Sunday, September 30, 2012
Sharing Sunday: And Two Unexpected Gifts
Sunday is the hardest day of the week for me when my husband is deployed. The kids and I go to church, and afterward I chat with one or two people before we head home. The three of us walk slowly downstairs (because that's how Buddy walks down stairs: S-L-O-W-L-Y!). As soon as I buckle in the kids and slam the heavy van doors, loneliness engulfs me. It happens before we even leave the parking lot. Emotions that I am able to keep at bay throughout the rest of the week well up inside of me. I feel isolated, disconnected from all that is around me. I realize the irony and the sadness in this happening on Sundays, but after many deployments I've failed at finding a way to remedy it.
We are incredibly blessed, above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. I don't say that lightly - it's true. God's provision in our lives astounds me. Knowing this makes me ashamed to feel the way I do - lonely, isolated, uncared for - because I know it simply isn't true. But it's one of the things I struggle with.
We aren't fundraising to cover the costs of our adoption, as many other families do out of necessity. As I just mentioned, we have always been provided for in amazing ways. Like most people adopting through Reece's Rainbow, we have a Family Sponsorship Page (FSP) set up for donations, but didn't advertise it, or link to it. We didn't expect any contributions to be made there.
Today I walked through the back door with my usual Sunday-afternoon heavy heart, wishing Rob was here to eat lunch with us, or read to Bou, or even argue with me about tennis (this happens on a lot of Sundays!). After eating, I put Buddy down for a nap and decided to check my Facebook messages. There was one from my dear friend Sara (and I hope she doesn't mind that I'm sharing this!). She is one of my kindred spirits - we have known each other for 20 years now. We were randomly assigned to be roommates in college campus housing our freshman year. Sara, along with our two other roommates Amy and Laura, quickly became my closest, most treasured friends. And they still are!
Sara and I both gave up careers to become stay-at-home moms. She has three boys and I know that she has had to maintain a conservative family budget since they became a one-income household. So when she messaged me today to tell me that she wanted to donate the money she made at an annual children's consignment sale to Isabella's fund, I got a little teary. Why? Because she is willing to sacrifice something that her family could use to help my family. What a gift a friendship like that is.
Later, I saw that Sara had posted an update about Isabella on her Facebook page, and Sara's father commented that he donated as well. The tears started flowing again. What a gift a man like that is to those around him. The money, while GREATLY appreciated, is not the real gift. The real gift is people like this in my life, people who care about us, and Isabella, and the injustices suffered by innocent little children in this world. People who care, and then act.
I am not alone, or isolated, or disconnected - no matter what I think on any given Sunday afternoon. There are people in my life who bless me in incredible ways. I am connected to the Body of Christ, even if I don't always feel it in the places I think I should, or at the times I think I should. It is there, and I am very thankful for it.