Big changes this year. Hard changes. If someone would have told me six months ago that I would have moved 2,000 miles and adopted a baby girl in a very short time period, I would have thought they were joking. For the previous ten years my life was pretty consistent. We attended the same church and lived in the same house. I home schooled my kids and volunteered at our crisis pregnancy center. I had the same friends, met in the same groups, and followed the same routine. Then two blessings came. First my husband was offered his dream job (I’m so excited for him!), and second (and even more exciting!) we were chosen by birth parents to adopt a baby girl.
Alyssa Catherine Marie was born on March 16, 2010. We brought her home March 22nd. March 25th we loaded up our U-Haul and headed to Arkansas for my husband’s new job at FamilyLife. While we were excited about both of these blessings, it was also one of the hardest times of my life. We not only left behind our church, our home, but our friends, our two oldest kids also chose to stay behind in Montana. Every moment of rejoicing over God’s goodness was followed by tears. I thanked God but I have to admit I couldn’t help but look back and mourn over what we left behind.
And I discovered it’s okay to mourn.
When I first cried tears of missing and longing I felt bad. I mean, God had given us what we’d asked for: a dream job, a baby!
Ecclesiastics 3:1-2 & 4 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… a time to plant and a time to uproot a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
And, if I can contribute my own addition: sometimes they can happen in the same week. Or the same afternoon!
As a mom and wife, each day brings both laughter and tears, and that’s okay! Just because we feel good when we laugh doesn’t mean we should feel bad when we cry. God has created us to experience all types of emotions, and it’s okay to express them. Through my first weeks in our new home I wrote often in my journals. I wrote about what things I was excited about, and I also wrote about what I missed, especially who I missed. I poured out my emotions to God, turning them over to Him. I picture Him laughing with me. I also pictured Him holding me close in my tears.
If I look in the Gospel accounts, Jesus rejoiced with His friends. He also cried with them. Over the last six months I was reminded of that. I also grew closer to Jesus, and through this journey, I discovered that His hand is gentle as He wipes away my tears.