For those following our journey, you will most probably remember that I registered both A.J. and Ben with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization. They need positive adult male interaction, something I cannot give them. They also need it on a consistent basis. Friends with the best of intentions have their own busy schedules, and my boys have been disappointed whenever plans have fallen through. This seems like another answer to prayers. Ben was matched first. On the phone, speaking with the person that matched him, I questioned the match, simply because the "Big"s interests seemed to be strikingly similar to A.J.'s. I was told that the match was best suited for Ben, and let my concerns fall by the wayside..
Ben was terribly excited. He is a typical little brother, trying to find his own space in the world, as A.J. strides into most any situation with unbelievable self confidence and skill. Ben's done a fine job of that task thus far, and he is gentle, kind, sensitive, and has found his special niche in computers, electronics, Legos, and music. A.J. was excited, too, that Ben's match had been found first. He realizes that being involved in sports has allowed him to interact with adult males on a regular basis.
So, alot of expectations were already in place whenever our doorbell rang. The match liaison arrived first, and the Big a couple minutes later. A male in his late 20s, he seems perfect for the family. Both boys warmed up to him immediately. After signing a lot of paperwork, he and Ben headed to McDonald's, to share a soda and a little conversation.
He came back to the house and visited a bit longer, watching the boys play XBox Kinect Star Wars, before heading home.
I got a call from the liaison not 30 minutes later. The "Big," thinks he may be better suited to match with A.J. instead of Ben. This is a situation the lady hasn't encountered before. What do I want to do? I immediately pray because she will need an answer within 24 hours.
The boys are eating supper. I sit with them at the table. We begin to discuss the Big, and his interests. I begin to ask Ben questions, and feel him out about the match. Before 5 minutes have passed, he turns to his brother, saying, "I think he would be a better match for A.J. Maybe I should wait for someone that loves electronics and computers as much as I do."
I am amazed at this very grownup decision coming from a boy that will not be 9 years old until the 24th of this month. He insists on texting the liaison all by himself. Probably the most grammatically correct series of texts she's received from an 8 year old, they correspond back and forth for awhile.
It's done. We start from scratch with Ben, again. A.J. will "meet" his match (for the second time, but the first as his very own "Big" later this week). Ben reconciles things by figuring out he will still get to see the Big whenever he comes by our house, so he's okay with that. He also knows that he is a perfect match for his big bro, A.J.
Hence, the "evening of difficult goodness." Looking back over the almost-11 months, we've had many of those. I see God's hand in every important decision, every opportunity given to us. And staying tuned in to God allows us to make the best decisions for our family. By making these decisions prayerfully, we've seen blessing upon blessing as we begin to heal.
"Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
When I told my story, you responded,
When I told my story, you responded,
train me well in your deep wisdom
Help me understand these things inside and out
so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn,
build me up again by your Word.
Barricade the road that goes Nowhere,
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don't let me down!
I'll run the course you lay out for me
if you'll just show me how."
Ps 119: 25-32 (the Message)
I'll take an evening of difficult goodness any day. It gives me the chance to see God, firsthand, working in my family.