The wait at the airport was over. It was time for our son and his family to board. We’d been pretending to have a good time, playing with our three little grandsons, for the last hour and a half while we waited for this moment. As I reached to say goodbye to the oldest, then two and a half, he asked a question that broke my heart: ``You’re coming with us on the airplane, right Grandma?”
“No sweetie,” I choked, “Grandma has to stay here. Mommy and Daddy and Joshua and you are the only ones going on the airplane.” To make it easier for them, I tried to keep the tears back as we hugged them all, but I felt as though I was being torn in two. The baby was only fifteen month’s old. I was going to miss getting to know him completely.
God had been preparing all of us for this moment for a long time, and we knew they were doing exactly what they were born to do, but at this moment, that didn’t make it any easier. They were moving overseas and needed to learn a new language and it would probably be at least two years before we could even visit them.
After the last goodbyes, our oldest son, his wife and our youngest grandson, Joseph went to their car. My husband and I left for ours, arms around each other for comfort. “I’m so thankful we still have Joseph!”
Being a grandma had been a dream come true for me. There had been a point in our sons’ lives when I wasn’t even sure either of them would marry, so having three grandsons in three years was more than I could have asked for. I adored them. I needed them!
Two years later our oldest announced at our regular Saturday night dinner that they were also moving overseas, and that it would be very soon. A perfect opportunity had come up to move them forward in their life plans. “Wow, Lord. Not again!”
But we were happy for them. They love the Lord with all their hearts and who could ask for more than that. They, like our second son, agree with us that being available to go anywhere God calls us is a must. We didn’t try to talk them out of it. We spent the summer helping them get their house ready to rent, helped them with their garage sale, stored their stuff in our garage, took them to the airport, and said goodbye.
I put away the toys, cleaned up the garage, and unstrapped the booster from the kitchen chair, where it had been for the last year and a half. Then the tears came. Life lost its color. I didn’t want to do anything of value. For weeks I was in a “blue funk”, not understanding my reaction to this latest loss. I had always been proud of my ability to let go of the kids. Our daughter had gone far away to university and I was okay with it after the first few weeks. I had adjusted pretty quickly to our first son leaving, and enjoyed our email and Skype relationship. They sent lots of pictures so we felt like we didn’t miss much in the boys’ growing up. It wasn’t as bad as I had thought it might be. Now this – this dull, gray life. I couldn’t seem to get my feet under me.
The dream came in the wee hours of the morning when they had been gone about six weeks. Joseph was in the back seat of the van and somehow managed to open the sliding door just as we passed a steep cliff. He tumbled out into the water below. Even though, in real life, I’m terrified of deep water, I dove off the cliff, found him behind a rock, pulled him out and brought him to the surface, saving his life.
On waking I asked God what the strange dream meant and without hesitation the answer came: “You think you are the one who can save your loved ones, but you couldn’t be more wrong. I am the one who can keep them safe. I am the one who will look out for them. You can trust me with your children and grandchildren.”
“Wow, Lord! Of course you’re right.”
And I was back. Hearing (and believing) the truth changes everything.
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