Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I didn't see that one coming

Got knocked over by a wave of grief last week. Wasn't pretty. I was just standing there looking at the beautiful sky one instant and the next I'm picking myself up, coughing and spitting out sea water. This grief thing still sucks. It may be easier to function and carry on with routine, but an undercurrent can pull your feet out from under you without warning at any given second. There is simply no rhyme or reason and no preparing for those moments.

David, our exchange student, came home from school last week and announced that he would like to go through the graduation ceremony for the seniors. Wham. Tidal wave. Woman down.

While he doesn't officially get a diploma from the high school, he can participate in the ceremony, order a cap and gown, and buy a class ring if he so desires. I got the wind knocked right out of me. I so didn't see that one coming. We had been told before even getting the approval to host an exchange student that they wouldn't be allowed to graduate here in the U.S., so it never occured to us that he would want to participate.

And now I am utterly torn. One part of me can't fathom going through the whole graduation thing because it's supposed to be my son doing all these things this year. It's supposed to be Matt. But it's not. And it never will be. It's the ugly, horrible reality. Another part of me, however, can't imagine not being there for David. He has become like a son to us in just these few short weeks. I don't want him to be all alone as he experiences the thrill of such a memorable American custom. I want to be there for him, to show him our support and share in his excitement. Oh, God, how do I do this? How do I get through this?

I think I know the answer, though. It's by leaning hard on God, doing the tough things, but always, always remembering that this world is not our home. This is not where we belong. And most importantly, remembering that my son IS alive. He is alive in Heaven where, someday, we will be reunited.  

“Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Martha, do you believe this?” 
(John 11:26)

I am, in many ways, much like Martha. Always doing, always thinking that the things of this world are so important. Always looking at what others are or aren't doing. But the truth is, staying focused on Jesus is really the only way I'm ever going to get through this. It's the only way I will find the perseverence, the strength, and the faith to continue until I am finally home. Home in Heaven where God intended all along. Home where His plan is finally fulfilled, completed and perfect.


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