
And, that’s our week at a glance! Our time there was so special and so valued, always a real shot in the arm. Exhausting, but exciting! We always leave with full hearts and smiles on our faces. The morning that we were packing up the SUV to head home, I tried to stay strong, but tears were welling up because six months is such a long time until we see our son again. It really tugs at the heart strings. But, until we meet again, our prayers remain…
It was our best trip to date, for sure. We stayed overnight at the same hotel on the way home and were happy for some much needed rest for the trip ahead the following day. We left the hotel around 10:30a.m. or so and were anticipating sleeping in our own beds for the first time in nine days. We were just four minutes from home when we were rear ended by a drunk driver at 10:15p.m. We wouldn’t go to bed until after 5a.m. the next morning after we were released from the hospital. Rather than focus on the negatives of the situation, we are trusting God to heal us and guide us continually. We are praying for the others involved in the accident for their physical and spiritual healing. There were 11 people involved in the 4 car collision and all were taken to the hospital. God knows all about this. He knew this would occur. Sometimes it’s hard to process the bad along with the blessings of life. We love the blessings, but we don’t understand the bad things.
I was just mentioning to my husband last night that it was too bad this drunk driver couldn’t have veered into the turn lane right beside me, rather than plowing into the car behind us, into us and sending us into the mini van in front of us. But, then, a small voice said, “What if he was right beside you and crashed into your door?” Yes, sometimes the bad is truly ugly. But sometimes we may never really see all that God has spared us from that could’ve been even worse.
Our family will move beyond this accident. We still have aches and pains, some worse than others. But, we are all grateful for the mercy and grace God extends to us daily. We never walk alone. A dear friend of ours picked us up from the hospital at 3:45a.m. That’s the test of a real friend! I hesitated to call at that time of night, but thankfully she was up! That was so sweet of her and we appreciated seeing a familiar face early that morning. Another friend brought us a tremendous dinner the other night: salmon, shrimp, green beans, rice and chicken. So thoughtful. My dad has been so worried and reminds me each time we talk on the phone that he’s been praying for us and that he loves me. Our accident has been hard on him too. Other friends have taken him to the lab for his routine blood work during my recovery. What a blessing that has beeen! God truly provides for every detail of our lives! God knows all things and He holds us in the palm of His mighty hands! My three siblings have called often and continue to pray.
Prayer, I have long realized, is one of the greatest gifts we can offer on behalf of another. It is inviting God’s power and presence into a situation and asking Him to intervene as only He can. It is beckoning God’s super into my natural. It is the awareness that apart from God, I am a helpless mess; but with His help and grace, I am a work of His mercy and power.
And so, our trip to visit our older son seems to be intertwined with our accident. But, it’s all a testament to God’s love and grace. His love was displayed over and over as we visited with our son and his girlfriend, as well as enjoyed great fellowship with sweet friends. His grace was revealed through sparing our family from what could’ve been a catastrophic accident. And in all these things, we remain grateful.