23 April 2007

a Monday Sunday story (9)

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:2-4

Last night, a sweet friend of mine called to ask if I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Which I wasn't...until she told me to turn it on because the family they were featuring lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. I didn't see much more than the big reveal, but I did see that the father was a soldier who had lost the use of his legs. Addi also noticed him in a wheelchair. As I took her to bed, she mentioned the daddy in the wheelchair and I told her that he couldn't walk because he got hurt. She, without hesitation, said, "Well, Jesus can make him better."

Her simple words made my heart ache. Not because I doubted them, but because her first thought when she saw someone with a physical handicap was to look to Jesus. How often do I try to "deal" with things by myself? How often do I not even think to pray until I'm stressed out? And, how often do I look at things with my "worldly" eyes? My precious Addison Grace reminded me of the faith I am called to have.

I was hoping in watching some of the show, we would get a glimpse of what Lawton looks like today, almost 3 1/2 years after we lived there. We spent our first married years together in Lawton as Bryan was stationed at Fort Sill. Our first child was born at Reynolds Army Community Hospital on post. I became a wife, a cook, a housekeeper, a gardener, a homeowner, an FRG meeting attender, a Coffee Group member, a Commissary shopper, an "expert" on Field Artillery, a mother, and, for a while, a single mother in that Army town. And all that without the luxury of a Target.

We lived on the North East side of town in a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom brick home on a corner lot. Before we moved, we painted every room (at least once), "re-landscaped" the yards, and had new flooring put in throughout the house (which, actually wasn't really by choice...another story...one of those "what-can-go-wrong-when-your-husband-deploys-will" stories). We celebrated some holidays and birthdays, but no wedding anniversaries in that house...another all too common occurrence for military spouses. I spent endless hours pacing the floors with a crying infant. I spent endless hours trying to get a sleepy, underweight infant to nurse. I spent endless hours dreaming of the day I would greet my husband again. Bryan spent endless hours playing with Zoe in our large backyard and across the street at the creek. All at that house. Our first home.

I wasn't ready to leave when it came time. Our house sold fairly quickly and I think I cried every night until we closed because no one would love that house like I did. Then I cried every other night after we moved here because I wanted to go back to that house I loved so. Or, at least to a neighborhood that looked familiar to me. I missed the brick houses, the big lots, the single stories, the fenced-in backyards, and the "assumed" double-car garages.

We've lived in 2 houses since that one and I no longer long to move back. (Even for Patrick!) I've finally adjusted to Raleigh and will probably be just as sad when it is time to leave. I have a feeling I won't be the only one shedding some tears when that time comes.