Thursday, June 21, 2012
It was then that He carried me...
Even after almost three years, I still refer to my favorite poem, Footprints In The Sand, and know that there are still many times when there is only one set of footprints in that sand as the Lord carries me through.
I wanted to share an example of one of these times that just happened to me this week. In our church we often refer to them as "tender mercies," but you can call them anything you wish. All I know is that they are the times when two sets of footprints become one as the Lord carries us through a burden we can no longer bear ourselves.
Last Saturday Sean and I took the kids to the pool for a few hours to swim. Ava loves to play in the "cajuzzi," as she calls it, so I went in with her for a bit. While there we met a mother and her daughter who was about the same age as Ava. Of course, we got to chatting and she asked me the very dreaded question, "How many children do you have?" Without even a hesitation, I responded, "Four."
I will always respond with the number four because that's how many children I have. But after saying so, my heart skipped a beat and my stomach turned as I tried to change the subject and prayed that she wouldn't ask anymore about my kids.
A little while later Sean brought Lexi and Joey in with us. I could sense the wheels turning in the lady's head as she noticed there were only three children with us and so I continued to pray even harder that she wouldn't ask where the fourth was. In my mind I was going through every possible answer I could give, "She's at a friend's house." "She's not here today." "She died. What else do you want to know?" I couldn't get out of there fast enough and luckily the question never came up.
That night I thanked God about a million times for the fact that I didn't have to make up some excuse or go into details about why Hailey wasn't physically there that day.
Later, as I was thinking about the pool experience, I also got to thinking about Ava's soccer class that we go to every week. For the first time last week I told her coach I had four kids. It was as I was leaving so he didn't have time to question me about it, but I could see the wonder in his face since he'd met Lexi and Joey several times, but never met a fourth. My stomach dropped as I realized that now with Lexi on summer vacation it was going to be even more evident that someone was missing when we all went to Ava's class. I knew the question would eventually arise and it made me sick to think of having to tell him about Hailey in front of all the other parents.
I knew I would get the sad looks and the "I'm so sorry's" and all the other stuff that goes along with such a revelation and honestly, I just didn't want to have to deal with it. So again, I prayed about it and told the Lord that I didn't want to have to go through that right now. As I got into bed that night, I felt this little whisper that said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of it."
So this week it turned out that my mom came down for the day and took Ava to her soccer class while I ran errands. It also turned out that she was the only one there that day, probably because of summer starting. When she got home something inside me said to ask her if she told him about Hailey. I don't know why I had the feeling, aside from God whispering it to me, because we never even talked about her telling him.
Well she told me that he just happened to ask her what the tattoo on her foot was. (It's a tiny 'h' literally the size of your pinky fingernail, so for him to even see it was totally random.) She ended up telling him all about Hailey, her foundation, the clinic, etc. Talk about a relief! I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. I'm usually fine talking about Hailey once her story is out in the open, it's just the initial moment of having to tell someone for the first time that's so hard.
It wasn't until a couple days later that I realized that was one of those 'tender mercies' from the Lord. It was one of those times that there was only one set of footprints in the sand because He knew I couldn't handle having that conversation. So, as the poem says, "It was then that He carried me."