Today brought us another Sunday. Another day that I got to “be” Rickey at church. For the most part, that’s a good thing – it’s fun to greet the same people that Rick faithfully greeted every Sunday! I LOVE to hear their memories of Rick being at that front door each week! For being a “quiet” guy, he sure touched a lot of lives!
My Aunt & Uncle brought us a “goodie” box of freezer foods – easy stuff for us to thaw and heat and/or eat when we want/need it – coffee cake, bread, home-made jam & applesauce, a pie, pasties . . . J What a nice treat! A really good family friend "greeted" and handed out bulletins with me. He (again) pulled me aside, asking how I was doing and reminded me (again) to call if there is ANYTHING we need! And, I promised him that I would. He & his wife are so awesome - and they are just the people who I KNOW without a doubt would be here in a MINUTE if I called on them! What a blessing friends like that are! It goes beyond the surface "if you need anything" comment that is thrown out quickly and because it's the "thing" to say . . . they mean it, and I believe they mean it!
Taya & I ran to town quickly after church and came home with SLIPPERY roads to drive on. Fortunately, those slippery roads resulted in a call telling us that there would be NO SCHOOL tomorrow! Gotta LOVE a snow (ice) day – especially when you get advance warning, so the alarms for tomorrow morning can be shut off and we aren’t awaiting the early morning cancellation phone call.
Twice today, I found myself feeling the huge hole in my life without Rick (not that I don’t feel it every minute of every day – sometimes there are just reminders that trigger it even-more-so). The first was while sitting in church. As I looked around, I noted that most everyone in the church is a couple. Not that I didn’t know that, it just kind of “hit” me. Then during the sermon, I was again struck that I was sitting “alone”. In a room full of people, sitting right next to my “favorite” child (that’s a JOKE – I was sitting by Tessa’s friend Cody whom we all refer to as my “favorite” – Rick even told one of my co-workers that Cody was my favorite!), I was still “alone”. I MISSED Rick’s arm around me. I MISSED scooting closer to his side. I MISSED the place I always felt I “fit” so perfectly, that place I always felt safe, that place I always felt loved. I MISSED ALL OF IT. And I sat there ALONE. When Taya and I were in town, there was a husband and wife shopping in Younkers. She was looking for bargains (I imagined!), he was patiently standing off to the side, adding his opinion when she asked for it. Later, I saw him, sitting outside of the fitting room again, patiently waiting for her. Rick did that. He was SO PATIENT with me shopping, with our three girls shopping. He NEVER complained! Friends always commented on how good it was of him to be so patient when shopping with us. Once, as he sat PATIENTLY outside of Macy’s, people watching, he began to think that there must have been another entrance to the mall from the store and that we had exited the store that way, forgetting about him! TWO hours later, we emerged from the only entrance to the mall, and found him, still sitting patiently, waiting for us, “his girls”! So, today, I shopped “alone”, after sitting in church “alone”. . . all part of this “new normal” that I’m working daily to become accustomed to.
Thankfully, as I sat “alone”, as I shopped “alone”, I knew deep down, that I wasn’t really “alone”. I’m NEVER alone. I have my PRECIOUS girls. I have dear friends. I have wonderful family members. I have JESUS! My devotional this morning reminded me If you believe that I am sovereign over EVERY aspect of your life, it is possible to trust me in ALL situations . . . accept things exactly as they are – and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances. Yes, I DO BELIEVE that He is sovereign over EVERY aspect of my life. And I, again today, have chosen to TRUST HIM in all situations. HE was not surprised that I was ALONE today. He did not leave me there ALONE today. He gently pulled me close to his side, underneath His everlasting arm. Into a place that is even MORE loving, a place that I’m even MORE safe, and a place that I “fit” even better than I did by Rick’s side . . . THAT is an amazing COMFORT. For I KNOW how loved, safe and comfortable I was next to Rick, so to know that God’s love and protection for me is EVEN GREATER is the comfort that again brings the “peace that passes understanding”!
On this journey, I’ve had the privilege to “meet” some new friends. These are dear ladies who I’d have never met were I not on this journey. I’ve “met” them because we are walking this journey called “widow-hood” together. Miles may separate us. Circumstances may be varied. Our lifestyles may be different. We may never meet in person this side of Heaven. But, we are “knit” together by common threads. We have said goodbye to our husbands much too early (in our minds). We are “single” moms. We love the Lord. And through the wonderful tool called the internet, we have “met” each other. Leah is one of those ladies. You can read her blog and her story HERE. TODAY, as I was feeling “alone”, God used Leah to reach out to me! Leah sent me a Facebook message thanking me for the Birthday wishes I had sent her way (her Birthday was yesterday). She also told me that I was the WINNER in the giveaway she had done on her blog! I NEVER WIN ANYTHING!!! And today, of all days . . . WOW – I serve a GREAT GOD! His love and mercy NEVER cease to amaze me! So, tonight, as I listen to the sounds of laughter down the hall from the girls and Cody, I am THANKFUL! I’m thankful for the blessings that God has given me. I thankful for all of the reminders that He sends JUST when I need them . . . I’m thankful that I can Trust in the Lord with ALL my heart and lean not unto my own understanding, in ALL my ways, I can acknowledge HIM and HE will make my paths straight! Proverbs 3:5 & 6