The next call was a skype chat with one of the people directing all this mess. He wrote in something that had impressed him from what he was reading in Acts.
The quiet hope, the calm assurance that God was leading me to ask something began to grow.
Then came another phone call. This was the first person who I told what I think God was saying to. His response was gentle, but cautious. Warning me that this likely could take a long time, or longer, and not to get my hopes up. Telling me how to pace myself for the long term. I listened - this is a man who knows what he is talking about.
But God was quietly telling me to ask for tomorrow.
Tomorrow?! That was IMPOSSIBLE! That would be unheard of... ask for tomorrow??!!
I thanked him for his advice, and said I would begin to take those steps tomorrow, but right now I am getting a quiet conviction that we need to be asking God for tomorrow. I'm sure he hung up shaking his head and thinking I was not facing reality.
Throughout the day, we continued to prepare for the long term. I organized papers, worked some things to make sure things stayed safe, and kept people updated. I am not an organized person on the best of days, so finding all the paperwork and stuff was difficult. Then I began on some important calls - this took over three hours for the first set! Endless calls, trying carefully to balance calmness and emotion... endless explanations... business conducted about my husband in the middle of a broken heart trying to be rational and thinking.
It took a lot of energy! Thankful for the team at my house who cared for my kids and distracted them. Thankful for a friend who kept popping in with different things to drink to keep my energy up. Thankful for the prayers of many carrying me through that day.
I had two more sets of calls to make. I was running out of energy, but kept slogging through. The last ones were the most difficult to make as I had to operate in a language that I did know well.... at least not the vocabulary that I needed for this situation.
Then I sat staring at my screen. How much did I trust what I felt God was saying to me? It seemed unbelievable... but would I do it? I am not the type of person that likes to go around saying something only to be proved wrong and made to look like an idiot. And to say I thought God was telling us to ask for tomorrow?! Already the first person had gently cautioned me not to think like that.
But I sat quietly for a few minutes... then I picked up the phone and made the first of many calls late that night. "I feel like God is telling me to ask for tomorrow morning. Will you commit to praying the night tonight?"
Later on, I got another confirmation from one person. He phoned to say that tomorrow morning would be key.... I phoned the people again, "please pray between this time and this time especially!"
As evening fell, the volunteers tucked my kids in bed, straightened the house up, and drifted off. Another couple came to sit with me a few hours in the late evening, and I shared with them what I thought God was saying. We sat and drank tea, and began to discuss the "after".
After he come home...... what do we need? What is that going to look like? How are we going to set up the care? What will the kids need?
All in all, it was wonderful to even talk about "when" instead of "if".
Finally, they too left, and I was alone again. Still work to do. Even with a quiet hope, I still had to take steps to prepare in case he didn't. Still working on my assigned jobs - things I wasn't good at on the best of days, but struggled to learn and figure out. Very thankful for a handful of people who stayed awake with me and coached me through these tasks.
And as I worked, my eyes kept drifting to the clock... morning would be soon... morning would be soon...