Exactly a year ago I was in my family room pacing back and forth, sobbing and absentmindedly running my hands through my hair as I tried to understand what was happening to me. I didn’t feel upset. I wasn’t necessarily panicked (or so I thought). I felt like I was under control but my body was responding otherwise. It’s not like nothing was going on; I was preparing to drive my oldest child, my daughter, off to college the next morning. But I was happy for her! And I am not dramatic! (Much!) So what was with all the crying?
I couldn’t understand it but I knew I needed help, so I called the only person I knew with the ability to calm me down.
I have a lot of questions for Him on a regular basis, but on this night I only asked him one.
“Will you come with us?”
I uttered a few other concerns in my prayer. Something about it being January...icy roads…two girls in a car for 11 hours…driving across Wyoming…oh, Wyoming, I’m sorry for whatever you did to deserve being Wyoming. Do the overpopulation enthusiasts know about you? Because I feel like it would help. I’M GETTING OFF TRACK. Sorry. Heavenly Father, I know you love us. I know there are bigger problems in the world than sending my daughter off to live in Idaho for seven months but…actually, no. THIS IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING AMERICA. Just, please. Will you get in the backseat and come along? We could really use your company.
And He did.
I swear, He did.
I felt peace. I slept that night. We got in the car the next morning, sang along to “500 miles”, took potty breaks at Little America, and drove to Rexburg, Idaho without incident. However, it’s not the “without incident” part that truly gave me comfort, it was the comfort itself. I am humbled by the peace that comes from a loving God and I felt it keenly during the next three days. I felt it as we shopped for groceries. I felt it as we unpacked and set up her room. I felt it as I hugged her for the last time before returning home, and I felt it as I slept that night in an utter state of calm. I hope you guys are paying attention because I just divulged that Heavenly Father can bless you when you go to Wal Mart in a town of 25,000 people where 15,000 of those people are students who are also all going to Wal Mart for the same reason. I’m telling you, He is a big, flippin’ deal.
Fast-forward to the present day. Samantha has been through a whole heckofalot this year. A lot of it crappy, a lot of it not crappy at all. But there’s something amazing I observed as I sent my child to live somewhere else away from my bottomless supply of toilet paper and Honey Comb and it is this: Heavenly Father didn’t leave her alone. In the midst of the crap and the not so crap He was there for her, and she listened to Him. She asked questions, and He gave answers, and as a result of many months of searching she has decided to serve as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She will pack 2 dresses, 4 skirts, 3 shirts and a few personal items and move to Tucson, Arizona for eighteen months and try to teach people about the Savior, Jesus Christ. With the exception of a weekly email and Skyping twice a year I will not see or hear from her for a year and a half.
I am a month away from dropping her off. I haven’t started pacing and sobbing or pulling at my hair in bizarre, desperate ways, but I feel it coming and I sense that my plea to God will be similar.
“Will you go with her?”
And He will.
“Will you stay with me too?”
And He will.
And this time I don’t have to cross Wyoming.