nine days

I don’t do well with countdowns. Most of the time, I’m impatient and annoyed with how slow time goes. As a little girl, the season of waiting before Christmas, was excruciatingly painful – Christmas morning couldn’t come fast enough. Every song, every snowflake, every ornament pointed to the moment when I could rip off wrapping paper and squeal with joy at the new toy I’d so badly wanted. Waiting for my first driver’s license wasn’t much different. I was eager to drive on my own and frustrated with how slowly the minutes ticked by until I turned fourteen. When the time finally came, I sat behind the wheel and relished in the freedom and happiness.

When I was younger, time never went fast enough. I couldn’t speed it up. But now, I can’t slow down time. I can’t press pause. I can’t freeze the clock.

So a few weeks ago, when the National Visa Center emailed us an interview date for a visa interview, I knew another countdown had begun. I marked my calendar and tallied the number of days before my husband would leave the U.S. and complete the next step of this green card process.

Now I only have nine days. Nine more morning devotions. Nine more suppers. Nine more goodnight kisses. Nine days to live life with my best friend before watching him leave on a plane. Nine isn’t enough.

Time is sprinting past me like like it’s competing in the Olympic Games.

I’m not in shock, we both knew this day would come. The day when he’d return to his Caribbean home and have an interview with government officials that would decide our fate. This trip isn’t some vacation or work meeting. Though there will be beaches, good food, and a long-awaited reunion with loved ones, there will also be a medical exam, lots of paperwork, and an interview at the Embassy.

For the last two years, we’ve been waiting and praying for this. I’ve screamed out at God, frustrated with how slowly He was moving, wondering why we were still in the middle of the process, struggling to believe God hadn’t forgotten about us. I so desperately wanted to move on with life and was willing to jump through whatever hoops necessary.

Except now I don’t want to jump through this hoop. I don’t want to say goodbye to my husband for an unknown amount of time. I don’t want to eat supper alone. I don’t want to have the bed to myself. I don’t want to get groceries alone. I look at the calendar, recounting the days until he leaves, hoping time has reversed so I have more than nine days. Each day together, each argument and resolution, each prayer, each walk downtown, each piece of sushi, and each dance party has entwined us together. With the looming “see you later” date, I so badly want time to stand still. I want these nine days to drag by. I want to soak in these sweet moments. I want to look at the minute hand and see it frozen on the face of the clock.

I know I won’t get what I want. I know in 12,960 minutes, I’ll be crying like a little schoolgirl as I entrust my husband once again to the care of our good Father. My husband, uncomfortable with all the tears, will make some joke that will force me to laugh and catapult snot out of my nose like the classy lady I am. We will hug for several minutes, then he will turn and walk through the airport security.

In nine days, we will be propelled into a new season. And it will be hard. But I will not be alone. My husband will not be alone. God will prove himself faithful once again. This I know.

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