Yesterday I posted about why my family was able to rejoice even in that difficult time because of the things we know for sure.
Today I want to tell you about what happened next.
- I drove back to San Antonio, where Brian and I packed for a longer stay. We headed back to the Valley, heartbroken and teary-eyed, but praising the Lord!
- We arrived at my parents' house and embraced my mama, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephews. We cried. We prayed. We laughed. We rejoiced. My brother and his family stayed with us at my mom's house all week. We planned a memorial service for Friday. We decided that my brother would deliver the message, and he worked tirelessly to craft the message God gave him. And WOW. It was powerful. Thank you, Lord! We prepared a slide show and a program and music, and asked several dear ones to speak. The week passed by in a blur of tears and joy, photos and memories and hard work.
- We had wonderful friends and family ministering to us. We were so blessed. So many people stepped up to love on us and feed us and help us with details, both large and small. Julie, Kirstin, and Stacie, you were a special blessing to me!
- We had a precious, beautiful memorial service for Daddy. I can't tell you how healing it was for all of us. Oh, how we praised God! For the privilege of knowing my Daddy, for the fact that he's well and whole now, and for the promise of eternal life! And we had a sweet reception afterward. My parents' church blessed us later with a dinner together with loved ones who had traveled down for the service.
- When we finally had time to breathe and relax and remember, we rejoiced again at the things God had done for us over the summer. Because Mama & Daddy were planning to move to San Antonio, we got to see them both a lot more than usual! Because they had a contract on their home, they came up even more! Because my brother had to close his business and was visiting with churches in San Antonio, we got to see his family more often that usual, and we all got to spend a lot of precious family time together. Because the home sale fell through, we went home for a special weekend to help with the open house, and had precious time with my daddy before he died. Also, because the home sale fell through, my parents weren't in the middle of packing up when Daddy died, and Mama didn't have to rush out of the house. Because my brother didn't take a job in San Antonio, he and his family were able to spend that whole week with us after Daddy died. Because I didn't leave for the Valley on Monday night, I was not too far away from Brian when I got the news about Daddy, and I was able to have him at my side when I needed him. Because Daddy was on chemo this summer, we got to have the best of him, right up until he died. These may seem like circumstancial things, but we know for sure that God was working out His plan for us, so that we would be encouraged and so that He would be glorified. Thank You, Lord!
After the service, my mom encouraged Brian to take me to Comfort for my birthday, as they had planned. It just ended up being me and him. But it was a precious, healing time. AND it gave us time to get our initial adoption application completed. (I told you I'd get back to that!) We were so excited to have it completed! So, we sent it off and in September we went to Waco to have our orientation meeting with Generations. We knew right away that this was the place. God affirmed and encouraged us so much! This month, we went back for our training - even more affirmation. All that time dragging our feet, and now we're raring to go! We've been reading books and studying and praying and preparing our home. We've had inspections and worked on documents. We've almost finished our formal application. We hope to send it in this week. Then we'll be getting close to a home study...we're so excited!
It has been an eventful summer. Life-changing. I have more to say about the changes and that Ebenezer Stone, but I will save that for a later day. For now, I am looking ahead and trusting God for the future and praising Him for the things He has done!