I awoke after a restless night to find an email from Mr. Blandings waiting for me. I didn't have to open it to taste the disappointment. In the subject line, he had written one word:
Bee's visa was denied. As I write this, Mr. Blandings and Jo are gathering their belongings, wadding dirty shirts and pants into bags, and preparing their hearts for one of the hardest journeys they will ever make.
They're coming home, without Bee.
The house is dark and quiet on my end. The boys have yet to stir, and I've spent the hour since I got the news paging restlessly through my Bible, begging the Lord to speak to me. Finally, as I rolled my head back onto my pillow, my eyes settled on the small plaque that hangs near my bed.
Be still, and know that I am GOD, Ps. 46:10
So I am working on being still, and on remembering that while David only needed one of the five stones he had gathered to defeat his giant, the walls of Jericho didn't come down until that final trumpet blast. Could the Lord have done it sooner? Couldn't He have toppled that wall without the silly-seeming parade? Of course He could. But He chose not to.
My heart is breaking for all of us, but mainly it is for Bee. Mr. Blandings will come home a beaten man who will struggle to understand why, who will ask the Lord if he did something wrong, if there was something he missed. Jo will return to me wiser and more compassionate than before, with a heart that now grasps fully what it is to wait upon the Lord, even when your heart's desire dangles before you. I will be here for both of them. So will a houseful of joyous boys, who will only be able to feel so much loss, having not laughed with Bee, or held her hand, or discovered how much she likes to bake. In our home, there are toddler hugs, and games to be played, and always someone who swoops behind you at just the right moment to kiss your forehead and tell you what a blessing you are.
Mr. Blandings and Jo will be beaten, but not broken.
Our poor Bee. She will continue to long for the thing that she has tasted. She will continue to grow in a loving atmosphere that is not quite home, cared for perfectly, but never quite a daughter. When she goes to bed at night, she will wonder. Are they still coming for me? Will this ever happen? Did I do something wrong? Am I not worthy of a family, Lord?
My biggest prayer this sad, dreary morning is that Bee, too, will be still. That God will wrap His arms around her and comfort her. That He will be the rock she clings to as she is rocked, yet again, by disappointment. The Lord sets the lonely in families. I know this much is true; I have seen it with my eyes and experienced it in my own home. God has a family for you, Bee. And He will bring you to it. Be still, and wait on Him.
And we will do the same.