Yes, I.AM.BLESSED. I have made it safely through another week and another Saturday. I.AM.BLESSED. Today is my Dad's Birthday. I.AM.BLESSED. Rick & I were raised in Christian homes by Christian parents. I.AM.BLESSED. We both could probably sing "Jesus Loves Me" before we could say the A.B.C.'s. I.AM.BLESSED. Rick & I had the HONOR of being Daddy & Mommy to 3 beautiful young ladies. I.AM.BLESSED. Rick shared his 2 big kids with me. I.AM.BLESSED. Though there were "bumpy" times throughout the years, these 2 big kids are some of the most special people in my life today. I.AM.BLESSED.
Today dawned, another Saturday. 10 weeks. Now the weeks are in double digits. Seems like yesterday. Seems like forever. How can time take on such different dimensions? The memories are still so vivid of that day. The memories are not as "sharp" of that day. God is helping to soften the sharp edges - they don't hurt AS much. I awoke this morning at 8:18. (Rick's birthday was August 18 - 8/18) Appropriate for a Saturday. We headed off to Green Bay to meet up with Brian, Ashley & Ty for lunch before a quick stop at the mall and then off to a basketball game in Fish Creek. As usual, for a Saturday, my mind was on the "time". Just as we neared "the time" (of Rick's accident), the Mercy Me song "This Life" came on the radio. The FIRST line of the song is "This is not my home". What a reminder to hear, just at that time. This is not my home. No, it's not mine, and it wasn't Rick's. Heaven is our home. We are just passing through. I.AM.BLESSED. God sends songs just at the RIGHT moment!
I read a blog update today from another "too young" widow. I have struggled a bit lately with the fact that "life goes on". I mean, I KNOW that "life goes on". I get it. I also "get" it that unless your are the "victim" of the circumstance (and I don't mean "victim" in a negative sense - it's just the word that best fits the explanation), "life goes on" much quicker. I'm hoping I will become more tender to others who face life changing circumstances in the future. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone. I'm just stating the facts. One line in the blog that hit me where I am read: "My husband died...all my relationships changed. The faith community that supported me didn't know what to do with me anymore. I had a new understanding of lack of control. I had a new understanding of suffering. I had a new understanding of praying as though everything depended on God." Bingo! So I'm NOT alone. As I said, I'm not "pointing fingers" at anyone. I'm hoping that I, myself, will learn to be more tender to others. The statement that her "faith community" (church) didn't know what to do with her anymore is, I think, very true. I do not mean this in a bad way. I believe this to be true because this situation is out of our realm of the ordinary thought process. We "expect" the elderly to die. We may even "expect" those with terminal or ongoing illnesses to "die". We do not "expect" an apparently healthy "young" 55 year old man to leave home for work on a Saturday morning and not come home. I'm sure when Rick left home that morning, he had NO CLUE he'd not return. This situation is out of our expectations of the ordinary. And we all (me, kids, Rick's and my parents, siblings, grandkids, nieces, nephews, friends), church family, acquaintances . . . DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO because there is NO NORMAL in this. It is not what we have come to "expect" as "normal". So, we continue on, trying to find the "right" way to move on, to heal, to find balance. I am quite "independent". I have always been. I went on a trip ALONE to California and Colorado when I was 17 (YIKES - that's Tessa's age)! I do NOT like to ask for help. I.CAN.DO.IT! (Sounds like a strong-willed 3 year old!) But, is asking for help a sign of weakness? Or is it healing? I'm still not sure. I'm still muddling through. I'm still trying to find that balance. My friends are still trying to find that balance. My family is still trying to find that balance. My church is still trying to find that balance. Because . . . "they didn't know what to do with me anymore"! That's not a negative statement. It's not a judgemental statement. It is simply a statement of what "is". And what "is" is not what any of us expected. Any of us but God. He did know. He does know. And He does "know what to do with me"! I just have to be still and hear what He has for me!
Aaron Schust (Christian singing artist) and his wife just had a baby. This baby was born with a heart condition and Down's Syndrome. Not what they expected for their precious child. He said he reminds himself of God's truths every night when he sings them: "Calloused and bruised, dazed and confused, I am not skilled to understand what God has willed or what God has planned, but my hope is in Him alone! God alone will receive the glory and the praise. He will watch over us in the darkest valleys and when the night seems long and He'll help us to see the way before us. All of my plans and all of my dreams, we lay before His feet. We submit to His design." He also included the Joyce Meyer quote, "You don't need to know what the future holds, you just need to know Who holds the future."
I am not skilled to understand what God has planned, but my hope is in HIM ALONE! So, I CAN have HOPE in HIM. Hope for the future - here on earth, and ultimately our HOPE of our eternal reunion in Heaven. Until then, when the night seems long and the valley is dark, we have to trust that HE will help us to see the way before us . . . one step at a time!
When I spoke above about people "not knowing to do with me anymore". It WAS a true statement! However, this morning, before I had even read that, I read this (in my "Jesus Calling" devo): "Do not be ashamed of your emptiness. view it as the optimal condition for being filled with My Peace. it is easy to look as if you have it all together. Your attempts can fool most people . . . I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. Rejoice in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with me about your struggles....nothing that you do or don't do can separate you from My Presence."
So, even if I feel like others sometimes "don't get me anymore", that's o.k. If roles were reversed, I'd be the same, I'd have no idea how to deal with someone who is dealing with something so "out of the normal". GOD gets ME. HE KNOWS. And when I am WEAK, He is STRONG. When I am empty, He will FILL. HE will always understand. NOTHING can separate me from HIS presence! I.AM.BLESSED.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38 & 39