May 26, 2013
"Delayed!" "Delayed!" "Delayed!" The ugly red words flashed again and again, all over the flight information monitor, confirming what I could already see - torrents of rain were pelting the gigantic plate glass windows of the terminal where I stood clutching my bags. The anticipation of this trip, the months of detailed preparation and language lessons in my rare free moments, the monumental task of getting all five children settled temporarily into four different homes - nature obliviously disregarded all of my efforts and had preempted my well-laid plans. I was hesitant at first to accept this news. Surely, they could reroute us through another city? Maybe the connecting flight to Rome would be delayed also? If we ran at full speed through the next airport, could we possibly make the 15 minute connecting time after all? Finally, reluctantly, I accepted the disappointing reality: Our trip to Italy to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary would have to wait, at least for another 24 hours. We returned home to our empty house to wait.
Twenty years! Where did they go? Wasn't it just yesterday when I said, "I do" to this man? When we promised to love and cherish each other, in sickness and in health, until death parted us? The Lord brought our lives together that day and He proclaimed, "That's love." Or, if God speaks Italian, he would have said, "That's amore!"
Like married couples everywhere, we have experienced the good with the bad, the laughter and the tears, the affection and irritation, the commitment to press on and the temptation to give up. And through it all, we have become a team, partners, amici, friends.
And yet, somewhere in between “I do” and “What am I going to do today?”, we sometimes get lost in the busyness of life. He has his demanding job. I’ve got the craziness of corralling kids and keeping a home. I get this nagging feeling in the back of my mind sometimes, wondering, Who will we be when the kids are grown and it’s time for retirement? Will we have anything to talk about, anything in common with each other? We were about to get a small taste of life without children. Well, if the weather and the airlines cooperated, that is.
May 1, 2013
I poured my heart out to him, pleading with him to entrust his life to the One who will always love him. Letting him know that this is the most important decision that he will ever make. That no matter what happens in this brief life, he can be assured of a destination that will last for all of eternity. His response? A derisive, scoffing laugh, as if to say, “What a foolish, simple-minded woman you are.”
My heart broke, another chip to join the many splintered pieces that have slowly fallen off over the years. Moments later, in the privacy of my bedroom with the door locked, the tears flowed. “Why, Lord?!” I cried. “Why am I investing so much time and energy into something that apparently has no eternal results? What is the purpose of all my efforts if the children I love do not love You?”