The last five weeks have been…exceptional.

My son, who I’m incredibly close to, graduated high school and spent a night on the campus he’ll be attending in the fall. My oldest daughter shattered her finger at college. I was with her for what the doctor deemed, “a complicated surgery” and I helped her move (twice). The young man from the inner city we’ve been mentoring for the past five years, graduated from high school two weeks ago. We also had to make some difficult decisions with our international student who’s called me mom for two years. Last weekend, before my son’s graduation party, I spoke at the memorial for a close friend who lost her husband.

Upon reflecting on all this, I realized God’s seemed distant. I began wondering where He’s been and why I haven’t felt a greater sense of His presence when I most needed Him, and in doing so, I realized where He’s been and what He’s been doing.

I cry very easily and I cry a lot. I’ve cried watching Cheaper by the Dozen, Crazy Rich Asians and most Disney movies. I cry in crowds, small groups and alone. I’m a crier. But in the past five weeks, I didn’t cry at Polo or Casey’s graduations. I didn’t cry when Hannah had to have surgery or while talking to our Chinese son. I didn’t even cry speaking at the funeral.

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Although I didn’t cry at Casey’s graduation, I cried on my prayer walk that morning and when Casey came in my room for his gown. He gave me a hug and kiss on the forehead and after he walked out, I started and couldn’t stop sobbing. I also didn’t cry when Hannah was upset after finding out she had to have surgery the week of finals and moving, but when I got in the car later, I wept. I didn’t cry while speaking at the funeral, but before I went up to share, there was a slide of my friend, her husband and daughters that not only made me cry, it literally took my breath away.

Where was God the past five weeks?

Holding me up.

I often wish I could feel God’s arms around me or peace wash over me in a palpable way, but I now know I didn’t need a hug or a bath. I needed His strength.

My son and Polo didn’t need me sobbing at graduation. My daughter needed me to remind her everything would work out. My friend wanted me to share with those attending the funeral the Reason she’s traversing the loss of her husband with courage and peace. Everyone I love and who my heart has broken for or over the past five weeks, needed me to be okay. God, in His grace, allowed me to be just that when I most needed it. But He also gave me space to lose it when no one was looking.

Where’s God when we need Him? The same place He is when we think we don’t.

Close to our hearts.

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