I’ve been keeping a secret.
I have known for over 5 months now that I would be coming to California this November.
Back in the spring of this year, Jesus had been gently but persistently suggesting to a friend of mine that they pay for a plane ticket to California for me. While I know this friend to be extremely generous, the idea for this extravagant gift was not theirs. After several promptings from Jesus, it became clear to them this was something they needed to do.
The next time I saw this friend, they told me about this idea they had been given and that they were willing and eager to be the means God was desiring to use in order to bless me and my family.
Several months later I had my ticket booked.
Of my immediate family, I only told my mother in advance that I was coming to visit. Her reaction was priceless.
She giggled… a lot.
She even did a happy dance.
She was so elated in part because it had been her desire for sometime that I should come back to visit but she had not yet articulated this desire to Jesus. But she knew Jesus already knew what was in her heart and before she brought the desire to Him, He had already seen fit to grant her request.
He’s awesome like that.
On the whole, between my mother and I, we were successful in keeping the secret of my visit from the rest of my immediate family.
Surprising my family was pretty fun.
My dad’s reaction when I showed up on his porch step a few weeks ago was a classic jaw-hitting-the-floor moment.
My sister and niece were giddy with excitement and let out more than a few squeals of delight when they walked in the door to find me nonchalantly asking if they were interested in joining me for a run to Starbucks.
But I think my favorite reaction was my stepdad’s. He’s not a very expressive guy but the expression of joy mixed with shock that immediately spread across his face when he saw me made all the stress that came with keeping this secret totally worth it.
So Christmas came early for me this year I guess.
Each of my family members and friends are gifts in and of themselves.
Getting to come home to see them is hands-down among the best gifts I could receive.