Two long days of traveling and four days away total and I'm home again. Home to little arms squeezing my neck; home to piles of laundry and an empty fridge; home to fill the role of wife and mother once again.
It's hard to find words for the past four days. The short version is that my dad had open heart surgery on Monday to replace a valve. My siblings and I were all gathered for the occasion and he is doing well. The long version is full of many more emotions and feelings and details.
For some reason I've found it the easiest to remain silent on the subject. It's been a little much to process - heart surgery less than three months into a new marriage and a new chapter in our family's history. Quite frankly, I wasn't sure I could handle the sympathy and the questions and the pity. I don't understand either what God has in mind but I'll be fine, thank you very much or something along those lines.
But that isn't quite fair, because when you're sitting calmly in a waiting room with the knowledge that a surgeon's knife is splitting your father's breast bone, you are keenly aware that it's the prayers of all those people you didn't feel like talking to that are holding you up and carrying you along. And during that horribly long hour between the time the surgeon comes to tell you they are taking your father back into surgery and the time he returns to tell you all is well, it is - again - the prayers of many that allow you to find rest even when the knot in your stomach almost convinces you to get rid of that free continental breakfast.
We need each other, we do. Some of us think we would rather do it on our own and some of us try to find our strength in numbers. The truth is, none of us can make it on our own and most of all, we all need Him. Sometimes He is enough in the quiet corners of our own bedroom as we clutch His promises and find peace in trusting His sovereignty. Sometimes He shows himself in skin with hugs and food and text messages saying "I'm praying". Sometimes He even appears in the questions and the sympathy that we think we don't want because we need Him and we need each other.
I don't know what other surprises God has for my story. I do know that I am happy to trust it all to someone who sees a much bigger picture than I do. I can testify to the fact that when I am in the midst of hard, the 'something different' I claim to have in my life does make a difference and I am convinced part of that comes from the multitude of fellow believers who lift me up and carry me on even when I go silent and think I would rather just do it myself.