Tonight as I left the basketball game, two people told me, "keep writing" . . . so, here I am again, writing (or rambling)! :) It's funny, but no matter how late the evening gets, I "need" to write, sometimes to let people know that, really, I'm doing "o.k." and sometimes because I need to look back over my day and be reminded of all the blessings it held!
As I was talking to the last person, I shared something that I haven't shared with anyone, and was reminded of it again tonight as I was clearing texts from my phone during a break in the action at the basketball game. The last person on my list of "saved" texts is Rick (last because he hasn't been sent a text from me in almost 6 weeks - though at times, I've started to draft one!). Anyway, the LAST text I sent him is what shows up on my phone . . . It says simply, "Where are you?". It says PROFOUNDLY, "Where are you?" Because that text, sent by me to him, couldn't be answered. That text, IF it could have been answered, would have been answered with, "I'm in Heaven, Buddy, I'm in Heaven!". It's an odd feeling to look at it and realize that, but it's a comfort to look at it and realize that! :)
The person I was talking to said, Rick did answer, just not via a text! He also talked to me about my post from last night. And the "denial" some people seem to think I must be experiencing because I can function from day-to-day and he said something that really "stuck" . . . He said something like, well, yes, you are in denial. You are in denial that Rick has died, because really he is ALIVE in Heaven! Yes, that is so true, he is more ALIVE than he has EVER been! We also talked about "Joy" and I told him that what some people don't understand is that, to me, there is a difference between "happiness" and "joy".
Dictionary.com has this definition:
JOY (v): to feel joy; be glad; rejoice.
Though "joy" and "happiness" can be used as synonyms for each other, to ME, JOY is the "state" of "happiness" that comes from the Lord. It is a "contentment" in knowing that He is in control. That though outwardly, my world spins OUT OF CONTROL, inwardly, my heart can "Be still and know"!
Today, 2 friends had Facebook status updates that really spoke to me.
The first was, "Perhaps strength doesn't reside in having never been broken...but in the courage required to grow strong in the broken places (Kristen Johgen). Now, I looked up the "author" of this quote and from what I found, I don't know that she is a Christian, yet, I think this is a very accurate quote (though the "courage" she speaks of would for me be translated to FAITH) . . . Perhaps strength doesn't reside in having never been broken . . . but in the FAITH required to grow strong in the broken places! Yes, I like it that way much better! And, there is still truth in the original quote, because it takes courage to step out on FAITH and TRUST YOUR EVERYTHING to the Lord. It takes courage to LET GO of everything that has been familiar for 20 years and LET GOD. Not that I didn't trust before. Not that I didn't have faith before, but when it's ALL YOU have left, you realize how it's ALL YOU HAVE - and all you ever had, you just never had to cling to it in this manner before!
The other quote was posted on my sweet daughter-in-law Ashley's wall, "God's ways are frequently bewildering to us, but they are always better because God is orchestrating far more than we see or know in every unexpected event and delay (Jon Bloom). So, as with the first author, I "googled" Jon Bloom. He writes for Desiring God, where TODAY the blog entry began with Proverbs 16:9 - "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." It went on to say, "This is just another way of saying that when your plans are detoured and redirected, you will find out who is really charting the course." Now that is awesome, and that is the truth! My devo this morning said, "I am speaking in the depths of your being. Be still so that you can hear my voice." . . . Well, then, whose voice are YOU listening to, WHO is charting the course of your life? As I said, it's not that I didn't have faith before, not that I didn't trust in the Lord before, not that I didn't KNOW that His ways are higher than mine, but in the "broken places" where do I find my courage, my strength? In the "broken places", where things are BEWILDERING (to say the least), where do I turn? When my plans are detoured (and they MOST CERTAINLY WERE), who do I trust to CHART MY COURSE? I CHOOSE to let GOD chart my course (not that He needs my permission to do this "charting").
So, yes, today was another good day. It was another "normal" day. It was the last day of school before Christmas break. It was a day filled with "joy" and yes, even "happiness". It was a day of AGAIN (often minute by minute) remembering my dear Rickey. It was a day of reminders from the Lord that He is in control, Rick IS in Heaven and I can LET GO and let HIM chart my course! It was another day that I can claim Psalm 145:7 - "They (we) celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness"!