I'm still a bit in review mode. I've posted my year in review pictures on Facebook in a note as I often do. I've started / restarted many routines now that I'm finally in a house again and have access to everything necessary for what I consider normal life. But as I thought about the biggest things in 2013, one more thing stood out.
In 2013, despite having not seen him in months, despite being extremely anxious about my request, and despite my worries about what my own sister would make out of the situation, I wrote a note just before my nephew's birthday and asked his paternal grandmother if I could please see him before I moved in a matter of weeks.
God had been putting it on my heart in an overwhelming manner; it was like the Holy Spirit wouldn't leave my heart alone about it. I held my breath... and something told me that I was doing this for more than my own selfish desire to hug my nephew one more time when I hadn't seen him in almost a year.
When the answer was yes, I was so excited that I didn't know what to do. As a good aunt, I decided to buy him presents - these cute Bible story books I'd often seen at a certain store, and a toy that was like a gumball machine with 4 brightly colored balls that popped out of it when you press a lever. And when I saw him, I couldn't stop smiling. I loved him so much all this time, and then I loved him even more. I was happy to see he was a smiling, happy child, and how his grandparents talked about him let me know he was loved and cared for.
I didn't know I'd get to see him multiple times before I left... that my parents would get to reconnect with him and continue to love him and enjoy his adorable 1 and 1/2 year old antics... that I would get to the point where I could pray for him and not feel overwhelmingly sad, but rather joyful. I look forward to watching him grow through pictures and videos, and when I'm in town for visits.
What if I hadn't listened? What if I hadn't asked? What if I'd listened to everyone else's opinions about the situation and never tried?
I would have let fear control me instead of connecting with this family. I don't think a baby can have enough love. And oh how I love this baby nephew of mine!