9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
Psalm 139:10

This passage was part of a “Sunrise Courage Builder” devotion that Tim emailed me the other day.

The timeliness seemed more than a coincidence as we were awaiting the final word on a very huge decision in our lives.

Over 16 years ago, we sat on our deck and visited with Vivek and Angie Lall (two KCU graduates) just days before they set off to work at Mid-India Christian Mission. Since that day, Tim has continued to be their accountant. We have exchanged Christmas cards and emails, and on just a few occasions have been able to actually visit them “in person” while they have been home on furloughs.

Our last visit with them was just a couple of weeks before Nick passed away. They were preparing to leave the states once again and made a special three-hour trip just to see us and specifically to see Nick. Unfortunately, Nick was too ill to even be photographed during that visit. His body becoming even weaker than our minds could comprehend at the time.

As we visited with Vivek and Angie, we learned that an orphanage of disabled children had basically been “handed” to their mission just a month or so earlier and Vivek’s dream was that someday Nick would come and visit the children there. He talked to Nick about naming the orphanage, but unfortunately Nick was unable to do this.

After Nick left us to go Home and as the reality that his life would live on through his foundation began to sink in, we determined that one area of outreach would be this orphanage. The board voted to send $1000 to the orphanage as well as look into a possible future partnership where people could actually sponsor a specific child in this orphanage through a monthly gift.

I wrote to Vivek to share this dream and within 24 hours received a phone call asking us to please come to India and “see” the work firsthand. He wanted us to travel the week before Easter because of a water crisis in the summer months which would require the orphans to be dispersed temporarily until the water shortage ends.

This simple question posed by Vivek just 2 1/2 weeks ago has literally turned our lives upside down as we have wrestled with whether or not this was something God truly wanted us to do.

The financial aspect of the trip seemed beyond our means. However, Vivek’s mission offered to pay for two of the trips since Tim has been their accountant for so many years. This past Saturday, Tim completed our taxes and discovered that our refund would pay for 2 1/2 more trips. God was eliminating obstacles almost daily.

Another obstacle was Evan. Tim did not want to go unless he could make the trip with us.

After emailing all of his college professors and meeting with them, Evan was given permission to miss a week of college classes.

The last hurdle was the 11-hour train ride we would have to take from Agra to the site of the orphanage. Vivek needed to confirm that there were enough tickets left on the train for our needed date of travel.

Yesterday we received the call that “yes” there was room on the train.

My heart fell into my stomach.

See, I had prayed and prayed that if God did not want us to go that He would put something “out there” that would stop us.

The fear deep within me (even now) was truly hoping that something would stand in our way and take away my guilt from being so afraid…..

I do not like to fly. The only time I have ever flown was for Nick…………so that we could go on his Make A Wish trip. And that was less than a year ago. Until that time, I had managed to survive without ever leaving the ground and I was content.

Suddenly Nick was stretching me in a way I had never wanted to be stretched.

But I was a nervous wreck.

Now I sit here in my safe kitchen wondering what God is up to…..

as the trip has now become a reality.

Our family will be flying to India in less than a month.

While I am excited to see the work there and to spend time with Vivek, Angie, and their children, I am terrified about the many unknowns we will be facing.

But more than anything I am sad that Nick will not be going with us.

I have had one of those nights where everything has caused me to cry. I made tacos for the first time since losing Nick and remembered how it was one of his favorite meals. Erich came home to get a video game system for a lock-in at college, and I was reminded of how video games are rarely on in our house anymore. Tim and Olivia played basketball in the driveway and I imagined Nick out there with them throwing a football.

We have finally started discussing Nick’s tombstone which has to be ordered by the end of this month if we want it to arrive by Memorial Day. I have some ideas for it that are going to require some emotional energy, so I cry knowing what is looming ahead of me.

Oh, I sit here longing for a “normal” life. And then feel guilty because I know that there are many with even more difficulties, more sadness, more pain.

Grieving the loss of someone as special as Nick is sometimes more than I can bear.

I miss him so much.

So tonight my prayer has simply been……………Lord, hear my cry and lift me from this pit………give me a firm place to stand……………

And because I trust Him, I have to conclude this prayer by repeating the Psalm above,

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea, Your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

God, For You and You alone will I go to the ends of the earth. I know that you planned this verse above as part of the “Sunrise Courage Builder” devotions long, long ago so that Tim and I could read these Words just when we needed them. And I can’t help but marvel at the thought that we will be in the air witnessing Easter sunrise from an angle we’ve never had before……….such a perfect way to experience Nick’s first Resurrection Sunday with You. Thank you.

And Nick, your strength and courage have taught me so much about what is truly important in this world. For you, I make this trip to see what your legacy will do to help 100s of disabled orphans in a land so very far away.

I love you, Nick. I miss you so much. Mom