I know that it was time and that I made a healthy and wise decision to leave. There's a peace I have found in the quiet; I'm discovering a rest of spirit that was impossible to uncover in the midst of going from work to school to dinner to soccer practice to swimming and on and on to the never ending busy. It is good and sweet to be still.
But it's not easy. Sometimes I feel like I'm being selfish or that I've abandoned them. I feel like a jerk for investing a year of time and energy and love into their lives and then suddenly pulling back and leaving. But I have to believe that God placed me there for a season, and that He loves them so much more than I could ever possibly imagine, and is dedicated to their best. He desperately wants them to know the majesty of who He is, and is very much capable of revealing Himself to them with or without me.
And when I think of it like that, I am humbled. Because I see how God used S, SB, and H to reveal Himself to me. In every temper tantrum, bad attitude, and straight-up determination not to trust, I saw a reflection of my true nature. I think I know what is best for me, just like SB. I get angry when I things don't go just the way I want them to, just like H. I am a stubborn child in my responses to a loving Father. And if I, in my brokenness, can still love three children despite their "badness" - if I, a sinner, can love not because the objects of affection are in any way worthy, but simply because they are in need of love - if I can do this, how much more capable is a Perfect Father of loving me?
Very much so. One evening, SB, H, and I took Riley to the park. The air was heavy with the freshness of spring and the promise of summer, and we were just giddy. We ran along the paths looking for adventure, uncovered treasure beneath the large oak roots, and tried to catch the fading sunlight as it danced between the leaves and the trees. It was so perfect that I almost couldn't breathe. On the way home we picked up ice cream and sang songs at the top of our lungs with the windows down and the wind blowing in our faces. By the time we got home they were fast asleep, and as I looked at their little bodies breathing heavily, I felt so intensely full.
I think of that day often, and I am so grateful. Sometimes I think God wraps up pieces of heaven and hides them in the corners of spring days for us to joyously uncover like children playing treasure hunt. So thank you S, SB, and H for sharing the adventure with me and for letting me love on you. I hope to uncover many more stories with you.