After we dropped Gabe at the airport, I came home, grabbed a box of Kleenex, crawled back into bed and sobbed. Some of my tears emerged simply from exhaustion– too many late nights and early mornings, the last two nights with scarcely any sleep at all– but really, I’m just going to miss Gabe like crazy.
The last six weeks have been a gift, almost a throwback to Gabe’s childhood, where we spent hours together every day. We played with the cat, and watched The Chosen, he taught me German idioms and I quizzed him on flashcards. When he made an especially healthy meal (one of his goals for home MTC) he proudly showed me his colorful plate filled with vegetables. During the last week, we scrambled to do shopping and packing (it hadn’t seemed necessary before) and solved problem after problem.
Each night, without fail, we walked around the neighborhood, watched the light turn to dark and came home to pray.
On Wednesday, we woke before dawn, navigated the surreal covid-era airport procedures and put him on a flight to San Jose, California. I know he arrived, but five days later I’m looking at the maps of California wildfires and I still don’t what city he ended up in, who he lives with, where he’s putting his head at night…
I’m praying for California and the nightmarish fires. I’m not worried about Gabe’s safety– the church is cautious and keeps missionaries out of harm as much as possible– but I’d love to know the street he live on, the names of the people sharing his apartment, how he’s spending his days.
I love having something tangible to pray for. The wildfires to end, Gabe’s passport to arrive, Stef and Heather to find a car, etc. and etc. I struggle a little more with– please help my children to be OK. When it comes to the pandemic– I’m not even sure what to pray for anymore.
Every morning (and often throughout the day) I say to myself, “God is always blessing me.” And it’s true, God is always blessing me; He’s always blessing you. He pours out blessings to all His children constantly. We simply need to recognize them and often to reach out and take them. The blessing of a gorgeous sunset eludes us unless we lift our heads and look.
I felt those blessings every day of home MTC. Yes, I fell behind on a lot of other work (just watch how productive I’ll be in September) but I basked in the pleasure of having my missionary at home. I know God continues to bless me, to bless each one of his children. I only have to lift up my head and look.