Prone to Wander

8:49 PMHeather

He was off for the adventure of a life time. I was in for a bumpy practice run of letting my children go. Such a complex mixture of emotions for me. Thrilled for him to get out and see the world. Anxious about potential bumps. Proud of how grown up and independent and fun and amazing he is. Sentimental about how fast the years have gone. Sad about how how much I was missing him. Unsteady about how our house didn't feel right without him. Restless and off kilter to have a chick so far out of the nest.

After twelve days away, I was like a mad woman checking his flight home. Watching that little green airplane symbol on the flight tracker, as it brought my first born back to us. And just full of anticipation as we stood outside the international arrivals gate, watching the people trickle out, returning from far away places.

Listen, for the record--the international arrivals gate has got to be one of the happiest places on earth. After waiting for our son there for about thirty minutes, I've decided that the next time I'm having a really bad day, I'm going there. I'd recommend you keep that in mind next time that life has you down. 


Just go watch the look of joy when a child runs into their parents' arms to welcome them home. To see the tears of happiness as people are reunited and tightly hugging each other.  The flowers and the signs, held by eager people, with their necks craning to see if their loved one is the next one coming each time the doors open.

And it was even that magical and wonderful without a single military personnel arriving home from deployment.


While I stood there waiting to see my own beloved son come through those doors, my anxiety was tempered by all the joy around me. 

Then, finally, it was my turn. I let my other children hold the welcome home sign while I walked quickly toward him, hugging his familiar neck and realizing something.


All was right in my world again.

And I hadn't even realized how truly wrong it had felt until it was righted.

The missing piece was back in place.

And the feeling is nearly indescribable. Joy. Contentment at a deep soul level. Like a gulp of air that suddenly lets you know that you've been holding your breath. Tension in your shoulders relaxing, indicating just how much you'd been holding yourself together.

I slipped my arm through his arm, and I couldn't let go. I needed him near to let me know that yes -- he was home.  He was right there, where he belonged. I would sleep well. I would smile so big for hours on end that my cheeks would hurt.  

Because my son was home. 

After great adventures, that included an unexpected illness. After he was able to see beautiful things for the first time and experience new things and spend quality time with his grandparents.

He was gone for good reasons, doing wonderful things. It wasn't even for a hard or bad reason that he was gone.

But that sense of wholeness made me realize something.

I willingly choose to wander from home so many days, for so many reasons. And none of them good. 

I jump out of bed, choosing a bit of extra sleep. Then I rush headlong into my day. So busy, busy, busy that I can't be stopped. It can't be helped. I just have to get out there for my own adventures. And so I wander on along. I pack my bags and I pack my days, way too full. 

And I lose sight of something. 

I completely ignore the fact that someone is waiting.

I speed on along, and walk right by that gate...that opening. The doors that open to a Father who is waiting.

A Father who is eagerly anticipating my arrival. A Father with arms wide open. Just waiting for me to step through the doors. Waiting for me to run into his arms. He's waiting for me to embrace him. To hold tight to him and let him hold tightly to me.

A Father who says that his world wasn't right without me. 

So he did something about it. He made a way. A way for me to come home.

And if I will only cease my wandering...if I will only slow down long enough to cling to him tightly, then I might realize how much I mean to him. How much he misses me when I'm away. How very loved I am. How much he longs for me to just stay near him.  

Because he is standing there, waiting. Every single day, in every single moment.  

With a sign welcoming me home, beckoning me to run towards him. 

And unless I do, my world isn't really right either.

So may we run headlong, day after day, right into the arms of our waiting Father. A Father just waiting for our approach. Waiting for our return. Waiting for us to just come home.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

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