I leaned my head back on the head rest as the rolling hills of Pennsylvania turned into the neat squares of flat corn fields of Ohio. I counted squirrels nests in the trees and prayed for family as we traveled to the Great Wolf Lodge with daughter Amerey and family. My life seemed to be a flurry of activity lately. And some of the flurry had culminated in a major decision that day in my charcoal Subaru. It was the death of an idea, the purchase of an historic home to convert into a retreat center. I had immersed myself in plans, meeting with contractors and dragging my realtor-sister to the home weekly for a new bid from wary contractors who looked at me as if I had lost my head. I had. I lost my head in a dream. A dream to run a retreat center for adoptive and foster parents. The Bower House boasting of seven thousand square feet,nine bedrooms and six bathrooms seemed to be an answer to my prayer. Driving down the interstate to our mini vacation, Jerry and discussed the obstacles and decided there were too many. Too much money. Too many unknowns. The death of an idea, but not the death of my dream.
It seemed as if God had planned this mini vacation so I could gaze into the smiling faces of my grandchildren and laugh. I needed to soak in the blessings that God had given me. Splash and laugh with a two year old. Listen to the happy babble of a five month old.
It was Good Friday and we spent it playing in the water, napping and playing games that spit out tickets to spend on tiny trinkets. I went through the stations of the cross in my head. I could feel the deep dark hard wood of the pews under my body. I could see the stations dimly lit and hear the monotone voice of the priest. All those years of stations embedded in the deep grooves of my brain. They were there. I knew the history of Jesus riding through town on a donkey and the children shouted, “Hosanna!”. I play and replay the Last supper, the betrayal, the Crucifixion. And I watch the smiling faces of parents and children in the water park. Jesus died for them. He loves them.
The lights went out early in our family suite to accommodate the little girls’ sleeping schedule. I laid there in the dark and prayed again for family, friends and anything I could think of. I thought of my younger sister, Tash.” No cancer,” the report said. We rejoiced and then the news of a needed surgery to remove the tumors. A divorce pending on the horizon. A daughter fighting to stay clean and sober. I slept in fits. Waking and praying. Sleeping on a cloud of odd dreams.
I awoke to sound of the sweet voice of granddaughter, Cecilia. She wakes happy and ready to tackle the day. Then baby Moira, smiling and sleepy eyed. “Mom, I need you to come with me for a minute,” Amerey said, grabbing my elbow. We went in the hallway and she knocked on the door diagonal to our’s. I stood silent and confused. The door opened. My sister Tash stood there with her long red hair in a pony tail. She smiled. “What?!” My mind reeled. How could she be here? Four hours from home? At the same Great Wolf Lodge? “I’m here with _____ ‘s family.” (Tash is a full time Autism mentor for a small boy and the family had also planned a mini vacation for Easter weekend.)
After I calmed down and stopped crying, she said, “I told God I wasn’t going to get to see any family for Easter and he heard my prayer. Here you are.” We spent some moments here and there at the water park and caught up. This was an answer to my prayer, too. An Easter miracle. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is active in me. It is powerful enough to conquer death and bring life into situations that we think are dead. When we feel no hope or circumstances seem to smash us around and drag us down like a whirlpool, Jesus is there. He is actively praying at the right hand of the Father, interceding for each of us.
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Word Wednesday, join us!