Sometimes life just really throws curve balls…
I have been numbering blessings with Ann
#1 A family quilt on the Chiver’s side, Grammy made pillows out of it and gave them out. A piece of family history a reminder of where in California I am from.
#2 A little elephant reminder that Tina bought for me at the Rise and Shine retreat. It’s message is do not let the elephant in the room go unnoticed. Deal with whatever it is that is being ignored and grow through the process.
#3 Cabinets made after the flood in June of 2008 for our kitchen, a blessing, filling me with a reminder of that flood and how God brought us through and back home. Also a reminder to be thankful for the current flooding waters that are now receding.
#1 The way she laughed today in the car when we were on our way home from SMAC playing at Independence.
#2 Her mustache is always better or so she says!!! -LOL
#3 The face he makes when he makes the most terrible noise in the world! And the laughter that followed from the back seat of the car.
I am only on day two of counting when…
I feel the bed move like someone just laid down next to me when I am taking my afternoon nap. It’s the tree man husband his eyes are full of concern and with worried anticipation when I open my eyes to look at him. He tells me that our new brother in law’s father was just found, he had hung himself in the garage. My heart sunk. Sadness runs in. We heard the sirens in the neighborhood. We heard the sounding alarm and never knew it was an arrow to the hearts of our loved ones.
I am overwhelmed with the wash of what that must feel like until I remember…
It was 1996 on a beautiful summer morning I got a phone call from my mother. It was my Godfather. The man who spoke words of encouragement. The man who let me sing and never let me worry about how it sounded but taught me how to joy in the singing. He was a confidant, a friend, and I loved him. His name ….Richard. A neighbor had seen water coming out of the appt. and called 911 after no one had answered the door. They found him in the bath tub. Drowned, Pills near by. I was devastated.
I reach for my tree man and we just begin to pray, because with pain there is only God, only His healing can cover that.
I had been reading 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp …and this passage comes back to me…
I awaken to the strange truth that all new life comes out of the dark places, and hasn’t it always been? Out of darkness, God spoke forth teeming life…..All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness. That fullest life itself dawns from nothing but Calvary darkness and tomb-cave black into the radiance of Easter morning. Out of the darkness of the cross. the world transfigures into new life. And there is no other way. Then..yes? It is dark suffering’s umbilical cord that alone can utter new life. It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace…He makes everything work out according to his plan….Eph 1:11
Grace… asking God, redeem the pain that has come, as only You can.
and I struggle –how is this plan???– I don’t understand and I beg for eyes to see.
And I remember…
It was at his funeral that someone stood and said they presented Richard with the gospel and he had accepted. That was the first time I had felt hope. After that I spent all summer chasing joy, chasing love, chasing something to fill me up. Until one day high on pot and meth and at the end of my rope. I called out to God under a moon lite sky and…. ask Are you there? If you are real will you change my life? Two days later I got a call from my sister – whose name is Joy – she says I’m pregnant will you come out to visit. I took as a sign…a change. I sold what belongings I had, I quit drugs cold turkey, bought a bus ticket to Iowa…and never came back home. Instead I found a man who loves me, I met Jesus, I started a family and my life was never the same…
Is there a plan?? I would say yes….It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace… hindsight is a way to see what God is up to when we are neck deep in life it is just hard to breathe, looking back reminds us of How good He has been when we feel wrecked!
I pray and in hopeful believing that through the pain and death, that loved ones who don’t know Jesus, call to Him. I pray that somehow grace finds every crack in broken hearts and bears the weight for them. That new life springs forth into radiant light even if I cant see it yet….even if they don’t know it yet. That God does what only He can do….
Comfort and Revive the hurting, the weak , the weary and the lost.
and God is at work.
Ps… the littlest one (age 8) who’s father is now gone has asked to know Jesus and be baptized!! -Thank you Jesus