This week my thoughts have pretty much all been about Joelle and the fact that she has been having her first experience with summer camp. So it comes as no surprise (to me, at least) that I wanted to incorporate this into this week's Thankful Thursday post!
To start off with, I am thankful that I was brave enough to let her go; that I didn't let my selfish thoughts keep her from embarking on this journey. Just because I wasn't ready to send her, didn't mean she wasn't ready to go!
Right on the heels of that, I am also thankful that she was brave enough to accept her friend's invitation. It's not in her character to do something like this. As surprising as it was for me to let her go, I was just as surprised (if not more so) that she wanted to go in the first place! She's a very sensitive and emotional young girl and she still needs her Mama a lot - especially at night and in new situations. I am so proud of her for looking past her fears and not letting them keep her from this adventure. She even said to me one day about her decision to go to camp (after she thought about all of the pros and cons...including possibilities of thunderstorms): "I just decided that thunderstorms are a part of life and I'm just going to have to deal with them!" Atta girl!
I am thankful for how this week made me rely on God. For strength to get through each and every day (and night!) and especially to remember to just trust Him. Trust that He was protecting Joelle and that He was in control. I think the hardest part for me was not knowing how she's really doing. Since I haven't received any phone calls from the camp, I can be sure that she's not a total wreck...but aside from that, I can't be sure that she's not having a hard time at least some of the time. And that not knowing part is what is hard.
And yes, I'm quite sure she's having a blast and making a million memories and tons of friends - at least during the day. But night-times are often hard for her even at home...nevermind in a new environment without her Mom across the hall. She could still be crying every night...she could still be waking up in the morning heart-broken that she can't give me a hug. And she could still be sad in the middle of the afternoon just wishing that she could hear my voice.
Afterall, this is the longest I have gone without seeing her or talking to her.
But as hard as it has been for me, not knowing how she is really faring out at camp - I know this has been a good experience for both of us. And I'm thankful for having a God to go to with my concerns and anxieties...and that they can be met with peace and assurance.
I'm thankful that the storm activity has been minimal this week...with the biggest concern being Monday afternoon/early evening. I still don't know in what capacity it stormed out there (but it looked ugly out in that direction and there were some pretty serious storm warnings), but at least the worst was during the day, and those ones aren't as hard for Joelle to deal with as much as the night storms are.
But with all of those things that I'm so thankful for, the one I am the most thankful for right now is that it's almost over!
Today I get to be reunited with my oldest daughter. Today I get to see her beautiful face, hear her contagious giggle and feel her arms wrapped around me. Today I get to hold her in my arms once again and tell her how much I love her and how much I missed her.
Today I get to start hearing about all of the stories from her week of camp. Today I get to pray with her in person (instead of just via notes) and tuck her in her own bed. Today I get to peek into her room before I go to bed and see her peacefully sleeping. Today I get to cry tears of joy instead of tears of sadness...