It's day number one. I have moved my computer into his spot at the desk. The coffee is set for one cup and I'm going to leave my socks on the floor tonight. All of this reorganization and shuffling happened after my husband took off this morning to study in the States for the next month.
The few days before he left were spent wrestling, pretending to camp out in the living room and making sure I knew where money was stashed. While I am used to him traveling, I am not accustomed to him being gone so far away for that long. As I got breakfast ready this morning, I realized that fear has crept in. All the 'what if's' have leapt their way into my mind. "What if one of my kids breaks their arm and I have to drag all 5 of us to a hospital? Taxi drivers won't even stop to take us because we are too many people?" Or "What if one of my children gets cancer while he is gone and I am left to make an international flight by myself and my 5 wigwams? I mean, 3 of their passports are almost expired!" I realize that most of these 'what if's' are a little grandiose in their drama, but these have been the thoughts plaguing me today. And if I get right down to it, I'm just not trusting my family to the Lord's care. God doesn't promise me that something major might not happen, but what He does promise me is to walk me through whatever may come.
We ended our time as a family with hot pot. It's my favorite thing to eat in China. The boiling pot of soup is one-half spicy and one half plain. You toss meat, noodles and vegetables and they cook while you hang out and enjoy the company. We laughed and prayed and reminded each other what it means to remain joyful in unsteady times.
Tonight we will go to bed and enjoy tomorrow. The Lord's mercies will be new as we wake. The same Holy Spirit that has equipped me with love, joy, peace, patience and kindness with my husband at home will be waiting for me in the morning. I cannot allow myself to use his being gone as an excuse to be angry with my kids or put out by their interruptions. I am called to remain steadfast in my pursuit of Christ no matter what the day is demanding of me.