How To Find What You Came Here For

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Are We There Yet?

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:4-6

When I was growing up, our family took a lot of car trips.  We drove all over the state of Wyoming for camping trips, to visit family, and to attend swim meets.  Back then seat belts weren't really a big deal, so my sister and I just rolled around the back of my parents' van like badly behaved puppies.

On one memorable trip to Disney Land, my mother bought a foam bat.  Whenever my sister and I got out of hand she'd just reach back and smack us with the bat.  It didn't hurt, but it got our attention!

Of course, the most common question of nearly every trip was, "Are we there yet?" 

In a desperate attempt to keep us from asking that question over and over again, my mother made up games for us to play.  Back then, playing the license plate game or the alphabet game didn't work very well - Wyoming and the surrounding states weren't very well populated so there weren't a lot of cars and you could drive most of the day without ever seeing a billboard.  One "game" she came up with was counting the posts on the side of the road.  She told us there were a certain number of posts per mile, and that if we counted the posts we could tell how far we'd gone and then we'd know how close we were to "being there."

With our recruit at boot camp, I find I'm back to asking that question, "Are we there yet?"

We expected gaps in communication - and we have not been disappointed!  After the initial, 30 second phone call to assure us he had arrived safely, and that first letter, we have heard...nothing.  We keep reminding ourselves that no news is good news, but it makes the waiting harder.

In a little more than four weeks, we will getting in the car to make the long trip up to Great Lakes for Pass In Review, and all I can think of is, "Are we there yet?"

I want to see the great work that has been completed in my recruit!  I want to catalog the changes and rejoice over how he has grown.  I can only imagine how I'll be once our car is on the road and pointed north!

My scripture for today is Philippians 1:4-6 - because I KNOW that God has begun a good work in my recruit at boot camp, and He will be faithful to complete it!

With that in mind, this is my prayer today:
Loving Father, I know you understand my heart right now.  You have experienced separation from your Son, and eagerly anticipated his return to you.  When I am driven to ask, "Are we there yet?" and worry for my recruit threatens to overwhelm me, help me remember your promise to complete the work you have started, and your peace will help me carry on.  Amen.

Waiting...

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
James 5:7

I am not a patient person - my husband can attest to that!  And yet I find myself waiting.  And waiting.  And...well...waiting!

My son flew up to boot camp on November 1, 2012, and we immediately began the waiting process that seems inherent in parenting a Sailor.

We waited for the "Kid in a Box." The little box full of clothes (Pants, and socks, and underwear, oh my!), his cell phone, and the two books he took with him for the flight, was both funny and a little sad.

Then we waited for the form letter to tell us what address to send letters to and give us all the other information we needed - like his Pass In Review date for graduation! 

Worst of all was the wait for the first letter.

I told myself every day, "No news is GOOD news."

But I still checked my mailbox every single day, and grilled everyone in my house if someone picked the mail up before I got to it.

When it showed up on November 9th, I was THRILLED!  I had resigned myself to waiting as long as it took, understanding that someone had to be trained to handle the mail and then the recruits had to have TIME to write a letter...but it was only 8 days.  There was a mix of happy and sad, excited and anxious.  And oddly, that mix made me feel better.

Now that I've received that first letter, I find that I'm greedy as well as impatient.  I want another letter!  And I'd like it RIGHT NOW, please?

We're also waiting for a phone call, but we're not holding our breath.  OK, we're not holding it MUCH.

Repeat after me - No news is good news...No news is good news...

That's why I picked James 5:7 for my scripture today.  I'm waiting.  I'm waiting for the valuable crop of Sailors the Navy is busy creating right now.  I know that, like most things, the wait will absolutely be worth it.

My prayer for today:
Loving Father, I thank you every day for the blessing of my child.  I take comfort knowing that although he is far from me, he can never be far from You.  Ease my heart and give me the patience to anticipate the growth I'll soon see in my child, without allowing anxiety to overshadow its value.  Amen.