Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Day of Many Tears and One Amazing Encounter

Saturday was one of the saddest days of our lives so far. We said goodbye to our eldest son Seth and put him on an airplane to the United States. We had hoped that he might stay here with us for a year. We know that letting go of a young adult is a normal and healthy thing to do, but as all who've done it know, it's also incredibly hard. It's especially difficult when you won't even be living on the same continent. Thankfully Seth is going to be living with my parents. That fact eases the pain a bit. We know he will be well looked after and well loved there. We all cried many tears the day he left. I've never seen Joe cry so much. We thought it would be better if Seth told the rest of the kids goodbye here at home and just Joe and I took him to the airport since we knew it would be such an emotional time for everyone. Before he walked through the gate to board the plane Joe and I each gave him one final hug. I was last. As I held him and cried I thought of the very first time I held him in my arms as they handed him to me in the hospital more than 18 years ago. I gave him one last tight squeeze and let him go. Then I stood there and cried and cried. Joe held me and we cried together. Then we had an amazing encounter. A small Spanish lady came over to us and held onto me. She told me (in Spanish) that it would be okay. She repeated this three of four times then she said the most incredible thing. She said God would be going with Him. Joe and I stood there amazed. As she started to walk away I grabbed her arm and pulled her back and told her gracias one more time. As she walked off Joe said what I was thinking....that this was truly a word from the Lord for us. We went back to look for her and tell her that but she was gone. Whether or not she was a real angel or not we don't know, but we do know that she certainly was God's messenger to us. We are thankful to serve a God who loves us so much to send us such a kindness in the midst of a difficult moment.


Christine Tigges said...

Denise.... I'm sitting here doing the normal Chris thing..... tears in the eyes reading my first ever blog. I can imagine just holding Seth and remembering back to the first time you held him. Jon was just back from Iraq and we took Brandon to Grove City College last week. Jon couldn't drive after 30 minutes (it was 4:00 am in Baghdad) and Brandon fell asleep with the ol' Ipod. Anyway, I had 3 hours to just cry, pray, think and do it all over and over again while listening to a new CD from a dear military young man whose family we knew years ago. Anyway, Brandon is at the right spot and I'm thanking God for Brandon's acceptance there at GCC. He was ready to go. I wonder if that older Spanish lady really was an angel. God's timing is incredible, isn't it? What a blessing to hear her words in Spanish and that the Lord will keep him safe, while you're in her country bringing the gospel to so many and undergoing ALREADY so many incredible circumstances. Bless you, girl!

Sun said...

I will be praying for you! I cannot imagine how tough it will be to let go when they are old enough to leave but PRAISE God - He is so good - giving us comfort and reassurance when we need it so badly! Sunshine

PS - I thought the last post about the mistakes at language school were hilarious!

D&P said...

Denise and Joe,

It is never easy to let your children go even if they are grown.
Thanks for sharing Seth with us.
We love and miss you all. We pray
every day for your family including
Seth. You are correct, God is always there with us in our darkest
moments as well as our joy. We also thank God for your message from Him.

Mom and Dad

Schellhases said...

Denise (and Joe),

I cried with you as I read your post - my cheeks are still wet. God is so good to encourage us and to provide for our needs at just the right moment.

As we continue to prepare to leave for Niger, leaving our two oldest here is the hardest part. I had a few hard weeks this summer, realizing the loss. But God in His kindness, gave me some wonderful encouragement through some "circumstances" that were so obviously orchestrated by Him.

So, even though I am not there yet and my two are older than Seth, I do understand your loss and will keep you in our prayers.

With love,

Sun said...

I have given you a blogger award...visit my blog! Sunshine

Kim said...

I thought it was hard letting Daniel leave for college last year but nothing compared to you sending Seth back, another continent! I'm glad the Lord's timing is perfect and that wonderful Spanish woman gave you such a blessings. Whether she was an angel or just sensitive to the Holy Spirit's prompting, we'll never know but bless her for her kindness!

No more intestinal upsets, sprained ankles or head all have had enough!

Kim (aka Dr. Pepper fan!)

Shannon said...

Been thinking of you for months, following your website! I am at awe at what God is doing in, around and for you!! It is truly amazing at the lengths a human spirit can be spread so that HIS strength can be realized! What a treasure of a story about Seth, Joe, yourself and the sweet spirit-driven lady!! I'll believe with you that she was put there for you at that time!! God makes all that possible, huh!
Love in Jesus,
Shannon Pitre

Kerri said...

I just read your blog--I'm caught uip now and my eyes are still not dry. First I started crying about your goodbye to Seth, then about the puppy being lost and then about the puppy being found! I'm
happy to hear about the new hot water heater...
We'll will pray nightly for your requests.
(especially for Seth and also your mentions of the kids finding godly friends and for the Lord's comfort in the lonliness.
...Enjoy all of the funny stories--especially "f" for freeezing and "c" for cool with the water.