I've had a hard time figuring out what to say publicly about my first visit with Thad since he went to No Longer Bound in July. So many wonderful people have sent their love and support, and I want to be able to say something. I know beyond any doubt that we have been in so many people's prayers the past several weeks. I can feel it in my bones, and we felt it during our time together as well.
Truth is, our visit was beyond words. I was not 'excited' to go see him. I was fearful. Our visit could have gone one of two ways: good or horribly, terribly badly. I prayed for a lot of things before/while heading to Georgia and every.single.one.of.them. was granted and then some. I didn't ask for all the joy and hope that I came back with. I simply wanted a husband who was going to be truthful and was wanting to reconcile. But the Lord had even better plans in mind for us. We have never felt more blessed than we did during the time we had together.
During church on Sunday I had to cry when we sang "Jesus, how I trust him. How I've proved him over and over" because Thad and I are a living example of what Paul was talking about when he wrote, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" The fact that God would choose to use us, and use our terrible situation to be a testimony to his Word is....humbling. Amazing. Hard to wrap my head around.
Obviously seeing Thad was my favorite favorite part of going to No Longer Bound but it was also BEYOND words awesome meeting some of the guys there. Seeing him just surrounded by a bunch of guys that genuinely care about him and want nothing but good for him, and both cry and celebrate with him, was just humbling and beautiful and wonderful. Also, getting to meet some of the wives of the men in the program was great, too. And by wives I mean getting to see one of my favorite wives again (I mean you, Speed) as well as getting to meet the wife of one of Thad's favorite guys there. Mrs. Latham is such a wonderful, sweet lady and getting to talk to her on our drive back from church on Sunday was proof-positive that I am so not alone.
Now that I've seen him and spoken with him, I've entered a different phase of this process. He is now becoming the kind of man I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with. (Did I mention he's gained THIRTY pounds? He looks amazing.) I don't have anger to 'protect' me from how much I miss him anymore. And I have this unbearable excitement to get a letter in the mail/visit again/for him to graduate so we can be together and be a family again. I'm happy that he is where he is, I'm happy that he has another 8 months of this program to go through, but 8 months feels like such an impossibly long time right now--especially with Clementine's arrival being less than 3 months away.
So today, I woke up feeling vulnerable and emotional and just beat down. The weight of the next 8 months decided to sit on my shoulders and park it for awhile. As much as the Lord has granted me peace in many things, sometimes anxiety peeks its head around the corner and tries to hang out with me for awhile. And while I was stressing about silly things like finances and all things new-mommyish, UPS showed up with boxes of baby stuff for me that someone had purchased off my baby registry.
If you've ever doubted that the Lord's timing is perfect, just take a look at my life.
The fact that someone on the other side of the country was thinking of my precious daughter and I moved me to tears (as I usually am when something comes in the mail for us) and I can't help but feel the Lord's hand behind it all. Don't you love that? When the Lord is just so obviously all over every blessing and second in your life??
So, I have a very small window to try to visit Thad again before I will be too pregnant to fly. Pray that I can find a way to make it to Georgia at the end of this month. It will be minimally four months before I will be able to see him again after that. And that first visit after those long, four months will be the first time he'll meet his daughter. Can I just say its mildly soul-crushing to contemplate?
Thank you to everyone who has kept us in your prayers. Please don't stop now! We still have such a long road ahead but how encouraging is it to know that the Lord answers prayer?