"At the end of your life is an entrance to Heaven. Only I know when you will reach that destination, but I am preparing you for it each step of the way. The ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY of your Heavenly Home gives you Peace and Joy . . . . you will reach your home in My PERFECT TIMING: not one moment too soon or too late. Let the hope of heaven encourage you, as you walk along the path of Life with Me." ~ Jesus Calling
That was TODAY's reading in my Jesus Calling devotional.
TODAY is a SATURDAY.
This SATURDAY marks 23 weeks.
This devotional is VERY SPECIFIC. It states some TRUTHS that I have trusted in for most of my life, but, they became "real" on November 5.
ONLY I KNOW WHEN YOU WILL REACH THAT DESTINATION (Heaven). I'm sure when Rick backed his truck out of the driveway that morning, he had no idea that he'd not be coming back . . . we talked on the phone probably not more than an hour before the accident, making our plans for the rest of the day . . . however, "our" plans were NOT the Lord's plans.
I AM PREPARING YOU FOR IT EACH STEP OF THE WAY. If we keep our eyes on the destination (Heaven), each step of our journey will prepare us for that glorious reunion! And even in the midst of our loss and sadness, we can have PEACE and JOY because of our ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY OF OUR HEAVENLY HOME!
And even though Rick and I had plans . . . for the rest of the day on November 5, and for many years to come . . . YOU WILL REACH YOUR HOME IN MY PERFECT TIMING: NOT ONE MOMENT TOO SOON OR TO LATE.
Again today, I CHOOSE to trust in those truths. I CHOOSE to trust that Rick did not leave this world one moment too soon or one minute too late . . . though in my mind it sure seems too soon!
23 weeks . . .
23 weeks of CHANGE.
23 weeks of UNCERTAINTY.
23 weeks since I've walked into the bedroom and found the TV tuned into the OUTDOOR CHANNEL (and I still CAN'T let it STOP at that channel).
23 weeks of trying to find a new "rhythm" to our life.
23 weeks of going shopping and grabbing "something" (a shirt, a hat, Vanilla Coke, Throwback Mountain Dew, something, anything camo . . .) and remembering that Rick's not home waiting for me to bring him a little surprise.
23 weeks of not picking up dirty socks, empty ice cream bowls or work boots that have been left lying around.
23 weeks of trying to figure out where "I" fit in . . . no longer a "couple" in a "couple's oriented" society.
23 weeks . . . .
23 weeks of CHANGE.
23 weeks of UNCERTAINTY.
Yet, in that UNCERTAINTY and amidst all the CHANGE, some things have remained CONSTANT.
I have been blessed with the BEST KIDS in the world (o.k. I know I'm biased, but they are pretty great - I LOVE YOU Nick & Ashley, Brian & Ashley, Tessa, Taya & Kajsa Jo!)
Those "big kids" who have allowed me to share in their lives have blessed me with wonderful grand-kids (Presten, Daila, Maddie, Ty & Lila - you are the BEST!)
I have some pretty awesome parents, in-laws and siblings (& sibling in-laws).
I have a wonderful church family.
I have some very good friends - old and new.
And . . . my LORD has remained CONSTANT . . . even when I "blow it"!
(I mentioned last time that I will "blow it" and guess what? The VERY NEXT day - not 12 hours later, I "blew it" by "blowing up" at a co-worker).
In ALL that, in the doubts, the uncertainty, the feeling of not belonging, the struggles to understand and be understood, in ALL of it, God's love for me has not become lesser or more or different . . .
HE STILL LOVES ME WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE ♥
As we arrive at SATURDAY, it does get a little less painful. I don't mark every minute relating it to November 5, I breathe a little easier and panic a little less. Yet, today, as I sent Kajsa off with her friend Sarah to celebrate Sarah's Birthday, I had a moment of panic . . . you see, Kajsa was gone with Sarah on November 5. She hasn't gone out of town with Sarah since then . . . ouch! It's all those little things, the things that "haunt" only me. Those things that can't be explained to others, because, really, truly, unless you have "been there", I am realizing, you can't "get it"! And, THAT'S o.k., because if you haven't been there, I don't want you to be . . . for a very long time! :)
God was again GRACIOUS to us. We had a good day! We (Tessa, Taya & myself) got to visit with many of our former college students who we love dearly! We got to hold and love on some of their babies while they attended a wedding, we got to have "Newlin" pizza with them later this evening . . . We were BLESSED today through the love of others for our little family. And for that, we are THANKFUL!
As we journey on, we will continue to trust and hope and persevere, because . . .
♥ HE HAS LOVED US WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE ♥