Tuesday, April 19, 2016


A few weeks ago, I got a little yellow card in the mail informing me of my upcoming responsibility to participate in JURY DUTY on April 18th.  Craig and several other people I know had received similar cards in the mail weeks before and had each gone through the process of registering online and then calling 24 hours in advance and receiving the notification that they would not be needed.  So I just assumed the same thing would happen with me.  I registered online.  I checked Sunday night.  And my notification said to report at 8:30am Monday morning.  :(  

Honestly, I would have been just fine with Jury Duty had it been scheduled for any other time except Monday morning.  Monday mornings are when I talk to Savannah.  I have a tiny hour long window every week that I get with her, and the thought of having to sacrifice that to sit in a courtroom ruined my entire Sunday night...and everyone else's.  Really.  I was completely unbearable to be around.  

Not knowing what to expect, I emailed Savannah Sunday night to warn her that as of 3:00 Austria time I would probably be unavailable for the rest of the day.  Sometimes she's available earlier in the day or she can split her emailing time, so I hoped some advance notice of my schedule would help.  I woke up at 3:00 to check for any downloaded pictures.  Those are usually the first signs of life we get on Monday mornings.  Nothing.  I woke up and checked again an hour later.  Still nothing.  :(

It's unusual to not hear anything from Savannah by 8:00am on Mondays.  Typically we've already talked to her at least once by then and gotten a few dozen pictures.  But at 8:00 yesterday, there was still nothing.  Craig had taken the kids to school, I was down to 30 desperate minutes left of free time before the rest of my day was sucked up by the Collin County Courthouse, and I was pretty much in a complete state of despair.  I always start there.  I'm not sure why.  Doubt, despair, worry, fear, and tears first.  Then I think to pray.  And then the relief comes.  

I prayed first that Savannah was ok and that nothing had happened to her (because that's also where I always start...rehearsing tragedy) and then I prayed that I would get to hear from her.  And then I started to calm down, and I remembered that I had a jillion things to be grateful for, that even if I didn't get to have an email conversation with Savannah yesterday, I would at the very least get to read her generic email at some point in the day and that would be enough.  And then I prayed to be nicer to Craig who I had been bickering with all weekend, and who has pretty much gotten the very worst of whatever I've had left over after too many long days for the last month.  And then I prayed to be nice to the people I would be stuck in that courthouse with all day because probably they had other places they would rather be, too.  And then I prayed to be able to at least use the time there in some productive manner, and so I remembered to throw my scriptures and my iPad in my bag.  I felt better after the prayer and drove myself to the courthouse.  And I knew it would be fine.  

Typically if I can't see a thing or talk to a person or hear them say the words I think I need to hear, the day wears on and the doubts eventually take over.  But part of the miracle of yesterday was this overwhelming sense of calm and peace that I had throughout the entire day. 

I write to Savannah every day.  Even though it's been crazy busy here and some of the past few days I haven't exactly been at my best, I write to her anyway because I know she reads my emails every night.  I know they lift her and connect her to home, and yesterday morning I knew that even if I didn't get to hear from her this Monday, she had definitely heard from me.  I had told her more than once last week that I was so proud of her, that I loved her, and I had updated her on things that were going on at home. 

The windows are small.  Sometimes they open and then close again so quickly that I can barely even get anything in. But how grateful I am that there are windows at all.  How grateful I am for even the smallest of opportunities for reassurance and details and the connection we both need. 

I sat down in the giant jury holding tank at 9:00 with about 200 other people, and in the 90 minutes we had to wait for the lawyers to decide whether or not they needed us, I used the Collin County Courthouse's free wifi to read the email I had just gotten from Savannah and to have a nice long conversation with her for a little over an hour.  I was mostly uninterrupted except for the little movie they showed on the History of the American Juror and the two rounds of selection lists they read that did not include me.  At 10:30, I was dismissed and thanked for fulfilling my civic responsibility for the next 24 months.  My $6 check should be coming in the mail in 2-4 weeks.  :)

Prayers were answered.  Miracles came in ways I could not have even expected.  I didn't miss a single minute of my window with Savannah.   

What I am sure of after yesterday's handful of miracles is that Heavenly Father is absolutely aware of even the smallest things we need.  He sends answers in the form of miracles, both great and small, that will increase our hope in Him and secure us more fully to Him.  I know that He is nearer to us than we even realize, that He answers every prayer, and that He wants to pour out blessings upon us, not just in a tiny trickle but in a torrential downpour...in such great quantities that we don't even have buckets big enough to hold them all.  I know that there is absolutely nothing to worry about, that Heavenly Father has every part of this under total control.  I know that this relationship is solidly in tact.  And I know that no matter the distance or the length of time, He's not going to let us miss a thing.  Not one thing.  He hasn't so far.  

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