The fear had been strong. The panic was growing as the time came closer and closer. I had no idea how I would manage. My therapist said I had nothing to fear, and that made my fear worse; of course I had much to fear.
We finished packing and got in the car. As we started to drive I felt calm, peace – excitement even – washing over me. It could be a good trip. Though things could end really bad, they might be okay. Still I had concern for when we got there a little over 2 hours later.
When we pulled in, I had a moment of panic. A moment of pain. Just a second really, and then from nowhere came the peace and contentment once more. They were there. I was there. I was okay. It had to be… it had to be… “Thank you, Lord.”
We had our day. I walked the dogs, went for a swim, brought ‘my girls’ closer. I looked over at them and felt… fine! Where did that come from? Thank you, Lord.
I had my supper before everyone else – I have to do that or I panic, and am overwhelmed, and fall apart; doesn’t matter who I am with – their food is more than I can handle. Their timing leaves me crashing. I ate, went to the camper to write my journal, and felt… good!
In the evening we played cards. We had a great game of ’31;’ best ever, really. Then we played ‘hearts,’ and I enjoyed that, too. It was a good evening. I felt… happy!
After cards a couple of people who don’t live too far left for the night. A couple more went down to the lake or something. We were left with this couple who brought about such traumatic pain in our lives 9 years ago almost to the day.
She began by asking about the kids and went into a very sincere apology for calling the ministry on us. It was sincere. I fully believe that. I can tell these things. They felt bad. It was all over their faces. Regret was there; I know it.
She said that she thought at the time that her heart was in the right place, but looking back, “maybe it wasn’t.” I could tell from their expressions this has been painful for them for a long time. She told me she felt sick over it, and has regretted it for a long time.
I responded that “we all do things we regret.” My husband agreed. I don’t know if they saw it, but I was sincere, too. I know regret. I know shame. I know pain. My ‘gift’ (and for good reason) is mercy, and mercy they had for their remorse was very real.
We then spent a very long time talking about the children – and I spoke to them as I speak to everyone else about my kids who cares to know. It was nothing short of amazing to be there talking to them like that. Not fake. Not forced. True and natural.
I know it was all God. I never even hoped to have anything like that experience from them, or to ever get an apology. My fear was that in being near to them I wouldn’t be able to show them the grace I knew I should give, being a child of God. I was afraid I would fail… again. I was afraid of what they could do to me, or take away from me, and was afraid that would show.
What was given was better than I could ever have imagined – and all I can say is, “Thank you, Lord.”