When Gary and I travel without Aaron, we must find a caregiver for him. Plus we have Jackson, our 185 pound Great Dane. We’ve had some wonderful caregivers over the years for both of them, but of course Aaron is our main concern. Those that have cared for Aaron usually move on to their very busy college lives, their full time jobs after college, or to marriage with families of their own, so keeping caregivers is no easy task.
A couple weeks ago, Gary mentioned that he sure wished it was easier for us to just pick up and go visit our other two children. Andrea lives in Houston and Andrew lives near Indianapolis. I realized that I hadn’t been making our caregiver issue a matter of prayer lately, so on that evening that Gary made his comment, I began praying about it again. There are times that we can, and do, take Aaron on our trips. But there are other occasions when it’s best for just Gary and me to go.
The day after Gary made his comment, and I started praying, I shared my prayer concern with a friend in Texas. I also shared it with Andrea on the phone that evening as she and I talked. While Andrea and I were on the phone, I heard my text message notice buzzing in my ear. I waited until Andrea and I were off the phone before checking my message. I pretty well stared down at it in disbelief and praise. You see, it was from our friend, Holly. Holly watched Aaron some last spring. She’s an excellent caregiver, but I thought that she was too busy with college and work to be able to watch Aaron anymore. I hadn’t contacted her at all, or even said anything to her mother who is a good friend of mine. So what did her text say?
She said that she just wanted me to know that if Gary and I ever wanted to get away, and if we needed someone to watch Aaron, that she would be glad to do that. Wow! I just stood there and thanked God for that very quick answer to my prayer. It was such a direct, almost immediate answer to my prayer that it left me humbled and amazed. Gary and I both recognized God’s hand. So now what were we to do?
Andrew works for an NHRA race team. They were having a race in less than two weeks in Dallas. Last year we went to Houston to see Andrea, and then she went with us up to Dallas for the last day of racing. Was God wanting us to do that again? Would it even work out? We checked with Andrea and she was excited at the prospect of us coming. Andrew was as well, so we lined everything up with Holly and off we went to Texas. God had answered and provided, and we felt confident that this trip was for a purpose.
That’s when things started happening. Maybe I should make a list.
· Holly lost her phone on the morning that we left and had to get a replacement.
· Andrea hasn’t quite recovered from double pneumonia that she had in July. She started feeling bad again just before we came, so she ended up not going to Dallas with us on Sunday.
· On Friday night, Holly got a stomach virus. She threw up seven times that night! And she was trying to take care of Aaron.
· On Saturday, Holly let her grandparents watch Aaron so that she could rest and recover. Dennis and Freda are friends who know Aaron, and they did a great job.
· Holly did recover, but on Sunday Aaron had a seizure. Holly knows seizures well because of her little brother who has seizures, but we felt terrible that she was having to go through this.
· Gary and I went on to Dallas on Sunday, talking to Holly regularly and checking on Aaron.
· Andrew’s driver, Cruz Pedregon, lost during the first run…..3.96 to 3.94. That meant that the team would be cleaning and packing up to leave for Indy early Monday morning…..which meant that we wouldn’t really get to spend any time with Andrew. So we decided to just head back to Wichita, feeling the need to check on Aaron anyway.
· We ran into a huge traffic jam south of Ardmore, Oklahoma. It put us an hour behind.
· My phone mysteriously died for a few hours.
· And I even found a lone fire ant bite on my foot….a souvenir from Houston! HA!
OK, now I know that none of these events are life changing, horrible things. Why am I even writing about this?
I’m writing about it because the craziness of our weekend…..the stress that these happenings created for us….didn’t seem to match our amazing answer to prayer. That answered prayer….the prayer for a caregiver….was the reason that we took this trip. So if God provided answered prayer and the means for us to take this trip, why did so many things seem to fall apart? Shouldn’t we have gone to Texas and just had the best time ever, with no worries?
I admit that I was scratching my head a few times, wondering why God seemed to push us out the door. “Go, go!” he seemed to be saying. And then to have so many things go wrong…..things that caused us some worry and kept our minds occupied on those worries to some degree.
I have felt like God was trying to show me another element of trust. I know I need to trust Him when He opens doors, but then allows some bad things to happen that make me question whether the open door was one through which I should have walked. I needed to trust that God knew what He was doing when He led me to that open door. God also knew what He was doing when He let so many things go haywire when we needed them to go smoothly. Or we thought we needed them to go smoothly.
Answered prayer in the way that we want it doesn’t guarantee a trouble free life. I may never know why God wanted Gary and me to take this trip. I may never see all the connected dots that God sees….for me, for Gary, for Andrea, for Andrew, for Holly, for Aaron.
There were wonderful memories made. Time with Andrea:
Time with our little granddogs:
Time with Andrew, though brief:
We had precious talks and laughter with Andrea. We got to see the pit crew at the race form a circle and pray together right there in the pit area….and have Andrew tell us that he and Jay got that practice started.
And we had to laugh at Aaron as he tried to adjust to Holly being sick. “Mom!” he exclaimed. “I didn’t expect you to have someone here who is SICK!!”
Let’s talk about the word “compassion,” dear Aaron. He did go to Holly’s room three times on Saturday to say goodnight, and on the third time, instead of calling her crazy, he gave her a hug. Very sweet!
Will I pray specifically again? Absolutely! God loves our specific prayers. Next time though, when He answers, I might just say, “OK, God, are you 100% sure of this?!” J