- Sonya Leigh Anderson
I’m surprised at the peace in this home. I shake my head even as I write it. If you’ve been reading this story from beginning to current you’ll understand. This miracle. This unforeseen blessing. How five years prior my insides quaked at the thought of giving it up. God’s answer. Shalom. Nothing missing. Nothing broken. Amen. And Amen.
I’d been home from my retreat less than 48 hours, three bodies scrunched tight on a leather love seat built for two. The dog taking more than her fair share. Parents talking about a son, teetering between youth and adulting, free to make choices, still needing guidance. How much is on us, and how much on him? I tell my husband about conversations with other adoptive moms, retreating together, how mostly I’d listened, saying little. Admitting, knowing, compared to others we’re light on rules, a bit lavish with freedom. And I wonder out loud if we’ve made the right choices.
And then he says it. A casual comment, until both of us realize the weight of wisdom, and he says it again. Home can be refuge, or it can be prison. They come back to one, escape the other. I look up quick, catch my husband’s eye. That’s it, my answer. Not just about rules, but this other question, nagging. There with the moms, seeking counsel. Plans moving forward to sell one house and build another. A year of transition, maybe longer. Will boys feel abandoned, and should we be doing it?
It was Katie, young mom of ten, assuring me. “Home is family, and family is home. It’s wherever you are, they’ll want to be there.”
Family is home, and home is refuge, and isn’t this the gist, too, of the verse we chose to grace our door for all these years? Hanging there now, above the entrance, maybe one day future greeting families with grandkids at a house by a lake.
Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. Proverbs 14:26
Not promise, but proverb, which is to say it tends to be true. All these years of us fearing Him, and HE is our fortress. Our kids secure in a refuge of peace.
Nothing missing, nothing broken. This week alone we’ve got two broken cellular devices and a hip surgery. One phone washed and rinsed, spin cycle, donzo. And now twenty-four hours since Kyle’s hip surgery, groggy all day and up every couple of hours during the night. 4am I’ve got a husband passed out cold against a bathroom wall, wet washcloth mopping his head, trying to rouse him. Threatening an ambulance, the one thing he’s dead-set against, and he musters enough stubborn strength to crutch his way over to the bedroom chair.
This morning I answer texts from my mom-in-law, a nurse and still plenty maternal, making sure her boy’s okay. I text back, alluding to my nighttime quandary, big men needing care and what-in-the-world does a small woman do when her man starts toppling?
Nothing missing, nothing broken. This week, too, a little nephew experiencing trauma out in Colorado. Group texts sending updates, one sister reminding – a little broken keeps us dependent on the One who heals… Preach it, Sis. Amen and amen.
Just now we’re sitting peaceful by the fire I’m building with my man’s instruction. He’s propped on that love seat next to faithful dog. Outside it’s snowing, but we’ve been greeted with an unexpected son-rise, which is to say, boys who usually sleep late on weekends, up all night playing video games, this morning rise early to check on Dad. Lingering unhurried for rare conversation. And I’m thinking about shalom peace and nothing broken, and isn’t this the truest meaning? Bodies breaking, but nothing broken. His Refuge of Peace.