"The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace." Psalm 29:11
....some nights I could write all night, some nights, I'm not sure what to say! Not that today was a bad day, just a quiet day, which is quite unusual for our busy family! This morning was church and then we were home for the rest of the day.
After arriving at church this morning, I realized that nobody was there to serve as the "greeter" - another hole that has been left in Rick's absence. I KNOW that Rick took his job as the greeter very seriously. People often laughed because even though we live just over a mile from church, we sometimes arrived in 3 different vehicles, because if we weren't ready to leave with Rick early enough for him to start greeting, he left without us! He NEVER wanted to get up in front of church and speak (even praying for the offering STRETCHED him), yet, the one-on-one visiting that happened at the doors of church was definitely an area where he was GIFTED! I know that he made each person who entered those doors feel welcomed and loved! So, today, I felt like God was asking "me" to "be" Rick. And you know what? It felt good! It would have felt better to have been doing it ALONGSIDE him, but, since that is not possible, it DID feel good to, in just a little way, be carrying on his legacy!
This afternoon/evening, I watched in sadness as our Green Bay Packers ended their awesome season with a loss to the Giants. And though I do love to watch the Packers and was sad to see them lose, I was sad for another reason. Having the Packers season end was like ANOTHER goodbye for me. Rick and I started watching this season TOGETHER. We cheered for the team TOGETHER. We talked about another Super Bowl season, TOGETHER. We hoped to maybe get tickets to a game, TOGETHER. We enjoyed the Packers TOGETHER. So, with their season ending, so ends another part of something Rick and I started TOGETHER, but I had to finish alone. Another "little" thing, that most people wouldn't give a second thought to, yet to me, there it was, another reminder of the changes in my world. Yet, even in the midst of those reminders, even in the sadness, there were reminders of God's continuing faithfulness and love for me and our family!
My mom gave me a reading, "Experiencing Peace: With God, You Can Live Beyond Fear". The very first line read, Have you ever had something totally rock your world? Why, yes, as a matter of fact, I have. I have even used that phrase to describe it - my world being ROCKED. The reading went on to speak of the PEACE that we can experience even in those earth rocking, take your breath away kinds of storms. The PEACE that has prevailed in my heart since the first moment that I heard Rick was in Heaven. Yes, there are tears. Yes, there is sadness. Yes there is a huge hole ripped from my heart and our lives. Yes, there is pain. Yes, there are questions. But, yes, there is also PEACE. A peace that I'm not in control and HE is. A peace that He will dry those tears. He will comfort in the sadness. He will fill the empty places. He will soothe the pain. He will fill in the blanks.
Through the wonders of the internet, I have had the privilege of "meeting" others in the same situation as me. Widows, single Mamas, precious Christian ladies who are walking this same road as I am. Today, I had some contact with one of them, Leah, via facebook. I think our contact will continue. I think our contact will benefit both of us. I believe God brought her (a total stranger) into my life. I do have my "people" - those couple of GOOD friends who are there, DAY or NIGHT, even when I'm being "ugly", those FEW "core" people who I feel "safest" with. And though I treasure WHAT they are to me, they still can't "get it". Mel (who commented on last night's post) can "get" it. Leah, who I just "met" can "get it". Only someone who has experienced losing their best friend can really "get it" and sometimes, that's just what you need - someone who "gets it"! So, I'm thankful that besides my "people", God has also put these sweet ladies in my life. Ladies who, like me, are walking this walk of being a "widow" much earlier in life than we ever planned to, yet continue to walk, holding HIS hand through this valley. Trusting that He will provide the light for the next step, that He will bring joy back into our lives, that He is reaching down, scooping us up and carrying us.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7