The bitter wind cut into my face and made me feel cold all the way to my bones. It matched the cold hollow feeling in my gut. I was really here, at the same spot my husband had taken me on our honeymoon. The sound of my feet on the walkway seemed like the clanging of a gong and my tears felt as frozen within me as the water around me. I recognized this frozen feeling and its companion of deep loneliness as the same as the evening I had to make myself leave my husband's casket knowing I would never look on his face again this side of heaven. This was the 2nd long and loneliest walk on this journey of singleness.
I knew it was going to cut deep into my heart, yet it was my heart that was insisting this was a place I needed to visit. It was a place were I had felt like it was just my husband and me and God in the whole world. And I guess I hoped to feel that feeling again. "I'm here," I whispered and I waited. All I felt was shattered dreams and an overwhelming coldness that reminded me again that my beloved is gone. The tears within me melted and overflowed freezing instead on my cheeks.
As I gazed out over the frozen water, I was reminded of a poem I had heard at a funeral just the day before. It spoke of a great ship and how when it disappears over the horizon people speak of it as being gone, yet it is still there, huge and majestic on the sea, just out of our view. I know my husband lives on. I know of his relationship with Jesus and the promises of God's Word. I know he lives on. I see him in the children and his memories fill my mind. Yet pictures don't show reveal how intense his eyes were. How they could look deep into my soul and understand what words couldn't describe. Or how the sound of his voice could melt away irritation in a child or the worries within me. Or how his arms were like a suit of armour protecting me from the world's assaults. Only one who has lost someone so dear to them can understand the depth of emotion that is spoken in the words "I miss him."
And yet I know he lives. My beloved lives on just beyond my view. I was reminded of how spring seems so far away, and the children wonder it if will ever come. But I know it will. They try to say my Jesus is dead too. But I know He arose and I know He lives. I have heard His voice in my soul and have felt His angels lift me up. His forgiveness has cleansed me within were no man could know the secret sins there of. The Lord reminded me He did not leave me without hope.
"But I miss his arms around me," I sobbed.
"Hug your children for they miss his arms too. Let me use you to hug them."
"And I so miss talking to him and hearing his wisdom and humor,"I lamented as the sorrow overflowed like the creek after a spring rain.
"Talk to Me, my child, I love you the same and even more so."
I felt as hushed as Job by the words of God.
Talk to Me. Once again I had let my grief blind me from my Savior.
This relationship with the Lord is so different from the one with my husband, and I struggle sometimes yearning for the earthly ways I am used to. Forgetting to look to the One who created me and knows me even better than my beloved.
Talk to Me. As I stood up to head back to the land, to my children, to reality, I was reminded of what I was on. A break wall. Its job is to break the waves so the harbor and all its vessels were not pounded by the crashing power of the water. The Lord is my break wall. Without Him, I would be in despair, completely overwhelmed without hope.
February 26, 2008
This year I placed all my finances in the Lord's hands. Sounds easy, but I know I am not alone when I say that I used to think 10% went to God and the rest was mine to do with as I wished. The Lord revealed to me that I am just a steward of everything in my life: my children, my possessions, my money, etc. And that He is the real owner. So I placed these things in His Hands and rested in the fact that He was going to take care of everything as long as I followed His instructions. To some of you this may sound like bondage, but really it is freeing to know that He has possession because I sure can make a mess of things. Anyway, all of this is to lay the foundation for another one of life's lessons. A relative died and we had traveled out of state. Before leaving home, I made sure bills were paid, tithe was mailed in to our church, and the van was serviced. My van began to act up as we reached our destination and continued to do so until God revealed a lesson to me. My husband's family and us went out to eat at one of those huge buffet restraurants and the total equaled my tithe! I paid the bill and pondered this. There is NO coincidences with God. I excused myself to the restroom and had a chat with my Lord. "I don't understand this. I mailed my tithe in." "Yes, you did. You were concerned about this coming Sunday, but you forgot about last week's" "OH" I had been home sick. I apologized for handling His money wrongly, felt His forgiveness, and rejoined the family. Several family members tried to thank me for the meal, but I insisted that they thank God for this meal was on Him! And you know what, my van was just fine after that and we had done nothing to it!!!!! So, please learn from this and pay your tithe.
February 12, 2008
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Twice in a week I was given this verse. Uh-oh, I thought, and braced myself for something unexpected. God's timing is perfect and I just stand in awe at how it is. I don't often think of God planning for my van to break down, but He does right in front of the home of a brother-in-the-Lord who is a mechanic! I didn't plan on running late out the door Sunday AM, but it was perfect in God's timing as a neighbor who has been trying to get a hold of me stopped by as we headed to our van. If I was on time, according to me, this encounter wouldn't have happened and I would have believed something about this person that wasn't true. I planned on snowplowing once we got home today. But God had other plans. He prompted someone to do the secret deed of plowing out the driveway, so I could write this post instead. I kind of like His plans better, and often wish I knew them in advance. But then that wouldn't require me to walk close to Him and hold His hand, now would it?
February 06, 2008
A new father scoops up his crying newborn baby. Ackwardly, he holds the wee bundle up to his shoulder and begins walking around the room, gently bouncing with each step. "It's okay. It's okay. Daddy's here. Daddy's here. Daddy's gotcha. Daddy's gotcha." Fastforward a couple years. A toddler sits and rocks his favorite cuddle friend. "It's otay. It's otay. I'm here. I'm here. I gawcha. I gawcha." Speed forward a couple more children, a couple more years. A widow falls to her knees weeping at the memorial site for her husband. She hears his words,"I'm not here. I'm okay. It's okay. God's here. God's got you. It's okay. God is near. God's gotcha!"
February 02, 2008
I turned away from the grove and headed back toward the house. Thoughts of my husband flooded my mind and tears threatened to make rivers down my cheeks. Unexpectantly, the dog growled and I looked up to see a boy on a bicycle. He quietly hopped off and walked toward me carrying something. I asked what I could do for him and he handed me a tube of deer summer sausage "from a deer we got" he said. We chatted a little more and I discovered he lived just a couple miles over and was from a plain dressed community. As he turned and rode away, my dog and I stood silently. The snow fell down gently around us and the air was so quiet. I looked down at the sausage. Did they know that the anniversary of my husband's death was near? Did they remember too or did they just follow the Lord's prompting to deliver it at this time? One thing was certain, God remembered. He knew how my soul ached. He knew the tears that my heart cried. He even knew how I love venison. Just a day before I had told someone how we had a buck in our backyard. And how beautiful it was to watch, but I told him if he came back, he'd be rump roast. A minor desire yet still heard by my Heavenly Father who cares ever so much about detail. Oh, how loved I felt. New tears welded up within me, not of sadness, but humble gratitude. Christ loves me, and oh, how sweet to be reminded. And then I too remembered .