Some scenes from my mom's lakehouse:
Some scenes from my grandfather's farm:
My mom and I:
Me and my classy grandfather:
My big brother and I:
To be perfectly honest, I have been overwhelmed by the inquiries from friends since my return on Tuesday. I mean, I knew close friends were aware of my trip to Texas and why I was going, but I guess I was oblivious to just how many were mindful and prayed fervently while I was there. My heart is filled with thankfulness when I think of those whom I know have interceded for so long now...
After spending a couple of days resting and processing the events of my trip, I can say that my time with family was truly good. I enjoyed the brief time I had with my mom, grandfather, and brother, and I felt as if this visit was different than any other for a number of reasons. For one thing, I felt completely different going down as a married woman. The Lord has been at work in my heart, and I think a new level of communication and honesty was reached. I was thrown off guard initially at just how open and honest I was able to be with them, and by such openness being returned. I am thankful for the sweet time spent with my mom and for how the Lord has graced me with the ability to encourage her in ways I would have never anticipated.
The climax of the trip occurred on Monday night when my brother and I sat talking over tea in my grandfather's kitchen for almost four hours. I cannot recall a time when we were able to have such an open conversation, largely due to how clear-minded he is after the events of the past two months. We were able to dialogue about his personal struggles, what the real problems might be, his expectations of what lies ahead for the next two years, and ultimately what he believes about God's work in the world and through Christ. There was so much to unpack with him considering we have never had such a conversation, so I had to spend time processing and discerning whether or not the hours were fruitful. After much reflection, I do feel that we made good headway. I feel that I was able to learn more about him, rather than listening to hearsay from others, and that I can continue conversing openly with him about these issues. The night ended with me giving him a paperback copy of the ESV Bible, and a little booklet from Desiring God entitled "For Your Joy." I initially hesitated to give him the booklet, but after our conversation, I felt it appropriate to give him this concise resource which deals with questions about God's character and this fallen world in which we live.
During the flight home on Tuesday, I began trying to process all of the time and conversations shared. One of my biggest struggles in recent years has been dealing with myself and the lack of confidence I had around my family during adolescence. My prayer concern regarding idle time was directly related to this struggle. I have often beaten myself up over years that just felt wasted. The Lord is so good, and not only did He show me that the time was not wasted, but reminded me of the simple truth that He is strong where we are weak. His Spirit was so evident and sweet during my visit, and I teared up while listening to a familiar song on the flight home:
I am small and I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name, just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...
Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?
So long status quo, I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
As mentioned already, I am overwhelmed with thanks for those whom I know have been faithfully praying. Please continue! No one knows what lies ahead in the next couple of years, but we can be thankful for what the Lord has done thus far, and trust that He is faithful to complete the work He began!