It's Tuesday evening here in Asia and I'm finally getting around to updating my blog! I did arrive back in the country on time last Thursday night, then made my way to a friend's house where I stayed overnight before taking a train home on Friday morning. John was waiting for me at the train station and it was a day of joyful reunions! This is the longest I've ever been away from him and/or the girls, so it was truly a blessing to be together again. In the words of Mr. Darcy, "I wish never to be parted from [them] again." :)
The last few days have been wonderful--we've had some great times together as a family, with friends, we attended a wedding, the girls had a sleepover at some friends' home, we celebrated John's birthday (on the 14th), and enjoyed a perfect family day yesterday out in the gorgeous weather with a boat ride on the lake in the center of our city. And today, I'm happy to say, we had a "normal" day filled with normal activities like prayer, exercise, reading aloud, doing math and working on handwriting, making supper and enjoying it together, and finishing the day with devotions and actually getting the girls to bed on time. Wow! It feels like it's been a LONG time since we had a normal day, so I truly appreciated a bit of routine today. Thankful!
But before I get too far away from my trip to the States and my mom and dad's health situations, I wanted to share a few things that I journaled about on my way back to this country. The overwhelming sense in my heart on my way back was PEACE. I felt peace flooding my soul even as I thought of many future questions, transitions, and unknowns. I felt peaceful that the Lord had led me to take the trip, and that He used me to serve my family, even though I had to leave them again. As I was feeling HIS peace settle deeply in my heart, I felt compelled to write down some of the specific ways God answered our prayers regarding my Mom and the trip that I took. So tonight, to encourage us all and to give glory to His name, let me share some specific prayers and the answers that God gave.
**I prayed for good times together as a family, no matter what happened with Mom's surgery, and the Lord graciously granted us precious times of fellowship as an immediate and extended family, with some of Mom and Dad's church family, and with dear friends.
**God answered our prayers for safe surgery--He guided Dr. Rojas' hands so that Mom's life was preserved, despite the tumor's attachment to the vena cava which we had no idea about but which was actually quite dangerous.
**God answered our prayers for a successful surgery; the whole tumor able to be removed, with no damage to the stomach or colon.
**Amazingly, God answered our prayers for the tumor to be benign--NO cancer anywhere was a miraculous answer to prayer! Thank you Lord!
**We saw the Lord answer prayer in regards to timing--I was able to get there a few days before the surgery, stay through the surgery and the initial recovery, and by the time I left I felt Mom was really doing quite well.
**Prayers for this experience to draw Mom and Dad closer to the Lord were also answered. Especially encouraging was the fact that Mom now feels she's been given another opportunity to begin life again, serving the Lord. She feels passionate about living for Him! How encouraging!
**I was also encouraged by the fact that so MANY people were praying for Mom and for our family. Some of our Asian friends who were praying for her expressed to me on Saturday that they felt so encouraged by the amazing result of their prayers in Mom's good news. They felt (and they were right!) that God directly answered their prayers, which was so faith-building for them. Even that is an answer to prayer!
**The Lord also answered prayers for my safety and health--I stayed well, was able to navigate through taxis, train stations, 5 different airports, 7 flights, a hotel, an unexpected layover in a country where I've never stayed, and all went well, I didn't lose a single thing! My luggage arrived safely and I was given strength and help to be there for my parents.
Those are the things I wrote down on Friday morning, but I am sure I have only touched the surface of all that the Lord has done in the past weeks! I am so thankful for His leadership, guidance, and protection of my mom and dad and our whole family. Rejoice with us as we savor His faithfulness in answering prayer!