I have so much gratitude for “bubbles of love.” And that we can pray for those bubbles to encapsulate our children when they are struggling.
The other day, after a particularly difficult few days for Lucy, we huddled together for a little prayer before she left for school. She melted into me like she does when she recognizes the need for extra love. And standing there in the kitchen as the sun was rising and her carpool was coming, I pleaded with God to let her feel a bubble of love around her at school. She was pretty delighted at that thought as she set off. I hope she could feel it.
Fast forward to Saturday. The day when Claire finally left her nine weeks of MTC study and headed to Australia. She was anxious that last week. She was heading a long way after all. How I prayed again for that “bubble of love” to surround her as she wrapped up those weeks of learning and set off on another adventure. I know she was praying too.
And it was so beautiful how that “bubble of love” manifested itself.
a bubble of love at the end of the MTC
One night that last week there was a fireside at the MTC. Someone was singing a solo and said they felt like they should sing Abide with Me, so they did.
Little did they know that right there, that very evening, there was one girl who needed those words, and that inspiration. Right then. It happens to be her very favorite song right now.
The singer probably didn’t know. But God did.
Then when she was walking out of that fireside, she got an email from a sister who is already in Australia. A girl she was acquainted with from high school but a different grade. That email was filled with the exact encouragement and love Claire needed. Right at that moment.
That sister could have had no idea how much those words would mean to my girl. Or maybe she did. Because God did. And I believe there were probably some tugs at her heartstrings to send off that letter when she did. Buoying up my girl. Creating a bubble of love to get her through those last days.
A Bubble of Love en route to Australia
And then, it was time.
Claire’s companions and the rest of her district left the day before she did. Heading off into their own corners of the world.
And then Claire left the next day.
Our hearts were full, thinking of her all day long with that long flight looming ahead of her into a world so unknown for all of us.
I love that even though we couldn’t communicate on the phone, this picture popped up in our shared album:
Ok, she looked ok. So grateful that she had that bubble of love right there with her at the airport…other missionaries heading out in all directions of the globe.
And then this:
We were SO hoping she’d be calling when she landed since it would be her p-day over there on the other side of the world, and we all jumped up excited when she did.
A bubble of Love in the Sydney, Australia mission
On the left below is when she called us and told us all about the people she met en route. The guy who sat next to her in the plane and was so nice. The Sydney Mission office staff who welcomed her so kindly and made her feel so at home. Her mission president (on the right below), who apparently is the best and most welcoming.
His wife was away for a family emergency, but she’ll be meeting Claire soon and we’ve heard the best things about her too. Praying her family is ok.
And then an Instagram friend sent this from Facebook (I’m not a Facebook girl so I didn’t know it was there…thank you, thank you, sweet new friend!):
Yep, looks like another bubble of love right there in Australia.
How I hope, as this girl of mine adjusts this week in her new “home away from home,” that she will not only find herself in bubbles of love, but that she will recognize those bubbles.
And in recognizing them, I hope she will see Gods’ hand in her life. That even when she’s uncomfortable and her Mandarin skills may be frustrating, and everything is new, she’ll know He’s there.
The ultimate bubble of love watching over her. And that her family bubble back at home is praying for her every day.