This week has been the strangest week I've had since I got married. I feel neither single nor married but I know I have to be one of the two. Especially when I look at my kids and realize that some where out in the broad, mean world, there is a man who is the father of my darling babies.
If only that man would show up and prove to me that I am actually married and not single.
Toby is gone for the week. He left Saturday evening (the 18th) and will return, Lord willing, next Saturday evening (25th). He's down in Mississippi volunteering for Katrina rebuilding. We've never been apart even for a night so to have to take 7 lonely nights in at once, is quite a shock to this married wife.
We talk often on the phone but with cell phone minutes being as pricey as they are, it's hard to stay on the phone when you constantly are thinking about the minutes flying by. For the first part of the week, our phone visits were on average 3-4 minutes long which is quite a contrast from the 4 1/2 hours we spent talking on the phone when we were courting. Marriage sure can do something to you. Makes you see the serious side of life and how dangerous high phone bills can be.
I will admit that we do talk frequently now that we're headed into the middle of the week and our phone chats have improved to a lengthy, well rounded time of talking. But, it's still nothing like having him here! We're both so glad we only have 4 days left and then this heartbreaking separation will be ended.
For one, this whole ordeal with Toby being gone has given me a new fervor to pray for the those southern states when a hurricane is threatening to hit them. I used to just think that if people were dumb enough to live in the middle of hurricane highway, then they should live with the results of that natural disaster. You know, just pick their chin up when their houses blew away and maybe head to a more friendly climate. Like Nebraska.
My selfish thoughts of thinking people were dumb to live down there, have once and for all ended. I'm going to pray hard for those poor folks.
I'll admit that 99% of my reason for these prayers is because the last thing I want to have to go through again is to have my husband run off to such a state and put people's roofs back over their heads while I sit alone at home, 20 hours away. If hurricanes keep hitting the southern coast, he could easily make it a yearly tradition of volunteering every winter for a week at a time. If only I would've prayed for those hurricanes to stay away last year, I wouldn't be nursing a lonely, broken heart in a cold, dark bed every night this week.
In all truth, this ordeal has broadened my perspective of what life is like for many people that live outside of the four walls of my cozy life. Toby has told me about the poverty down there and the drastic change in culture that is so unlike our own comfortable world that to even imagine their lifestyle, would take more imagination than most of us our capable of. And then to realize that that's LIFE for those folks, would make it hard to comprehend that our own imagination is their actualy definite reality.
I'm thankful Toby has this opportunity to go down there and help out in ways he can and I've spent the majority of my week praying faithfully for him. It's like I can't breath without whispering a prayer. I think of him constantly too.
How much I have to be thankful for is another thing I think about all the time. It's like a never ending pulse going through my head that seems to get stronger everyday: you didn't realize what you had, until it was taken away. Even things like Toby's time he'd spend with computers and books, have all become things I cherish: I can't wait to see him sitting in the office reading a book or sitting at the computer. I'm beside myself with anticipation just to have him near.
So, my faithful readers and friends, I would be indebted to you if you would but pray for Toby until he gets back. I'm such a bad worry wart but that's nothing I'm ashamed of: without a little worry in ones life, there would be no intercessory prayer. At least for me that's true. God has to dangle over a cliff something I hold dear and it never fails to push me right to my knees.
Today I was thinking that even if Toby isn't with me, God always is. It was as if God impressed that on my heart and opened my eyes to the circumstance I'm in and made me realize that I have more to be thankful for than I could even try to realize.