If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you'd know we've had two boys living with us for almost four years. Unless, of course, you've only been reading my blog for a few months and in that case, you've been iill-informed on the goings on in my house and in West Dallas and frankly, probably bored.
I blame the heat. The heat and the extreme lack of anything funny to write about.
Except for the day I sprayed my entire body with self-tanner only to find out I had used leave-in conditioner instead. Smooth. No, really, my skin was smooth.
Anyway. Dea and Darius have become a part of our family to the extent they could when they actually have a mom and dad living 20 minutes away. It's been great and hard and confusing and frustrating all at the same time. We learned a long time ago that our job wasn't to replace their parents but at the same time, we had to act like their parents when they were living under our roof.
The Lord has provided for all of us in every imaginable way.
A couple weeks ago, Darius moved out of our house. It was an impossibly hard decision for us to make but we felt - because of the decisions he was making - he had left us with no other choice.
We've wrestled with all the questions...was it the right thing to do? Would we ever make that decision with our own kids? What does loving someone well really look like? Does, as Tim Keller has been quoted often saying, mercy really limit mercy?
It has absolutely been one of the hardest things we've experienced as a family. Dea stayed but of course, our kids have had all kinds of questions about Darius. Sadie was only three when the boys moved in and she really doesn't remember both boys not being part of our family. Graham was five, Olivia six, and Tee eight.
Although we've tried to explain all that went into the decision - and most of it, they were aware of - they've still been left feeling a little empty.
This weekend has been particularly difficult. We had talked all summer about it. Dea and Darius would both move into their places at UTA and UNT and we would be right there to help. Instead, we moved Dea into his apartment yesterday and he was ready. At lunch, he told me he wasn't nervous at all. That he knew he was going to make it and was excited about all the girls he would meet, I mean, things he would learn. Darius, on the other hand, dropped by this morning picked up the rest of his things and headed off to UNT. And when he left, I cried.
For years, I thought this day would end another way - with pictures, and making beds and parking tickets. Instead, he left to go meet up with his friend and move in on his own. I'm learning, still, that things don't always end like we think they will. That just when you think you're finishing the race, the course can change and your largest hurdle can actually come in the homestretch.
So, tonight when I ran to the grocery store for dinner the difference was immediately evident. A package of six rolls was enough for our family again and the two dozen eggs I was used to buying seemed like way too many. We have some readjusting to do here at the Hill house and, at least for a while, it's going to sound really quiet and smell a little less like teenage boys.
Our prayer for Dea and Darius is that they will learn to love and follow the most faithful Lord who has cared for them and protected them all these years and who promises to never forsake those who trust in Him.