“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor
forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut 31:8
Once again this week I’ve been remembering. Last year on the Monday after our Jubilee Women’s Conference, I drove to Athena and spent two and a half days with Kristin and her family. I then drove to Rosalia to spend the next two and a half days with Becky and her family. A few weeks prior to that trip I told Steve that I couldn’t stand waiting until Christmas to see the kids. It was the year that they went to the in-laws for Thanksgiving, so I knew I would either have to be patient or find a way to see them under my own initiative. My desire to see the girls and their families dovetailed nicely with a need that Becky had for a bit of additional support. Her girls had early release the two and half days I planned to be there and Becky was in mid-terms, so an extra adult in the house was helpful.
My time with Kristin, Christopher, Helen and Patrick was sweet, if too short. I remember with great clarity the trip from Athena to Rosalia. I went north through Walla Walla, Milton Freewater, Dayton, Dusty and Colfax. The trip was absolutely beautiful. The day was crystal clear and fall painted the landscape in golds, scarlets, and deep earthtones. I arrived in time to pick the girls up for their early release from school. Much of the time I spent with the kids is gone from my mind – the quietly sweet moments of normal life that we just don’t retain. But there are also some very special memories. One night I sat up late and talked about life with Jacob. Becky was away from home seeking a wi-fi connection for a test or project she needed to complete, so we just talked about ideas – something we both enjoy. Likewise I enjoyed some time talking to Becky – just the two of us. She spoke to me about death and her concerns with the concept of dying young. She worried about the girls and the thought of Jake being in a position where he had to raise them alone. She shared about their financial situation and told me about her life insurance. She talked about her school loans and the fact that if something happened to her they would be forgiven because the loans were to her and not to Jacob. One of her greatest concerns was that her girls come into a relationship with Jesus. I encouraged Becky that night, assuring her that if anything ever happened to her her Dad and I would help with the kids. I shared with her the reminder the Lord gave me of His reality and presence, the ‘I Am’ moment, and how that reminder renewed and deepened my love for Him.
I left Rosalia feeling like I had been an encouragement to Becky and feeling blessed with the reconnecting time with the family. Obviously I had no idea what the next month would bring. I look back on that time together with Becky and Jacob as an amazing gift. I learned so much about Becky’s highest priority in life. Her Lord and her family held first place for her even though at that point her time was consumed by school. And I made a promise to her that I’ve prayed into and then been able to step into. In this season of thankfulness I am so thankful that a year ago Becky and I connected in a deep and timely way.
“I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too — your reassuring presence, coming and going.” Psalm 139:5 (The Message)