Normal people don’t start with “The End” but who said I was normal people?
Today is the beginning of the final weekend with Catherine. She leaves for China on Monday. To say this has been an adventure would be the biggest understatement of the century. We have truly experienced every single emotion known to man and a few, I’m sure, that are unknown. We have come full spectrum.
Before she arrived we were all very excited to have her. It is said you can’t love someone you don’t know and for the most part I would agree completely with that sentence. I find it hard enough to love those I do know so loving those I don’t at times seems a fruitless venture.
Which is why it was so foreign to me when I realized in early January that I loved this girl I had never seen and knew virtually nothing about. Which is why this whole experience has been so incredibly hard for us. We loved what we hadn’t seen and the experiences we had hurt deeply.
It is much like the pain of your own children, biological or not. When they misbehave it hurts deeply. Not because you have any grand illusions of their perfection. You aren’t deluded into thinking they will never misbehave. You know they are just as human as you are. But their actions go against everything you have poured into them.
We did not have the expectation of her embracing our Jesus. We did hope and pray she would, but we didn’t expect it. We know it goes against everything she has ever been told and taught. We knew it was our job to plant seeds, maybe water them a little and pray for sunshine on her soul. It is my deepest regret that maybe I didn’t do enough of that. She was prayed for. Seeds were planted. But was it enough? Did Catherine see too much of our own failings to want to embrace the God we love and serve?
The past two or three weeks have been a series of “oh my, why on earth is she doing that again? I thought we had gotten past that!” and extreme pleasantness on her part. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve thought and really marveled, “If we had experienced this behavior early on, it would have been a completely different 4 months. A much more enjoyable 4 months.”
We will experience another adjustment period when she leaves. It will seem strange to just have the four of us again.
So the end really isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.