Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Oh Holy Night..."

"Oh...holy Night! The stars..." 

You know how it goes. We've been joking about that all evening; that this is a holy night. Actually, it's a lot like other situations...situations where the joke actually contains the truth.

Yes, this IS a holy night, in a sense, because I believe that it is a defining moment in the life of our daughter and for this family. When you see the Father's plan unfolding, isn't that a holy night? Or a holy day? Or a holy moment? Or a holy minute?

This night is a holy night. It's the last night our daughter will spend in our home as a single woman. (Stopping for a moment, because I can't see the screen. Read between the teary lines.) Tomorrow we take our courageous daughter to fly off across the ocean to again be with her fiancé; the one who brings incredible joy to our Hannah's heart. Kudos to them, as they have successfully navigated a very long distance relationship for the last five months!

This is our Hannah. For those of you who have had the honor of knowing her, you know she is delightful. You know she is strong. She's too funny. She is amazingly capable. She is intelligent. Our Hannah is incredibly adventurous, and a bunch of other things. (I won't say she is beautiful, because she doesn't want to be defined by that, but she is beautiful. I'm just not going to say it.)

Hannah leaves tomorrow (well, actually it's today, since it is 1:45 am and I can't sleep) for Denmark, where she will meet Misha, the one who ignites her eyes, her brain, and her heart. They will then travel together to Ukraine for their wedding!

So...meet Misha! Our Ukrainian son!

Jeannie and I will leave on Wednesday to travel to Ukraine for their  wedding! (Yes, the Ukraine that is at war with Russia. Also the same Ukraine that is full of some of the most wonderful people I have ever met! And, the same Ukraine that captured by heart more that two decades ago.) 

It's so interesting to me that this is happening. For anyone who has known me for any length of time, you know that Ukraine has been so close to my heart since 1992, the first time I traveled there. Oh yes, that was the year Hannah was born! (Isn't that interesting?)

Through a series of miracles, I ended up in Ukraine in October of 1992, right after the breakup of the Soviet Union. It was on that trip that my heart was torn out of my chest and replaced with one that actually cared about nations and people and cultures. That happened in Ukraine. Ukraine. I remember the moment well.

Let's back pedal a minute...on that October 1992 afternoon, as I boarded the plane to travel to a far away country to work with school teachers, I looked at Jeannie standing in the window of the terminal with our three little boys around her, and a baby girl in her arms. As the plane began to  taxi down the runway, I have a distinct memory of looking at Hannah in her mother's arms, and at that moment the Father impressed on my heart that this was more than a trip to another country to work with school teachers and share Truth with them...this trip to Ukraine was far bigger than I realized! 

Oh my...if I knew then what I know now! That trip radically changed the course of my life, and has impacted my family in so many incredible ways! (More on that later...)

But now, here we are...it's a holy night, and I can't sleep. I am the father of the bride; the bride who will live abroad with her Ukrainian husband (Did I say that?); her Ukrainian husband who will protect her, serve her, and love her. It is quite a story.

Here's to you, Hannah and Misha...off into a new and grand adventure! Enjoy every moment and watch what the Father will do in, and through, and for you! We are all cheering for you! 

I love you and I am going to try to sleep now!

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