It was a long wait for my husband and I before our dream of having children was realized. Infertility left us heartbroken year after year.
We waited. And waited.
While waiting we dreamed about the day we would become parents; often talking about the values we would have, the things most important to us.
One of the highest on the list? Travel, explore, see new places.
We vowed to make it happen.
After Joel's death I thought it might not be something I would be able to accomplish as a single parent.
The worst part emotionally is you lose your best friend. Of course you lose your hopes and dreams for the future and a million other things I could list one by one.
But there's also the practical part of the loss that many don't think about.
I lost my team-mate, the one who gave us half of the provision we needed for the lifestyle we dreamt of. It left the job of provision all on my not-nearly-wide-enough shoulders. Yes, my son gets a teeny amount of social security until he graduates Highschool, but it's nothing compared to what we had. Not even a little bit.
I don't care one iota about the material stuff. That's last on my list of importance.
The thing I do care about, greatly, is keeping the same values Joel wanted in raising our children. I knew how much he wanted his children to have even more than what we had, but now with him gone in many ways I wasn't sure how to make it happen. I work hard at it though. As hard as I possibly can.
Cut to a few months ago where I have a 3 year old boy who suddenly has a dream to go visit Disneyworld. My heart broke. As much as I wanted to give him his dream, I knew it was financially impossible. So he told me he'd pray about it. I told him go for it.
Here's where it gets good.
A couple weeks later I get a card in the mail from the sweetest girl I've known since I was a teenager. It's been many years since I've last seen her and life has taken us both in different directions, although we keep up with each other through social media. The card contained a check, which just so happened to be the EXACT amount we needed for an entire trip to Disney. The card had a note telling me to use this gift to take a trip together, enjoy each other and build memories. I burst into tears, completely wrecked by her kindness.
She had no way of knowing what my boy had been praying. And she had no way of knowing the internal struggle this single Mama feels about the dreams she carries for her family competing with the reality of our current situation.
Someone did though. Someone knew and listened to the prayers of a little boy. And someone provided a way for those prayers to be answered in ways I could've never dreamt were possible.
Last week was the day. We boarded a plane and flew to Florida, spending 5 days at Disneyworld. We visited Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios doing every last thing on our list. We went and went hard soaking in every last inch of these moments.
The best part of it all? My son got to see the provision of a Heavenly Father fulfilling his earthly Father's dreams. I learned to not give up on the things I hold close but to cling to them even more, believing nothing is impossible.
And once again we got to see life work in the best of ways, God using His people to bless His people, selflessly.
It was the lesson of a lifetime. It was the trip of a lifetime. One we will never, ever forget.