How do I pray for a family like that? I almost feel as if I have some inside information on their lives that even they are not aware of today. They will go to bed tonight and probably not even think about the terrible possibilities that lie ahead. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, as they go about their day? Their child will likely disobey, talk back, whine, or have a stinky attitude that needs to be addressed. There will be sibling rivalry, fighting, and disputes over who gets to ride up front or get their turn next. Will Dad lose his temper and escape to the golf course? Will Mom utter things she swore she'd never say? Maybe.
When we brought Rachel home from China, we simply didn't know how long we had... We decided ahead of time that what we could not change in quantity, we would make up for in quality! More than anything, we wanted Rachel to know the love of a family... to know that she had a mommy and daddy committed to walking through the dark days with her... and above everything, we wanted Rachel to know that the love of Jesus was with her, no matter what!
Rachel's critical needs remind me how fragile life is.... for all of us! We could be the family I wrote about at the beginning of this post- living life completely oblivious to all that lies ahead for myself or for the people I love so much. I have not been promised any special immunity to loss! I am humbled that as I pray for the healing of my own child through a new heart, I will only receive it through another's indescribable loss. And I wonder.... why should God give life to my child and yet take life from another? (It's hard to swallow after typing that!) Kate has offered her own heart for Rachel several times! I tell her that is "unacceptable".... absolutely not!!! But is it more acceptable only when it happens to someone else??? This subject makes me terribly uncomfortable, but it haunts me every time my thoughts turn toward the "new" heart we pray for so many times a day!
Tonight, as I pray for a new heart for Rachel, I am strangely not in such a hurry anymore. God has been so merciful and has kept Rachel strong while she waits... "No hurry, God!," I whisper, "Thanks seems enough for the sweet summer we've shared and for the joy that fills our home, simply because Rachel is in it! Let the parents that will soon face the fate none of us want, enjoy this summer with their child too! Fill their home with laughter and sweet memories, so that when the impending storm blows through, they will look back with no regrets! And if your plan is to take Rachel "home" instead, Lord, help us to embrace each moment you choose to give, so that our lives will be filled with love and... no regrets! Amen."