I lay down, finally at peace, to sleep. But I had not counted on a little hormone called adrenaline - something I was going to learn quite a lot about in the next few weeks! I rested. I closed my eyes. I dozed slightly. But it would be a few weeks before I was able to sleep solidly again.
Still, it was wonderful to simply be able to close my eyes, tears still trickling out, and rest. To relax some muscles, cover myself with blankets to stop the endless shivering, to rest... My mind never shut down to sleep, but my body did rest.
I got up two hours later. My friend was there still waiting for me. Writing this, I am amazed at my friends and their commitment to me. How much they were just there for me. I would not have made it through without them. She was still there, eight hours later, sitting with me, letting me sleep. Putting her whole life on hold to just be in my house in case I needed her. She got up and made me a soup which I was able to eat. We ate together sitting in the sun pouring in the window. Totally drained, totally spent, and totally incredulous at what God had done.
Then my phone rang. There were complications. Yes, we were in contact now, but the situation was not entirely settled and a risk for more problems existed. Here came an hour of conversation between five groups of people in different places with different ideas. Confusion at what people were saying reigned. Different priorities of different people came into play. It was a mess!
What it meant to us is that we went back into that stress mode - working, watching to see what would happen. Start up again - alert the prayer teams, communicate, do what could be done from where we were.
And wait. Again.
Hadn't we just been here? More tense waiting? Tears fell again - tears of frustration, of exhaustion, of just wanting my husband! He was so close - I could hear his voice... I just wanted him!
It was time to go pick up the kids. To see their smiles, to hug them, to rejoice with them. But not to tell them what they did not know - that it was not all clear yet. I decided I would not burden them with that knowledge unless something else bad happened.
So I was a mom of deliriously happy kids trying to look happy while deeply concerned about the current situation. Again, very thankful for the presence of my friend who helped distract the kids and keep order in the house.
My husband phoned in again, and the kids got to talk to him, frantically gathered around the computer, talking all at once. It didn't matter what was said, they got to hear his voice! Then they were at peace.
Somewhere around 4 pm, there came a changing of the guard. This friend of mine who had been there for so much went home, and another showed up. I briefed her on the situation, and she set to in the kitchen cooking with the kids and let me return to my bedroom to try to rest. There was nothing more I could do but wait at this point. I was hoping to hear some good news around midnight, so I decided to sleep if I could.
Ah, this adrenaline! It would not let me sleep. Every time my eyes closed, my dreams filled with awful scenarios, and I jerked awake again. Still, I stubbornly kept at it knowing that even the stolen minutes were so desperately needed if I was to survive the coming night.
I knew that I would not sleep well until I had heard that they were on their way home.