Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm Back

I hope you all had a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving day with your loved ones. We sure did. We went to the mountains this year and celebrated Thanksgiving with my husband's side of the family. We always rotate Thanksgiving and Christmas between his family and mine and that has always worked very well for us. But now that our kids are having kids - I can tell we are going to have to get creative with this. My mother-in-law lives about 120 miles away from us. We live in the desert. She lives in the mountains and it is beautiful there. Strangely, there was no snow. Usually the ski hills try to open on Thansgiving weekend - but not this year. It seems like the weather is about a month off these days. They get just as much snow as always but it is arriving about a month late and sticks around a month longer in the spring. We had a wonderful, traditional menu and visited with family we don't see often enough. I made my first pumpkin roll - surprisingly easy - I don't know why I thought it would be so hard! We played games and cards and ate some more. We snuggled with baby Tyler and baby Ava Claire. We simply enjoyed being together. Which to me is what I am most thankful for. Thanksgiving is a good day isn't it?

It was good for me to take a break from blogging. I started realizing that every post I started was negative and I knew I needed to take some time to regroup and re-focus. I'm better now. I'm still having a difficult time trying to wrap my heart and my head about what is to come - but I'm doing better. And I'm ready to share what is happening in our family.

Oddly enough, it isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's a good thing and the first thing I want to say is how very proud I am of my daughter and son-in-law for being so open and willing to listen to God.

Brad and Michelle have accepted volunteer positions to work with a program called Extreme Nazarene in Peru for the next three years. As in, they are willing to sell everything they have including their house, and move to South America to use their skills and educations to help people who are helpless and hopeless.

As in, quitting their jobs and becoming totally dependent on volunteer supporters.

As in taking my sweet little grandson to another country to live. He won't come home again until he is almost four years old.

Hence, my anguish.

For the first two weeks after hearing this news, I cried more than I ever knew it was possible. My word did I cry. I thought I would dehydrate. It was so frustrating that I couldn't even think about it without tearing up in the most inconvenient of places. My office. The grocery store. Driving down the road. And church. Especially church. I have argued with God and yelled at God and pleaded with God and bartered with God. I finally just hushed up and stared reading His Word. I picked up my neglected Bible and strongly felt the Spirit urging me to read Matthew. And no kidding, the first page my eyes fell on was Matthew chapter 10. And I began to read about how if you love your daughter (and my Bible seemed to include son-in-law and grandson) more than you love God, then you are not worthy of Him. I read it several times and I knew I had to stop fighting what seems so inevitable.

They have a lot to do before they can really go. They are supposed to be there in Peru by February 10. February 10 is Michelle's birthday. Weird. They have to sell their house and their vehicles and raise half of the financial support they will need. It is a huge and monumental task before them. And I have to agree that if they are able to do it, it will only be because it is a God thing. And I am slowly beginning to understand that I not only have to accept this, I also have to help them.

I have to help them do what they need to do to move my sweet little boy to another country. For three years. I don't know how it will be humanly possible. Well, actually I know it is not humanly possible. I am depending on God's help to pull this off because no way can I do it on my own.

When I hold that sweet boy, tears just flow down my face and wash his hair. I hold him so tight he grunts at me. I have no idea how I am going to function not hearing his first words, not celebrating his first or his second or his third birthday with him, not seeing his first steps. It pains me more than I can write that we, his grandparents, will be strangers to him by the time he gets home.

I never knew that a broken heart could acutally hurt so much physically.

So there you have it. That's what has been going on in my life lately. Wow -talk about something coming out of left field. This was so unexpected and unplanned for. I feel like I am finally able to at least breathe normally. I can talk about it now and not cry. So I am making progress!

And I am realizing that I am indeed blessed to have a daughter who is doing what we raised her to do - obey God. And I am blessed to have a son-in-law that I know will take such good care of her and little Tyler - even in a foreign place. And if this truly happens, I know that I am blessed to be supported by a wonderful family and church family that will help me get through it. And I have been blessed beyond belief to have a sweet and beautiful little granddaughter that will help fill the void in our hearts and arms.

In the meantime, I am loving on a certain little boy like you can't believe and trying to figure out how I'm going to make it be enough to last for 1,095 days.


Becky said...

Oh, Robin! My heart just goes out to you. I feel your pain and sadness. But you are right, it is for a good thing. That does not help the emptiness their leaving will leave you with.

All I can say, in comfort, is that with the advent of internet, the world has become a smaller place.

I'll be praying for you my friend. Keep the faith. God is good ... all the time.

Dawn said...

How will you get through 1,095 days? One day at a time!! I am so glad to hear that the tears have diminished. I can only imagine how you feel. My grandparents sent two sons, DILs, and grandchildren to Africa back in the 40s. It took weeks to even get a letter. Times have really changed. I know phones and e-mails aren't the same, but they are good. I always fear that someday Kev and Sema will head for Africa, about the time they have a child!

We had Scott and Emily Armstrong here yesterday for Faith Promise and they gave us such an amazing message. About how God does the impossible - they told us stories about poverty-stricken people down there in the MAC region becoming volunteer missionaries with NO money in sight. We serve an amazing God.

I didn't mean to write a book, but I wish you could hear their message. Would you like me to send it to you?

A Day In the Life . . . said...

Hi Robin - just read your post about Michelle - how exciting! - could you please have her send their support letter to us? - I think she has my address? I'm a bit leery about posting it on a blog . .
Thanks! Samantha

Willow said...

Robin, 30 years ago I was on the other end of your dilemna. I was the one going with my parents' only grandchildren to a place halfway around the world. I know it was hard for my mother. I wish she were alive so you could get wisdom from her. She wrote me faithfully twice a week, as this was before the time of cell phones, satellite connections, email and skype. You can still see your family every day via the internet and you could even go to Peru to visit them. Now that I am a grandmother, I better understand the sacrifices that our families made to bless us on our way to Indonesia. Send them with open arms, it will be harder if you don't.

Karen said...

OH, Robin! I can only imagine how torn you must feel. Three years is a long time, in the life of a little one. I will pray for you in the days ahead. You'll get through it.

It's nice to take a little break, isn't it? I love your "Christmas look" and especially like the quote from the Grinch.

Judy said...

Oh Robin! My sweet SIL! It may be of little consolation to you, but I know of some other grandmas and grandpas who are feeling your EXACT pain right now! 2 young families here in Mac that we know--with babies, too--have also signed on with Extreme Nazarene, and they, too, are going to Peru! Small world. Anyway, we will be praying for you and for Michelle and Brad and of course for sweet Tyler!!! You're a good grandma, Robin! :) Love you!

Barb said...

Oh, Robin. It takes a lot for a blog post to actually raise the hair on my arms and make me cry.

This one did it.

I so, so understand your anguish. I can't imagine not seeing Cameron for three years. I'm trying to imagine it, and I simply can't.

My heart is breaking for you, and yet, I know that you will be strong because yes, your daughter and her husband are truly amazing people, that they would literally give up all their earthly possessions to answer this call. I know you must be so proud of them.

But I understand that this is just breaking your heart. I'm praying for you. I don't know what else to do. I really can understand how torn you must feel, between being so proud of them and knowing that your grandbaby will be four years old next time you see him.

I'm sure there are worse things that could happen. But I'll bet you don't think so right now.

I agree with Becky and your other commenters. The world is a much smaller place now, thanks to the Internet, and I know your daughter will keep you constantly up to date, including photos, on your sweet grandchild. Between photos and phone calls, you do not have to be a stranger to Tyler when they come back home.


Lucydolls' ramblings said...

Robin, WOW! I sent you a message on facebook and THEN went to your blog. WOW. I am praising God and weeping for you at the same time. What a blessing to have your oldest daughter and son in law serving God like that. THEN ~ How lonely it will be without that cute little boy. Gramma will just have to go visit, take lots of mission trips to Peru.
I am praying for you and for grandpa!

Michelle said...

Oh Robin I had tears reading your post! No wonder you needed a blogging break. I'm sorry that this decision is going to be so hard on you as a grandma. I know how hard it is being away from my own mom, and how much she misses her grandkids, and we live in the states! At least we see her a couple times a year, but still, I know it's hard. And now going to another country. Will they be able to visit at all? Will you be able to visit them? Will they have internet connection? I know it's not the same as seeing Tyler in person, but it'll help some. Praying for you all.

kittyhox said...

My heart hurts for you. I pray that God will keep your hearts intertwined even though you won't be able to see your little guy in person for a few years.

gail@more than a song said...

I'm trying to catch up and see your post about your daughter's family moving, my heart goes out to you as well! What a hard thing and I can't imagine, mine lived far away for 3 or 4 years but I did get to see them a few times each year. I do think it might be a bit easier these days with the internet; I'm hoping they have access and a computer and if so y'all both should so get webcams! We use it with ours that live off and it really helps.
I know you must be extremely proud of them too in the midst of everything else.

Kathy S. said...

Oh Robin, I will be praying for you! What a bittersweet piece of news. God bless you and your daughter and her family! How exciting and dreadful (your heart feels) all at the same time...kind of like the lion and the lamb.