Yup, I’m not sleeping again. Tried it and it didn’t work so here I sit, crying my eyes out and typing. Processing. Imagining. Hoping. Praying. Believing. Life is changing and I pray over all these things. My oldest daughter Rachel, age 21, has found the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with and they wait for the right time and the right situation for their commitment. And they will wait on our answer to THE question he has to ask her daddy and I. I rejoice in this next step on her journey to adulthood yet I grieve the loss of the sweet child that will one day leave our home to start a new life with her beloved. I love this girl like nobody’s business. We made it through the teenage years with barely a blip. Since she graduated from our homeschool to the real world she has blossomed into an independent, opinionated young woman of God. Discovering who she is in Christ and what it means to ponder a life with the one we have been praying for since her birth. These 21 years have flown by as this next one will also.
And then there will be three Walden children at home. For a little while. Joshua, age 17 will be approaching his senior year in our homeschool this coming year. He and I have spent time looking at all he has done and where his interests lie and work experience folds it all in. The summer he was eleven he was at RA camp and knew God was calling him into Christian ministry. It was an awe-inspiring thing to see this still little guy believe he knew God’s call on His life. I have always known Joshua had a special relationship with God and the years continue to develop that relationship. He works at our church for our worship pastor as a music assistant. But he is so much more. He is an encourager to the Youth Fusion Band, their best cheerleader and pursuer of the “better” things. Our church staff completely loves Joshua and tells us often what an incredible, mature teenager he is and how we’ve done an amazing job with him. Not I, but God’s grace through me. Joshua has an amazing ability to know what he wants to do and is figuring out how to accomplish that. He always runs to see me no matter where we are or who he’s hangin’ with. I cherish that more than anything. He is not ashamed of me, but tries to build me up when I doubt myself with all we’ve been through. By God’s great grace the wounds of the past few years with the adoption are healing, if not quite healed yet. Rachel and Joshua are proof that God can bring refreshing rain after the storm. I take no credit but lay it at Jesus’ feet and say thank you Lord. But in another year I have to watch my son leave home to begin the college adventure that God is preparing for him. So I rejoice and grieve.
That leaves two little Waldens at home. And I don’t have any answers for them. They have required more of me than any of my children, except B. But God has allowed me to release the situation with B and know I did my best. With S and M we have many years yet to come. I don’t know how they will turn out. I see much progress and then I see the same anger and fear eating them up inside. I’m scared for them, for us, for our family. There are no guarantees for any of our children but with these last two it will take a great deal of work and forgiveness and change. God alone can mend broken hearts and restore relationships. So we pray and we love and we seek to be the parents these wounded kids need.
And after those last two are gone our home will be back to the ones who started it all, my sweetheart Tim and myself. What in the world will that look like in a few years? Tim who is taking online classes to finish his undergrad degree so he can become a worship pastor before he turns 50. Finally discovering his passion and goals later in life and going for them. I’m so proud of him. But what about me? What on earth will I be doing in 8 years with my life? I will have been out of the work force for 20 years. What kind of a job could I possibly get for a former minister of music, voice instructor, homeschool teacher, domestic goddess, childcare provider? Too many questions, too many unknowns. Just changes upon changes. What does the Lord want from me in the years to come?
So tonight I’ve grieved over coming losses and rejoiced over the coming joys. Isn’t that what life really is all about? Losses and joys, one after the other, some coming at the same time, other days where it seems like only grief lives in us. But this too shall pass. My prayer is that I will honor God and my family through the changes the next years will bring. That I will have the strength to keep loving and teaching and encouraging. All I want to hear is “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”