Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards
We were on our way to Haiti and barring any unforeseen circumstances, we would be bringing Roseline home at last. We still had heard nothing on whether or not the orphanage had settled the issue of Claudine’s birth certificate, nor did we have a passport for her. Our visa appointment was scheduled for the following day and as I looked out of the small airplane window into the still dark winter sky, I knew the day before us needed to be a day of miracles.
The morning had begun with a direct attack at our most vulnerable point – childcare for the children we were leaving behind. My in-laws had come the night before to stay with us to care for the children while we were away. My father-in-law was supposed to take us to the airport but when I went to awaken him at 3:45 am I found them already up and immediately I sensed something was amiss.
“Sherri,” my mother-in-law said “We have a problem.”
She went on to tell me that she did not feel well when she awoke and took her blood pressure and found it was high. I asked her what we needed to do, because frankly I had no idea. I did not know if the reading was in the range of being immediately dangerous or not, nor was I realistically in a position to cancel the trip considering we had already lost money once on airline tickets, our girls had been told we were on our way, and the U.S. government was expecting us at the embassy in Haiti the next morning.
It was eventually decided that we would drive ourselves to the airport in our huge 9 passenger conversion van and leave it in long term parking so my father-in-law could stay at the house with my mother-in-law and get the older children off to school. I had already prepared a list of friends and neighbors in case of an emergency and told my mother-in-law she would need to call someone as soon as it was daylight and get some help with Jeremiah while she was at the doctor’s office. It was the best I could do.
Michael and I began our drive to the airport in somber silence. Then, as we merged onto the interstate, I looked at my husband, my voice strained with threatening tears and said, “I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to go out of the country not knowing who will care for my children.”
And so, we began to pray. We just poured it all out to God, seeking his guidance and provision. Then, we began to sing praises to our God.
By the time we settled down for a bite of breakfast at the airport, I found myself strangely free of anxiety. I looked across the table at Michael and said, “I don’t know why but I am peaceful. What about you?” He said his heart and mind were at peace as well. We then began to form a strategy to ensure our children would be cared for in our absence.
First of all, we determined I should call my sister and let her know about the situation. She lived out of state and would not be able to be there to care for the children personally but we wanted her to know what was happening so that she could find someone to watch over them if the situation merited it. Also, as a nurse practitioner, she would be able to help us understand how immediate the danger was for my mother-in-law. We also decided we would call our church’s office when we reached Miami. We knew that someone from our church body would do whatever it took to meet our need. Lastly, I told Michael I wanted to call my friend Jodi because I knew I could count on her to check on the situation.
Just as we finished making these plans, Michael looked up at the cash register of the food bar and said, “Hey, Tom!” Then to me, “Look! There’s Tom.”
Tom…..was Jodi’s husband.
He sat down beside us to have his breakfast and we filled him in on the situation and my plan to call Jodi from Miami. Immediately he said, “We will call her right now.“
“Oh, it is so early,” I said. “I don’t want to wake her.”
“I don’t mind waking her,” he said as he dialed the number from his cell phone. He spoke to his wife for just a moment and then handed the phone to me.
As soon as Jodi heard my voice, she said “Oh, Sherri. I was just lying here in bed thinking of you and praying for you and I could see you with daughters in your arms!”
I filled her in on the situation and she promised to check on everyone.
Why, I wondered, do I ever doubt God’s loving care of me or his ability to provide for my needs? He is not only in control but cares enough to minister to the anxieties of his children. Oh, what a Savior.
I then called my sister and she assured me that although my mother-in-law would not need to go long term with blood pressure that high, she was in no immediate danger.
So, as I sat there on the plane, staring out of the window, my heart was overwhelmed with gratitude. I picked up my scripture reading for the day and found that these were the verses for the day:
“The Lord is in your midst.” Zeph. 3:15
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come to save you.” Isaiah 35: 3 -4
“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph. 3:17
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart.” Psalm 27:14
My anxiety was gone. As a matter of fact, after I read those scriptures I became excited, because I knew God’s hand was upon us and he was in our midst.