Monday, March 01, 2010
My bladder woke me at 6:45 Saturday morning. Not unusual. What was unusual was getting a text message in the wee hours (pardon the pun). Who would be texting me that early I wondered as I opened it. Nice. A relative telling me she was praying for 23 and her Chile team. But this relative already had told me she would and why would she be doing it at 6:45 a.m? Odd. Then I noticed another envelope on my screen. 18 had texted "Please tell me 23 is okay." at 2:00 a.m.
That's when my heart jumped into my throat and the claws of dread wrapped around my stomach. What was going on.
Minutes later I knew. Chile had experienced an 8.8 earthquake and my daughter was smack dab in the midst of it.
I rushed downstairs and found Rob who had huge eyes and a cautious expression on his face. " Do you know?"
He nodded. "I just listened to a message Pastor left for us."
We stared at each other for a second and then both teared up. "Do we know if she's okay?" I managed to ask. He shook his head. We started to pray. For her, for the country, for our other friends that traveled with her. Panic almost suffocated me. What would I do without her? How could I even begin to face the possibility that she might not come home.
And then the panic was gone, replaced by a complete and total peace. Our daughter is in the hand of God Almighty. We gave her to Him when she was a wee little girl.
We love her so much, delight in her completely and we consider her a friend. She means so much to so many. Yesterday someone told me that a smile from 23 is a gift. I can't imagine life without her zany sense of humor, her absolute zest for life, nor her big, soft heart. But. In those seconds we had to process our panic, two things jumped out at me. One. If I was to no longer have my daughter it would break my heart and rock my world, but, it would not devastate me. Our relationship is honest, rich and full of "I love yous" and mutual understanding. I have no regrets about what we have between us. And that is so freeing. I would miss her with every breath, but it would be sadness, not despair.
And number two. I want nothing more for my children than for them to fall in love with Jesus and to follow Him where He asks them to go. 23 obediently said yes to God when He asked her to go to Chile. She knew and I know that that is where she was supposed to be. So many things worked out too perfectly for this trip to be anything else but of God. And if I love her, I have to know that He loves her more. And if she is doing what He asked her to do, then she is living life to the absolute fullest.
By 8:15 a.m. I had heard that they were okay. She texted yesterday, borrowed a phone to do it, said that she loves us, that she's okay and that she will e-mail when there is power. She is far, far from home in a country where she barely understands what's being said, in the midst of a huge natural disaster. Many have died, the ground continues to quake. The arrival home is uncertain and all the plans they had carefully made before they left American soil have been changed. My daughter is facing an adventure of faith and endurance and I'm so proud of her for saying Yes to God.