Last night found my husband, son, and I starting the 24-hour trek home. We were not supposed to return to base for another three weeks, but my life changed early yesterday afternoon with a single phone call.
My husband and I were on our way to have lunch with a pastor and his wife. A lady in the church was very gracious in watching Paul so we could go out to eat and Nat and I were so excited to have some alone time. Well, we never did go out to eat with the pastor and his wife. Halfway to town, we got a phone call from my brother saying my dad had died as a result of a heart attack.
Shock, denial, and tears were my response. That and the desire to return home immediately. Small problem since we were in North Dakota!
Nat and I saw the Lord's hand right away, given that our son was not there in that initial moment. We were able to return to the place we were staying, pack everything up, get Paul and leave within 90 minutes.
6 hours down the road, we encountered a snow storm in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The snow fell quickly and made a sloppy mess of the roads. We hit one particular spot of ice that threw the car into a 180 degree spin and sent us sliding into the concrete barrier. Thankfully I was in the back with Paul and was able to shield him from the rear windshield as it shattered and rained glass pieces inside the car. Add to that we were facing the wrong direction on the highway and it was snowing inside the car. We had a little situation on our hands. :)
My husband is very cool and level headed and so he calmly got out, put the glass pieces in a garbage bag we had (that's random!) and then came up with a game plan to fix it.
We stopped at Walmart for tape and cardboard and the cashier mentioned there was a service garage nearby that is sometimes opened at night. I had my doubts since it was after 10 PM, but there happened to be a man there who fixed us up with a plastic cover! It's been a noisy ride, but at least we're able to drive it home. :)
So now we're driving thru Indiana and hope to be home by midnight. We are doing a 24-hour trip in 30 hours which is kind of funny because the most we drive in a day is usually 8 or 9 hours tops.
I'm so grateful Nat and I took the opportunity to restore my relationship with my dad before it was too late. There are rough days ahead, especially for my mom, but God's timing is perfect! I'm thankful we have a couple of weeks open now to help my mom out.
Family is coming in this week, including my brother who is in the middle of boot camp. How good the Lord is to allow us to be home, and not overseas yet!