[NOTE: Today, we are pleased to bring you a “follow up” post of sorts. A few weeks ago, Daniel Gaines wrote our guest post. In his bio, we shared that he and his family were facing a separation, due to a medical condition with one of their children. Now, the family is all back in the states together. We are honored today that his wife, Tiffany Gaines, took the time to share some thoughts about their reunion that will encourage you.]
Hair fixed, makeup on, perfume sprayed, and 3 kids in tow, I anxiously watched the clock in the terminal click to 1:47 pm. He was finally here! I knew his plane had touched down and he was on the runway in Alabama. Together at last.
My heart ached with anticipation. The children asked anxiously, “Where’s daddy? Is he here?” When he finally descended the stairs it was a flurry of movement with the children running, arms open, screaming, “DADDY!” Tears of joy and relief rolled down my cheeks. Everything was perfect in this moment. We were all together.
1 Corinthians 13:7 reminds us daily that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” For two months, I had been a single mom 10,000 miles from my husband. The days crawled by as I organized doctor appointments and took care of the kids alone. I was constantly reminded of the perfect design God had created in husband and wife, father and mother. Our family puzzle was incomplete and the load was getting increasingly difficult to bear alone.
In Tanzania, Daniel would have loved to share the load of daily parenting and discipline. He was lonely and ached with the knowledge that he could not be with his wife and children daily. We had made the decision for me to return home with all 3 children because our son was needing medical care that was unavailable in Tanzania. But Daniel had remained in Africa to continue the work we had committed to. I can only imagine how difficult it was to watch his entire family board a plane and leave him behind. Tears flowed down my cheeks that day as well as I held the hands of 2 preschoolers and walked down the aisle of that plane with my daughter in anticipation of two 9 hour flights and an unknown period of time without Daddy.
But on this day, the tears were of relief and joy as I was reunited with my love.
We hugged. We laughed. We gazed into each other’s eyes. We prayed and thanked God for the blessing of our family being together again. The boys hung to his legs and our daughter held his hand as we walked from the terminal. The days that followed were filled with a feeling of completeness that had been missing for so long. Our puzzle piece was back where it belonged. I had dreamed of this moment for 2 months and it was finally here.
I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics to a favorite song, “God’s Family.”
And sometimes we laugh together, sometimes we cry.
Sometimes we share together heartaches and sighs.
Sometimes we dream together of how it will be.
When we all get to Heaven, God’s family.
Although we go through trials, there will be joy. As a part of God’s family, we experience these same feelings. Romans 5:3-5 gives our Christian family so much hope: “… but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
We can know that, although trials come our way, God has equipped us to endure with the hope of an amazing family reunion one day. We will ache with the anticipation of being together with our Christian family. We will cry tears of joy and relief after enduring this life and know that everything is perfect because we will be together, God’s family.
Photo background credit: Jeff Hudgins on Creative Commons