Hopeful that this weekend will be better than the last. Ben is finally on the mend, after a week of being sick. His pneumonia seems to be breaking up, and his fever is gone, at least for today. He felt well enough to go with us to see our counselor this afternoon, then went out with our college-aged neighbor friend for some guy time at the arcade and Burger King.
As we were driving to the counselor’s office, Andrew, out of the blue, pipes up with, “Mom, I’m so glad Dad didn’t take that job in San Angelo a few months back!” And to be honest, that whole incident had slipped my mind. Mark was approached by another boss in TPWD to see if he would be interested in applying for a job in San Angelo, which would be the head of River Studies for the state. He considered all the options, but we decided it would be best for us to stay put, especially since we were looking at retirement in 2013. It was the right decision. But Andrew, he was right….if we had moved to San Angelo, and this had happened to Mark there, we would’ve been in a strange city, with no close friends nearby, and certainly not the wide support system we have here in Wichita Falls. I thought that was a very astute and mature observation from my 9 year old. Whenever we shared that with our counselor, he said that God must’ve had His hand in that decision for a reason.
I think God has His hand in all facets of our lives, if we let Him. We had a postcard-perfect summer, up until Mark’s surgery. We played, we swam, we vacationed….we did all the things that we’d hoped for and planned for. I took Ben to Space Camp in Kansas in June, driving there for the first time without Mark. I took both boys with me to Kentucky in July, for my class reunion & family time, driving without Mark for only the second time. He was so impressed that I was able to drive without him (he always insisted on driving whenever we were together). I look back and see that God was preparing me for life without him, even then. I proved to myself that I was capable. Mark and God knew it all along.
I am now the head of this family. I know there will be bumps and curves in the road, but I am confident that as long as I put my trust in God, that our family will survive and prosper. Mark prepared me as well as he could before leaving. He always told me not to sell myself short, that I was capable of doing anything I set my mind to. And it looks like I have a chance to do that now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d never choose this path. I liked being in the passenger’s seat, content on the long drives to nap, read, listen to music, referee the boys when necessary, while Mark did all the driving. He’d consult me for navigation issues, and we’d discuss major decisions. But I drew comfort in knowing that he would take care of us, no matter what happened. Losing that was like losing my safety net.
So, now I might sometimes feel like I’m working without a net. But I know we’re not alone. Where I was content to let Mark do the heavy lifting in the family, now God’s taken that over. These past two days have shown me that I can stay plenty busy doing the small things that require all my time and attention; I haven’t had a chance to worry about the big things.
I think that maybe God has given me all of these little things so that I physically can’t deal with anything else. And by doing so, I’m starting to see that the big things are best left to my heavy-lifting Father. And even my stubborn, proud self can’t deny that God is doing a better job with them than I ever could.