It's Wednesday and typically at this time of day I would be sending emails back and forth to Savannah in the MTC. Even though we only did that for five weeks, I got pretty used to the comfort of knowing that I could count on some signs of life from England every Wednesday.
Savannah left the MTC for Munich this morning to start the real work of her mission, and although I have been thrilled and excited for her to get on her way because I know she is so excited to get going, I have also been worried because I knew it would be a little longer before we would hear anything from her. (Since this is her MTC p-day and she's traveling, she will just move right into her new mission schedule and p-days will now be on Mondays, which means I won't hear from her for another 5 days...eternity for this mother who thrives on details.)
I have heard from my missionary mom friends that sometimes the missionaries get to sneak in a quick phone call home on their travel day to their missions, so I (not so quietly) got my hopes up that she might get to call from the Manchester airport. I turned the ringer up on my phone last night before I went to bed because there's a 7 hour time difference and I was afraid she might try to call while I was still sleeping and I wouldn't hear it. (Like that would ever happen...a fly couldn't sneak into my house without waking me up...especially when Craig is out of town.)
12:00...some iOs update reminder woke me up to tell me that it was unable to run the update I had scheduled ??? Since I was awake anyway, I checked to see if Savannah had sent an email or if I had missed any calls. Nothing.
3:00...why do I always wake up at 3:00? Since I was awake anyway, and it was already 10:00am in Germany, I checked to see if I had missed any calls or emails. Nothing.
3:15...impossible to go back to sleep because my head started wondering what time her flight might have left and if she was already in Germany or still in the air, and that led to 30 minutes of searching Lufthansa Flight Tracker and trying to guess which of the flights might have been hers.
5:40...woke seminary kids up and checked again. Still nothing.
6:45...drove to retrieve seminary kids and checked again when I got home. Nothing.
A restless night and a worried heart are really all it takes for my thoughts to spiral rapidly out of control. By 8:30, after all the kids had gone to school and I was back home and alone in this way too quiet house, I was a wreck. Worried. Disheartened. Hopeless. Frustrated. Oh, how my constant battle with impatience must weary Heavenly Father...
8:36...this email came from Savannah's miraculous little camera:
Those sweet people in the picture with Savannah are the Zaugg's, a senior missionary couple from Plano. Their son and daughter-in-law used to live in our ward a few years ago and Savannah nannied for their children one summer. When the Younger Zaugg's moved to Houston, we offered our home for their Open House and we met the Senior Zaugg's. They were delightful, and so chatty and super interested in my Hawaiian ancestry for some reason. They stayed long after everyone else had left and talked to all of us for quite a long time. It's been a couple of years since I've even thought about any Zaugg's...until today.
And today, I am so very grateful that we had a little Open House a few years ago, that we made a connection with people we thought we would never cross paths with again, and that they happened to be in the mission home today to receive my brand new missionary. What an immense comfort to my fretful heart to know that there's a little bit of "home" in Germany with her. And what a huge confirmation that there are no coincidences in life. I am convinced that the people who come into and out of our lives are there not by chance, but for very specific reasons, and often they circle back in when we need them again.
How grateful and humbled I am, once again, at the depth of Heavenly Father's love for us, individually and collectively. When I ask for comfort, He sends it. Every time. Never in the way I request it. But it always comes.