It was time to say goodbye. We hugged one last time, and then our daughter A--sweetly holding Elizabeth Grace (“Ella”)--climbed in the taxi. They and L's mom were taking an early train the 2 1/2 hours back to their home. L would take the rest of us to the airport, and then catch a later train.
I couldn't say anything, for I feared sobs would flow instead of words. We all knew it would be months until we saw each other again. Yet the time had come to part from our darling daughter and the precious child she had delivered just two short weeks ago.
As we all stood there on the steps of the hotel, that still, small voice whispered strength into my heart. "Her middle name . . . that's the only way any of you can do this."
Grace. Elizabeth Grace. Yes, that’s the only way.
I've heard a couple good definitions of "grace" over the years. One is "getting what you don't deserve." That certainly is true, especially about the grace God gives us in the gift of His salvation.
But there is another explanation of the grace that our loving Lord poured out on us on those hot steps last Saturday morning in Asia. "There is a grace ambulance," someone once told us, "that races to us to give us everything we need so we can do everything that God has for us to do."
Thanks for praying for our family these past 3 weeks. All of A and L's friends said "tell them not to come, it will be too hard on you to have all that company right after having the baby." We were concerned, too, for we did not want to be a big burden on a new mom and her hubby, especially since we’d be in a country where we couldn’t communicate on our own.
But God blessed us with a wonderful time together--our family, L's parents and the new little family of A, L and little Elizabeth Grace. As A put it, "I wouldn't have had it any other way." Neither would we.