A week or so ago, I dreamed an idea. I told my boys that I was hoping to be home in time to go to mass with them on Sunday, the 3rd of August. The thought made me filled with joy. Filled with hope. It had been six Sundays since we had been to mass together. Six Sundays of mass in Spanish - grateful to know that they were hearing the same readings, but feeling somewhat lost in another language. Last Sunday I was so grateful - I was able to pull up the readings for mass on my phone and read along in English. I was also able to understand some of what the priest was saying in his homily. I always prayed to be able to understand enough to learn the lessons that were coming across. God heard my prayer.
In fact, God heard every prayer. He knew just what I wanted. He knew just what I needed. He heard the prayers of Paul, the prayers of my children, the prayers of our family and friends. He moved mountains, when they seemed so tall and overwhelming. He calmed fears, so dark and sorrowful. He sent me messages of love through the people who prayed. He sent angels in the form of strangers, helping when we couldn't understand the language.
Constantly consoling. Constantly reassuring. Constantly loving.
Then it happened. Just like that. We were going home. HOME!
Friday started like every day. Just any ordinary day, but with potential. God was ready.
I had heard from the embassy that the visa system was up and running, but that they weren't sure if we would get the visa that day or perhaps Monday, the 4th. That sounded great to me. We can muster patience to get us until Monday!
We arrived at the US embassy and took our spot to wait. Name is called. Presented our documents. News is, the system is working. Tears. Many tears. We wait for our appointment. Name is called.
We walked up to the window. God walks right in. The person working in the window says, "Hey! What part of Birmingham are you from? I'm from Mnt. Brook!" WHAT?!?!?!? Our interviewer, is from less than a MILE from our home. It's at times like that when you feel like you want to fall of the ground. Or fly. Or cry. Or maybe laugh. Anyway, it's something that you can't believe - yet you believe because of God. Only God. And He loves you. He loves you so much that you can't believe it or put it into words. And it's like you know it. Then. Right there in front of the US embassy, with the flag flying high above you. The flag that never quite meant the same to you as it does now. Because you have learned that it's a blessing. Freedom. Beauty. Life.
And a little girl gets to live there. A little girl gets to go home to a new life. In less than an hour from arriving to the embassy, we have her visa.
Packing in the room (like I have never packed before) was thrilling! Who cares if it's a mess. We are GOING HOME. Paul goes downstairs to call Delta. By the time he gets back to the room, I am finished. But God is not.
Paul sits and hints of news. Good news. We have our flight. We have our tickets. Three seats left on the flight, and we have them. Change fees waved. God moved within the man on the phone, who makes three seats appear. Together. In first class. For the price of one seat in first class. Who can make this stuff up?!?!? Only God. A big, giant, loving HUG FROM GOD!
In just a few hours, the three of us were headed to the airport. And just like the details from earlier in the day, things just fell into place. We got our tickets, we got through security (without paying our taxes!), boarded our flight and in just a few hours we were HOME!
What a dream. It's such a beautiful story to share. Only God could have written it. It was perfect. I'm so happy to be able to share this story. His story. The story of a God that loves a little girl so much that He had to make it special. Up to the very last detail.
Yesterday, the 3rd of August, we went to mass as a family of five for the very first time. It was perfect.