One year ago today, we were in this beautiful place for Grace’s first vows. A lot has happened since. Struggles and graces, another visit, her eventually leaving Carmel. I’m not going to lie. I’ve cried. There have been some dark days. Did we not do enough? Pray enough? Sacrifice enough for her? Not write enough? Not bring her up in a good enough way for her to make it there? Should I have made her wear the skirt to the talk she gave to a hundred kids right before she entered instead of the skinny jeans?! Not allowed her to get the double piercing?! Joking! But my thoughts have gone to all kinds of crazy places.
When we were driving away from Carmel, my heart broke. It was an instant loss of something that had became such a huge part of our lives. The trips, the visits, the letters, the joy, the heartache, all gone. That sounds dramatic and I don’t really understand my emotions still. For sure, part of it was that I thought this child was taken care of, checked that box. She’s living a holy life in a holy place. Also, I knew we were constantly covered in powerful, protective prayers. And maybe most importantly, because she was doing something so hard, it was easier for me to try to do hard things. She had no idea her choice to follow this call would affect us so deeply and so many others! She truly had no idea until she read the many beautiful emails and comments here in social media land.
I need to now apologize to Hallie Lord and everyone. When we knew Grace would come home, before I went to get her, I put everything I’d written in a blog. I had wanted to do it for a long time. I did it anyway because I wanted my family and friends to know what we’d been through. I didn’t want her to come home and have people who hadn’t followed along or been a part of it to act like it was no big deal. It was selfish and Grace would think me silly because of it, but I’m glad I did! There is still much more to share and I will try! For now, I thought I knew how this was going to go. I totally didn’t! But God did and does and even though I stink at it, I’m getting a little better at simply trusting Him. Thank you again and again and again for your prayers for Grace and all of us! ❤
Adding that part of my struggle in Grace leaving was questioning God and wondering why if she had chosen to keep doing this hard thing for Him, why wasn’t He giving her the graces to perservere in Carmel. All of this is just my weak, weary, impatient side of things. Her side is much different. It has been incredibly, beautifully, surreal having her home. Peace is coming for me too. More to come.