It's been an amazing, humbling, saddening, maddening, joy-ride week. There were several times within the past week and a half that I've been hungry to get on here and have a little self-therapy and share. I'm finally forcing myself to step out of my head and get it all typed up. Although, it may take a few posts to do so.
First off, let me say that I am missing Nick like CRAZY right now. He flew out to Nebraska on Tuesday quite suddenly because of a death in the family. I will get to that. I hate when he is gone because I tend to cocoon until he gets home. I wrap myself up in the kids and too much Netflix surfing and recognizing the mess I'm living in. I haven't even been communicating much online because my heart is kind of unraveled and I feel undone. Plus, I don't sleep well when he's not in bed with me. This is why I rarely complain about him hogging the bed. I am just BETTER when he is around me. How wonderful to be married to a man that loves, cherishes, and champions me! I am truly blessed.
On Monday, I got a voicemail from my mother-in-law, Connie. Not sure why my phone didn't ring, but I listened to her prayer request for her step-daughter Janice who was in the hospital with pneumonia and already had hepatitis. Now, the relationships in this family are somewhat confusing from the outside. Connie is Nick's mom, she married Bill almost 29 years ago after he'd been married and divorced twice before. They didn't have any children together, but Bill had 2 children with each of his other wives. A son and daughter (Janice) in the first marriage, and 2 daughters in the second. The 2 girls from Bill's second marriage are very close in age to Nick and they spent a lot of weekends and vacations together. Bill's first wife remarried and they lived in the Kansas City area; his son ended up living with Nick, Connie and Bill for a short time in his teens and Janice came to visit for a while too, but they were largely out of the picture. Now, it's sad to say, but I have been married to Nick for 15 and a half years and I never met Janice nor any of her 3 kids. I did meet Bill's son, Lenny, once as well as his daughter. This has gotten kind of drawn out, but it's important to get a glimpse of the family dynamics. Janice spent time in and out of prison during her adult life. Her 2 sons also have been in and out of jail (the older one is in now.) Janice was actually serving time for the past few months and got sick in prison. Her daughter, Skye, was staying with Janice's stepdad because her own father is out of the picture now. Nick had met Skye before because he went to see Janice when she was still with Skye's dad. When Janice was sent to prison this last time, Nick was on the phone with Bill telling him we were willing to take Skye in and make her part of our family. No one really listened. Then, Janice got sick, Bill rushed down to Kansas City to see her because they didn't know how long she would last. I found out not long after that when Bill got the call she had already flat-lined once and been brought back. By the time he got there, she was already brain-dead. Her systems started shutting down, her younger son (barely 20) was faced with making a serious decision, but she passed not too much later. We were praying, we had many people at OHOP and in the mid-west praying for her. Janice was only 41 years old. Skye is only 9.
Just 2 years ago, Janice's brother Lenny died at about the same age - quite suddenly. Then, their mom died a few months later. Bill did not handle the death of his son well, he was just starting to open up and talk about it in December when Nick was visiting them. Connie's mom, Marcella, has been living with them for the past few years and has become completely dependent on them for her care. Nick felt compelled to fly up as soon as he could to help his family. He knew that his mom should be with Bill for the funeral service, so he thought at the least he can stay with his Grandma. However, Nick had Skye on his heart from the beginning of all this. We prayed about all driving up, but it takes at least 2 days to drive and we were not prepared to make the trip at all. (Now we're going to have to make a plan because all of our grandparents are getting near the end.) We prayed for Grandpa Bill and Great and Grandma Connie and Skye. We prayed traveling mercies over Nick and that God would use him. We're still praying.
Janice's stepdad is now trying to get official custody of Skye. He didn't want to have a service for Janice, Bill made the arrangements. It seems that no one takes Nick seriously when he says that we are more than willing to bring Skye into our family. It's not a good situation there. However, Nick's uncle and aunt are coming to stay with his Grandma while he goes to the funeral in Kansas City with his parents. He will have an opportunity to see Skye and her grandfather. I was praying for her and God showed me how He had been taking people out of her life for a purpose. She is precious to Him and He has a plan for her. Whether she is with us or not, I will not stop praying for Skye.
All of this has been sobering and humbling. I have been impressed upon within the past month to understand the fear of the Lord. He loves and forgives, our repentance is accepted. But, we can't stop fearing the Lord. There is power and authority there. More on this tomorrow.