Jenny Groothius, the storms and flooding to Andrew leaving, not hearing from him for two days, then finally getting to SEE him thanks to Facetime, I was EXHAUSTED!
God was amazing through it all. I have to share what a sweet, wonderful Lord we have. Andrew left on Friday, July 4th. We were able to talk to him as he made his way to LA and waited for his connection to Sydney. He flew out at 11 PM. We expected him to text or call when he arrived, using open WiFi. The flight was 15 hours, so we knew it wouldn't be until sometime Saturday afternoon. When we didn't hear from him right away, we figured he had to get through customs and get to his transportation pick up point, but he would let us know soon that he arrived safely. I thought we would hear from him by dinner time.
Brian and I had tickets to Les Mis Saturday night, and I thought it would be a good distraction. Our son Aaron is Gravoche and we have several tickets to see him. When we hadn't heard from Andrew by intermission, I was beginning to worry. My imagination began cooking up all sorts of sorted possibilities and by the time the show was over, I could not wait to get home and check email for news. Andrew has an app to use for free international texting and calling, but he has to have Internet to use it. The app tells you the last time he has been online, and he wasn't online since LA. We tried calling him, the YWAM base, and the transportation company, but because it was Sunday there, we could not reach anyone! We sent the base, his contact person, and the transportation company several emails asking them to reach us. Shortly after 1:30 A.M., Brian made me go to bed because there was nothing more we could do. Brian reminded me that Andrew is in God's hands and he was safe. So.....we went to bed, sure we would hear something in the morning.
Well, up at 7 AM and still NOTHING. I had rushed to my computer, sure that there was an email waiting to be opened that confirmed Andrew had arrived. When there was no news, we tried making contact again, but by then it was the middle of the night in Newcastle, and we just had to WAIT.
When we went to church, I desperately was praying. Here is Tracy, the "great woman of faith", being forced to WALK the TALK. I am the one forever encouraging others to trust God and His plan, knowing that He is sovereign over everything. In knew in my HEAD that Andrew is in God's protection, that God called him to be there, that God was in control.....but the sick feeling in the pit in my stomach gave me away. I had been gripped with fear.
During worship, praising God, singing the words, "I have been set free...it is for freedom that I have been set free...." I released the worry... the questioning... ANDREW... to the Lord. God loves Andrew even more than I do. And, IF the worst of all my imaginary circumstances actually came to pass, then God was weaving them into His plan and purpose for something greater. I heard in my head the same words I had spoken to Brian on our Grand Canyon road trip. We had been stranded in the Colorado Rockies during a blizzard. The hotel where we were was full, the roads were closed and we had nowhere to go. As Brian worried that night going to bed, we prayed, and I reassured him that God wasn't going to bring us all the way out west on this awesome trip to leave us stranded in Colorado. In the morning, a room had opened up. In church, while singing, I heard those same words, "God is not going to bring Andrew all the way to Australia and leave him stranded somewhere."
I immediately felt peace!
And, this is where God's TENDERNESS completely blows me away.
Take 2 on Les Mis.
The night before I had NOT enjoyed the show one bit....I was worried about Andrew. I just wanted to be home.
Sunday's matinee was completely different. I felt peace about Andrew. Grandma and Grandpa were there to see the show. We had AMAZING tickets center and just a few rows back. But, as we were being seated, we realized we were one seat short. I had somehow only ordered 6 instead of 7! The usher graciously told us Abby could sit on my lap or I thought I could watch down in the green room. But, to our amazement, the lady behind us told us she had an EXTRA SEAT! Someone in her party could not make it at the last minute and the seat directly behind us was available! Isn't God so awesome????
The show was amazing! Every song perfect...Aaron did his BEST performance yet.
Then, at intermission, I received a message that Andrew had gotten to YWAM base safely and he would contact us soon. We went in to enjoy the rest of the show. During the story, Jean Valjean
sings an amazing song, "Bring Him Home." This song will bring tears to your eyes, but as Valjean prayed that God would bring this young son home safely, I bawled my eyes out. This was my prayer and Jared Rogers had me completely weeping as he sung the exact words I was feeling.
As we were walking into the lobby, my phone began vibrating, and as I looked at the front, I saw Andrew's smile. He was calling from Australia! The auditorium was clear and I was able to talk to my sweet boy. He had not had Internet access until then since he had arrived on a Sunday. We were able to laugh and cry and it felt GLORIOUS! How good God is!