And right now my heart is in two homes at once!! I feel like I have two families right now...the boys and I in Minnesota, and Vince & the kids in Wisconsin. It is getting harder and harder to be apart. Not only for Vince and I, but we are seeing it become increasingly difficult for the kids too. We get together on weekends either here or there, depending on what the kids have going on and if Vince or I are on the worship team at our churches on Sunday. Sometimes we are all together but half the time my boys are not with us. That is hard. When I talk to them during the weekends when they are at their dad's, they always ask what we are all doing. They miss me and feel left out. Sigh... And I know there is some jealousy over me spending time with the rest of the kids without them. We are working through that though, and it's all part of blending our families. God is doing just that, we can see His hand at work in so many areas! Vince and I truly feel blessed at all that God is doing in our lives, and we don't want to seem ungrateful to God by complaining, but the truth is that it is hard.
It was particularily hard to leave yesterday. Hopie just sobbed, wrapped her arms around me crying "I don't want you to go!!" I just about lost it right there. This was after an emotional morning at church, where a woman introduced herself to me after the service as a friend of Amy's. They had battled cancer together and became close friends during their treatments. She shared with me that her cancer is now terminal. That's when my tears started (and pretty much went on for the rest of the day). She wanted to tell me how happy she was to see me in Vince & the kids' lives, how she knew that Amy wanted someone to love and care for her children, and here I was. As a mother, I truly can't imagine getting to that point...entrusting my children to the care of another. Saying goodbye. I know how hard it was to leave Hope yesterday, I can only imagine...
She looked so strong, this woman, this mother, who was holding my hand firmly and smiling through her tears. Her heart full of faith, and grief, and hope. The world looks differently through her eyes, I'm sure, and I appreciated her affirmation of my place in Vince & the kids' lives. This is not just about Vince and I falling in love. This thing that God is doing in our lives has far greater significance. We both have known that all along, and God continues to confirm that to us - as He did with Vinny yesterday. After I finished talking to this woman, Vinny wanted to share what he had done in Sunday school that day. His teacher had told the class to open their bibles to any page and point to a verse, whatever verse their finger landed on. And she invited them to let God speak to them through that verse. Vinny opened his bible, and pointed to this scripture: Isaiah 66:13, "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you". He told his teacher that to him the verse meant that he'd be comforted when they move to Minnesota, and that the mother talked about in the verse was me. More tears!!! I could say nothing, but just hug that boy.
Vince and I are going through a bible study called "God Breathes on Blended Families". In it the authors talk about the need for us to love eachother's children like our own. I will admit, this has been a challenging thought for me. How in the world would I ever come to the point of loving someone else's children like I love my own boys? How would that ever truly be possible? I mean, I love my boys with all that I am. I gave them life ~ or more accurately, God gave them life through me. I knew I could love my husband's children deeply...but like I love my own? What part of my heart would that kind of love come from? Well, after this past weekend, I'm not asking those questions anymore. I don't have to wonder anymore. Because now I know.