it was 6 am and about 20 degrees out
we stood outside for over an hour
it felt like 10 years..
time was creeping by
i was moving my fingers
to make sure they weren't frozen in my pockets
when all of the sudden we heard something coming from afar
we heard a quiet chant
it kept getting louder
then we heard jogging
they were running our way
500 of them
running right at us
the sun has just begun to rise
so all we could see were the reflectors on their matching sweat suits
they had flags with their platoon numbers
but they were really hard to read
i begin desperately trying to see his flag
i'm jumping up and down
looking for the numbers "98"
and there it was ...
i knew he was in the second row
furthest on the left
1....2....scanning over to the left
and there he was...there was the frail nose
and i couldn't help but scream...uncontrollably
and there it was ..that grin
the grin he's always had
one smile and everything was ok
better than ok
my heart felt pure joy
raw emotion and love
3 months of missing
3 long months of waiting
all worth it to see that smile
as quickly as they came they were gone
but that was ok..i knew they were coming back
about 20 minutes later they ran by again
1st platoon runs by ..
2nd platoon runs by...
then the 3rd...3098...
my eyes count....to row 2..
there he is....
he's ok. he's better then ok..he's right in front of us.
my family couldn't even control ourselves
it was like we were 15-yr-olds at a justin beiber concert
"FRAILLLLLL FRAIL WE LOVE YOU!!!"
and with his drill instructor right there.
his platoon surrounding him...
we saw a little grin.
there was zach frail.
i moved my eyes off of him for a second
and saw the guys behind him smiling too..
everyone heard us..
and we didn't care.
that was my brother
and he was ok...he was right there.
a few hours after the jog
the longest two hours EVER
their instructor gave a talk
i have no idea what he said
i was just waiting for him to finish
and then they open the big garage doors of the arena
and they walk in..
i hear their instructor say "we're going to give you your Christmas present early."
He says a few more things
i don't remember what he said to be honest
i was literally about to black out
ha i kept reminding myself to breathe and not to lock my knees
haha no joke...
i see them begin to remove the red stanchions between us and them....
between my family and my brother
and we all just started running
i have no idea what came over me..
we dug through a whole platoon of men
and there he was.
i can't even explain what my heart felt!!
one big hug (he smelled like aqua velva)
and it was ok
he was there...
and i was so thankful
we spent the rest of the week
spending time with him
watching him march in his graduation
getting to eat his first meal off base
boarding a plane so he could go home and see his friends
and just hearing some amazing stories of what his life was like
what his life will be like
who he's grown into in 3 short months.
i pray i never forget those moments
of pure joy
joy where i couldn't keep my feet on the ground
i couldn't stop jumping
i couldn't stop smiling
i couldn't stop crying
just so happy to see him
so happy to see him smile
that same smile...but he was different
seeing him grown up into a wonderful man
i recognized his boyish smile but he was a grown up
and just smiling
just so happy to see him
i can't explain what my heart felt this past week
it was some of the purest joy i've ever felt
i have a lot of joy in my life
but this was the closest to pure joy i think i've ever felt
and this was just a GLIMPSE of God's joy
i was just standing there at one point in awe of God
i wouldn't have planned the part where we couldn't talk
for 3 months
i wouldn't have planned the waiting
the patience part
i wouldn't have picked his career
it wasn't safe enough for me
in fact it's dangerous
i wouldn't have done a lot of the things God did
and it just hit me this week
i would have missed that moment
of pure joy
of feeling that absolute love for my brother
if God would have let me plan it
i know this is just the beginning of a new road in his life
in all our lives
but thank you Lord for letting me see
how something i would be too scared to ever pick
a path that seemed too scary and hard one year ago
could just be such joy in my life today
i would have missed it all
if you let me plan it
thank you for planning life better than me
and if you know Zach
ask him to tell you some stories
especially the "you already know....." story
and make sure he does it in "the voice"
you're fun God