I turned my back on them, forced my feet to move, and fought the tears that threatened to spill. My heart begged me to turn around, but my head knew I couldn’t.
I walked on.
The tears refused to cooperate, and I quickly wiped my eyes. Please don’t let them know. Please don’t let them see.
“I love you, Mom.” Their voices floated my way.
I turned their direction.
“I. . . love. . .you. . .too,” I echoed through drops of tears.
They stood hanging out the door, smiling—almost. They saw. They knew.
I resumed my retreat towards the van. I have to get in and drive away.
As I pulled forward and glanced out the window, they continued to hang out the door. Again my heart begged me to stop the vehicle, race across the lawn, throw my arms around them, and tell them one more time how proud I am of them. How excited I am for them. And how much I truly love them.
I kept driving.
They blew kisses.
I blew kisses.
They shouted, “I love you, Mom!”
I mouthed, “I love you too,” and drove on.
The tears returned.
I let them fall.
For half an hour I wrestled with my emotions. Although I trusted the crew they were with, this was their first time out of the country, and their first flight without mom or dad. On top of that, their dad was several states away on a business trip, and I was headed south the following day. Our family, like my emotions, was scattered.
I knew this trip would stretch them and force them out of their comfort zone. I also knew this trip signified further changes that lie ahead. Changes I welcomed, yet recognized once they occurred, our relationship would morph to a new level. Mothering would be different. Friendship would replace some aspects of parenting. Absences from home would become more frequent. Their rooms would remain empty for longer periods of time. And when they did return home, growth would be evident.
They would not be the same.
We would not be the same.
While music played in the background, I continued to converse with God and wrestle with my emotions.
Just across the Maryland boarder, Natalie Grant’s song Never Miss A Beat cycled through on Spotify. I rounded a bend and glimpsed a sliver of a rainbow that quickly disappeared as I rounded another bend.
Was that a fluke?
I restarted the song.
As the words filled the air, I rounded another corner. The rainbow came back into view. Peace flowed over me. I laughed and cranked the volume. The slip of a rainbow remained through the next song by Shane & Shane, Cornerstone.
That night, as my noisy hotel neighbors chatted till after 1 AM and kept me from sleep, I continued to talk with God about my girls. He reminded me of years earlier when my husband and I stood before our church congregation and dedicated their lives to the Lord.
While those memories danced in my head, the words of Psalm 139 surfaced.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Vs.13 – 16 NIV
The days passed quickly, and peace remained all week.
On my return flight I stared out the window as the pilot began our descent. My thoughts drifted to the girls. Wonder how far out they are? I glanced at my watch then back out the window. It was 5:45 PM. The pilot banked right, and I laughed. To our left was another rainbow
After my flight landed, I caught a shuttle to retrieve the van and wait on the girls arrival.
Once they cleared customs my oldest daughter messaged me.
I entered the terminal ramp at 7:45 PM. In the distance, beyond the airport, another rainbow colored the sky.
And He whispered, “I never miss a beat.”
This is the live YouTube version of Natalie Grant singing Never Miss A Beat.
Rainbow photo is compliments of morguefile.com & bplenin.