When least expected

Welcome to WheatonWalking through the grocery store just 3 days before Debbi was leaving for Wheaton College, I instinctively grab a large bag of oatmeal. That’s Debbi’s staple breakfast food, and it is almost finished at home. Then it strikes me. Only 3 more days. Only 2 more breakfasts. Who will eat oatmeal when she’s gone? (No one!) O my, this is a crisis.

I put the oats in my cart anyway. Then stop. Then put them back on the shelf. Then take them back. Then stare at them – What should I do? The voice of reason comes shouting, “Don’t waste 400 shillings on a new bag of oatmeal. No one will eat it.” Another voice counters, “Just buy them. Debbi always likes to have the oatmeal jar full.” My eyes fill with tears. I bravely walk away from the bag of oats, and continue shopping. But I have lost it. So now I’m walking around NakuMatt with tears streaming down my face (of course wiped off often enough so that most people wouldn’t notice) . . . when least expected.

Debbi and I both prided ourselves in going through her high school Mother-Daughter ceremony with completely dry eyes. Most other moms struggled desperately to get through the send-off speeches. For me, no problem. Even at the Wheaton “Letting Go” service, the final event for parents at Freshman orientation, other parents were giving testimonies with a lot of tears, barely able to talk. I remained composed and stoic. Even a bit judgmental: “Oh, these people are just too emotional. After all, they just live a few hours / few miles away…”

I expect that when we leave Debbi here at Wheaton tomorrow, I’ll be fine. But I also know myself well enough to know that on the airplane back to Kenya, somewhere 33,000 feet above Greenland or the Atlantic Ocean, I will crack. It is good that there are two 8-hour flights; it usually takes that long or longer to stop sobbing and get sober again.

It was like that when we left Michael at Hesston 9 years ago. It happened when my mother passed away. Despite composure at the actual event, it does come crashing down at some point, most often in the solitude and darkness of BA 065 Detroit – London or London – Nairobi. It happens just due to the trauma of being bi-cultural, and of going back and forth between worlds and selves. It happens because of the dichotomy, the good-byes, the identity challenge.
Diane & Debbi
So for now, all is well. The orientation days at Wheaton have been great. This is definitely a caring, supportive, understanding community.We agree that Debbi is at the the right place; this is God’s will for her.

“When least expected” might still be out there. But nothing takes God by surprise. He is Good. He is ever Faithful.

From my Bible reading today: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (I Peter 1:6-7)

~ Diane


About Omondis In Kenya

Ibrahim and Diane Omondi serve on the DOVE Christian Fellowship International Apostolic Council, giving oversight to the region of Africa. They have been ministering together in Kenya since 1984 and now oversee the work of more than 100 congregations in four nations. They also give leadership to the missions thrust of DOVE Africa which includes 14 Kenyan and Ugandan missionaries serving among unreached people groups in these nations. The Omondis direct Springs of Africa, a non-profit organization sponsoring micro-finance, community development and various education initiatives.
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2 Responses to When least expected

  1. Wes & Cindy Carmack says:

    Hi Diane… I so appreciate your transparency! It brought back so-o-o many memories of when we sent our baby girl off to Life Bible College in S. Cal. and we had to stay home in Oregon. I cried when I said good-bye and I sat in my empty house and cried some more! But now she is married to a wonderful Christian man that she met at LBC and they have three beautiful children that are our delight. And they actually live in the same town as we do, which I never expected when she went away. So… being further down this road than you, I just say, give way to those tears. They are a great release. There is a sadness about an era that is over as parents. But just know that there are more joy-filled times in the years to come. And lots of laughter as well. You will be in my prayers these next few days especially, that your heart will find its resting place in the eternal hope of never having to say good-bye again! Love and prayers to you and Ibrahim. :o) Cindy Carmack

  2. laurie fulmer says:

    Well, I guess you might have known that you were gonna make other people shed some tears along with you just by reading your post!:) Aww, Diane, I am gonna pray and KeeP praying for you, that God will give you such a great amount of peace that you’ll wonder WhY you are feeling so ‘okay’ with Debbi being far from home! I know it was not exactly the same situation, but I know God did this for me during when I first experienced ‘daughter-separation’ from Becca for almost a year, and most recently with Abbey who was gone for the best part of three years. Sometimes I would actually feel a little guilty that I WaSn’t crying over their absence. I knew it had to be God. So, I promise…you’re in my prayers that this will be alright…….and I imagine that Debbi will LoVE her time at Wheaton which will help matters, too. Hope we see you soon. ♥Laurie

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