Oh Lord my God! You are tender and merciful, loving and kind. Your care for us is beyond measure and as the Psalmist wrote, truly, "what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them??" But You choose to reach down and love on us in ways that are beyond fathoming.
Yesterday Pietro preached in a neighbouring church and part of his message was about how God has made us for intimacy not only with Him, but with each other. I fought back tears as he spoke, missing all those intimate relationships God had gifted us in the past and silently continuing to pray with a great ache in my heart for God to bring my girls just one close friend.
It's not a new prayer. My mama's heart prayed the same persevering prayer for over a year when we moved to Waldheim. God did not disappoint. And now we persevere in prayer believing that He will bring new friends, not to replace, but to replenish the needs of OUR family in this time. My heart has been especially burdened specifically for Shailey over the past few months as she gave up a life that was really at "the sweet spot" for her, and I picture it like after having experienced Lindt chocolate, you now find yourself looking for a cacao tree... and wondering how and if and when you find one, whether the mere existence of cacao will ever, ever equate to the Lindt you have known and loved.
I may spend my days singing "I need You, oh I need You, every hour I need You..." (and I do) but my biggest need has been for my daughter to know and feel and believe that God cares about her sorrow and that while yes, He wants to BE her every need, He also wants to PROVIDE for her every need. And the need for intimacy with someone with skin on is a need that HE put in us. He desires us to love one another with brotherly love and to support and encourage one another as we follow Jesus together.
And so some days ago I asked others to pray also for this void in my daughter's life. That if God would see fit to bring alongside her a friend and some opportunities to pursue something outside of school and italian lessons to give her new hope and purpose. And yesterday, as Pietro preached on relationships I prayed it again.
Seated in the pew in front of us was a family with three girls, two in their teens. After the service we were able to meet them, they are missionaries with New Tribes Mission and live about half hour from us. We spent the whole day with them, and I kept choking back tears, but not tears of sorrow. Tears of joy. Not only are these two teenage girls just the sweetest, most beautiful, precious girls (they speak english too!!) but as grown ups and missionaries we found true friendship and true connection. We left our home with heavy hearts and came home on cloud 9.
Shailey left this morning to spend a week in an evangelistic outreach in a nearby town together with her new friend Anna. Just like that. As I kissed her goodbye and closed the door behind her this morning, tears fell like rain. Thankful tears. Hopeful tears. Precious tears.