Dropping Tears Over Sorrows That May Never Come
W electronic prayed as a family before Nick and Abby left for their fall semester, after that snapped a photo of the 2 of them standing together outside our home—our two college students. It was August 1, 2020, and they were headed to Louisville, Kentucky, Nick for his junior year and Abby for her freshman. I made the journey with them considering that CDC regulations at the time required foreigners quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. We stayed isolated together in a lent basement apartment until the fourteen days were up, then drove to campus and not loaded a tower of luggage and boxes. I hugged Nick, told him We loved him, and watched as he walked away hand-in-hand with the woman who, just weeks later, would acknowledge a ring from their outstretched hand. And that was the last time I actually saw him. It was the last time I ever will see him on this side of heaven.
Abby returned house after the on-campus memorial company, and has been with us ever since, waiting out the lengthy winter break between semesters. But now school is starting again, classes are beginning, and have had to bid the girl farewell. It’s a good thing, we all know, but it’s also a very difficult thing. It doesn’t assist that pandemic regulations are usually tightening, that America’s new administration has added obligatory testing before anyone can enter the country and that they’ve promised to soon restore and strengthen the quarantine regulations. It doesn’t assist that Canada’s Prime Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich), while admitting that he has no right to prevent Canadians through leaving the country, says there is absolutely no rule against making it as hard as possible. When Computer chip was in the second half of his freshman year we were by no means more than a few hours away from being able to get to him in an emergency; with Abby in the second half of her freshman yr we are a couple of weeks aside. It’s alarming. It’s intimidating.
Abby was booked in the first flight of the day—a short hop to Detroit where she would be able to connect with Louisville. We got upward at 4 AM to make sure she had time to crystal clear security and customs just before her 6: 30 AM departure. While we were assured her paperwork was in order, we’ve learned not to take much for granted with regards to transiting international borders. Depart two hours at minimal, they advised.
We rolled to a stop outside Toronto Airport’s terminal 3. Abby had to pack for two months, for a cool southern winter season and a warm southern springtime. I wrestled two giant suitcases to the ground at the rear of the van and, doing it math, realized they weighed about the same as her. Rules forbade me from just as much as going through the terminal doors, so she was going to have to manage them on her personal.
I already knew that she had her boarding pass and passport along with her; I already understood she had figured out ways to navigate all three airports; I already knew the girl had arranged a trip on the far side. I had developed already prayed with her—Aileen, Michaela, and I had huddled together and prayed for her safety and protection just before she headed out the doorway. So what was left to undertake but to say goodbye?
I did so my best to be fearless, as I knew I wouldn’t be doing her any kind of favors if I broke down plus cried. I took the girl face in my hands, appeared her in the eye, and said, “I love you. Be safe. I’ll help you soon. ” I kissed her on the cheek, after that left her to pull her two full-sized suitcases into the terminal. Climbing back into the van I had an additional prayer: “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be performed. ”
My temptation within a moment like this is to be anxious. It’s to think of what happened the last time our kids headed south, to use my mind to fabricate a vision of a similar future, then in order to feel all its sadness, its grief, its trauma—to “shed tears over heartaches that may never come. ” I could cripple myself under the weight of such fantasies. I could crush my spirit. I could commit a gradual suicide.
I often sense that temptation building. The very first scenes begin to play within my imagination and I have to determine whether I’ll let them roll or whether I’ll shut them down. I know what Jesus said: “Do not have to get anxious about tomorrow, intended for tomorrow will be anxious with regard to itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ” I know it’s God responsibility to concern himself with the upcoming and mine to live nicely in the present. I know God claims grace sufficient for every trial, but only trials that have actually happened, that exist within the real world rather than in the world of dream. I know God’s power is made perfect in genuine weakness, not dreamed. But still I actually sense anxiety’s tug, still I begin to see these scenes in my mind, in order to feel them with my emotions, to dread them within my heart.
How, then, can I let go of such anxiety? Merely have learned any antidote it is this: deliberately submitting personally to the will of Lord, for comfort is closely related to acquiescence. As long as I fight the will associated with God, as long as I battle God’s right to rule their world in his way, peace remains distant and furtive. But when I surrender, while i bow the knee, then peace flows like a water and “attendeth my way. ” For when I do so, I remind myself the will of God is inseparable from the character of God. I remind myself that the will of Our god is always good because The almighty is always good. Hence We pray a prayer associated with faith, not fatalism: “Your will be done. Not as I will, but as you will. ”
There is comfort in any prayer—comfort in asking God designed for his care, for their blessing, for his security. There is comfort in expressing my desires, my preferences, my hopes and plans. But there is more comfort nevertheless in wrapping it all in this prayer. I pray it as a profession associated with faith, an acknowledgement associated with God’s love, of God’s goodness, of God’s sovereignty. I pray it as being a declaration that his understanding is more expansive than my very own, that his will is preferable to my own, that his intelligence is higher than my own.
And so i will pray for the desires of my heart, I am going to ask God to bless and protect my lady, I’ll plead with your pet to bring her home in my opinion in May. But the steel twine woven through the fabric on this prayer is not “my will be done” but “thy will be done. ” Ultimately, when there is to be comfort, it will not be grounded in the hope that absolutely nothing bad will happen to me or to the people I love, but in the perfect God whose perfect character is displayed in his perfect will.