This is going to be a bit of a different type of Memorial...not so much an event, but a slow miracle that took place in my heart and mind over a long period of time.
I used to be afraid of things I could not control. Everyone probably is to some degree, but I was REALLY afraid. I worried about losing Jeff, or one of the kids, other family members, etc. I fought the feeling a lot, but often found myself re-arranging circumstances to 'protect' my family.
When I was growing up, I often heard people say that we shouldn't worry--and that we should just "leave things in God's hands." To be perfectly honest, it really used to bug me! I knew people who loved God and very tragic things happened to them. So how was 'putting it in God's hands,' going to help? I thought they meant that if I put it in God's hands, nothing bad would happen.
At some point, I began to pray that God would deliver me from my fears. They had begun to take over my life. You know...God has a funny way of answering our prayers sometimes! He took me up on my request and began to lead me down some unfamiliar paths and into circumstances that forced me to learn to trust Him. Most of those were related to our adoptions. Time and again, He led us into impossible situations. Sometimes He removed the difficulty and sometimes He just held our hands while we wept at a loss. There is a song that has a line,
"Sometimes He calms the storm
And sometimes He calms His child."
Either way, I began to realize that being in God's hands was the best possible place to be. If He led us into a difficulty that ended the way we hoped--we rejoiced. If He led us into a difficulty that ended in a way we didn't like, we ran into His arms and cried. We experienced His comfort and His love in new ways. Slowly, slowly, He taught me to trust Him. He gave us many experiences to look back on and marvel at how He had written our story.
Does this mean that I never fear? No. But He has freed me from ridiculous, paralyzing fears of things that I cannot control.
At the moment, we know we are going to be imminently transferred to the Boston area. We aren't sure where we will live, if our house (here) will sell, and we won't know a soul within 500 miles. But this I do know...God is leading us there so we are not alone. He has things for us to learn there that we could not learn any other way. It may be a hard time in our lives--it may not be--but either way, I know it will be for our overall good. (Remind me of this if necessary! haha) I know it WILL be really hard to say good-bye to my parents and siblings, whom I have been privileged to live near for the past four years. wah.
Into the memorial box will be a note with this verse written:
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34: 4
He is still in the process of delivering me from ALL my fears because I still have some. He does that because He loves me and wants me to be able to love Him with freedom and reckless abandon...The same way that Kate now loves me after we spent 2.5 weeks in the hospital together. Prior to that, she loved me, but our bond has deepened dramatically since her surgery. It makes my heart go to mush to see how relaxed and happy she is. She has started calling out to me at random times, "Mommy! I love you!" Her little heart has filled with love, not only for me, but also for her family. She shouts 'I love you,' to her siblings, also.
I find that the more I am able to trust and love God, the more I am able to love those around me. I know I have a long ways to go, but I also know that God will keep working on me.