Up to now in this event, I had been primarily alone. There had been little to do. True, there had been times I had been busy - phone calls to make, a few computer things to do, but relatively manageable. Sunday is when it got very busy. More people arrived, and more work was needed.
Thankfully, before that happened, God had a special surprise waiting for me. As I walked in the house, the phone was ringing. Remember that friend I had tried to phone earlier - the one who had walked this path ahead of me? I couldn't get through to her for two days, and gave up. She was phoning. She and her husband had checked their voice mail on vacation and heard my message. She phoned.
What an encouragement! A chance to ask questions... how do I do this? What about this? What about that? How do I talk to my kids? What do I watch out for? How did you do it? This woman is someone I've known since I was a child. She has always had an air of quiet gentleness about her, and she comforted me that afternoon with that same gentle quietness. She told me that she and her husband had decided they would phone me every day that it lasted until we knew. What a relief! Someone I could count on. Who knew what it is like to be a wife and a mother in this. I asked her some hard questions, "people are going to say.... they did it with you... how do you deal with that?" And she answered very simply, "You just ignore them. You do what God tells you to do, and you trust that He is in control not only of what happened now, but of all that happens after this."
The day after this phone call became a blur of activity and calls - some friendly and others business, but the quiet gentleness that this woman passed on to me strengthened me. Then her husband talked to me. He had some other things to tell the kids - which when I did, got the first giggle out of them in two days. I also hung up the phone and told the kids who phoned and told them their story. Strong encouragement for us all.
But it was during the talk with her husband and then the next two phone calls that I began to feel that God was talking to me, telling me something.... I was afraid to hope, afraid to believe it, afraid to stick my neck out and say what I thought God was saying...