Each day, the birds sing in the dark.
Clouds have hidden the sun lately and today the wind blew in cold.
Yet, today is no different than every day since mom went to be with Jesus. I wake and must face the fact that each time I walk by her room, she's gone. I will never see her again on earth.
So, when I awake, I choose to sing.
Before my eyes open, I tell God I love Him.
I choose to turn to His love and remind myself that He not only knows my name, He knows my pain.
And His love is unconditional.
He hurts for me.
He longs for me and He will never turn away from me, no matter how hard I cry or how sad I feel.
I can look back and see glimpses of Him preparing me for that day.
Only two weeks or so earlier, I'd chosen to LOVE HER.
Just love her.
To stop putting expectations on her that she could never keep and that would only pull my heart away from hers.
I'd begun to hug and kiss her each morning.
Oh that I'd have started that in the beginning.
Just a few weeks before I had a sense that things were going to change in our life. I told Love that I thought we needed to buy our home.
That same night, the landlord came over and told dad he was selling the house we rent!
How's that for timing?
So, we prayed. And waited.
We decided to buy. That was the beginning of March.
Then I thought about how badly I have longed to live in the Hill country and how I didn't want to keep moving, so we agreed to just move.
But then we learned that WE'RE GOING TO BE GRANDPARENTS AGAIN!
Our Joshua and his wife are having a baby.
So, we said, 'We have to stay nearby...our newest grandbaby is coming and I need to be near them!
That was the night before mom died.
Then dad told us he was leaving and the pain of her being gone and reminders of him everywhere made me want to leave here.
Love and I continued to pray, twice a day together.
Finally, by letting peace be the umpire of my soul (Love knew I needed to work through all this because he already knew we'd be staying) as well as two teachers from school sitting down and letting me let out the pain, I knew we needed to stay. It was just the wise thing to do right now.
Besides, the deer would eat all my beautiful flowers in the hill country!
I cry daily.
Mostly for dad, though. I think after he moves I'll grieve both of them. BUT I can pick up the phone and call him...daily, multiple times if need be, and tell him I love him...and he'll tell me he loves me more...and he probably does.
The day she died, Dan made a loaf of bread in the machine and then left for the night. I had to wait up for it to finish and when it was done, I wrapped it in a towel and went to bed.
Next morning, I gently removed and unwrapped it. As I was cutting two slices, this Scripture kept repeating in my head, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
It was a sacred moment.
I do not live by bread alone.
I cannot get what I need from food.
It will never satisfy the longing in my heart.
He is my portion forever.
It's Him I need.
It's HIM, Jesus, that gives me Life.
He is what nourishes and only HE can fill me till I'm so saturated that He flows out of me.
Today I encouraged two ladies.
No, today He encouraged two ladies and I was his conduit.
It was not me.
It is possible to give life and live fully in the midst of death.
Because Jesus is life and he lives in me.
He rose from the dead and beat death.
I believe that and I live that.
Even in the midst of pain, sorrow, grief, loss.
I may grieve, cry, mourn, and struggle through this, but I am not hopeless.
Today, I learned that a boy that went to school with our Dan when he was in eighth grade, who had the same name, Daniel Paul, died.
He was maybe twenty nine.
He had pneumonia and a blood clot and had been in the hospital since March when he went into a coma and never came out.
I can't fathom their family's grief today.
He aches with them.
May His life in me swallow up the death that I struggle with each day as I open my eyes and remember...as I walk past their room.
"Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: Death is swallowed up in victory.
O Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."
I Corinthians 15:54-58
Because He overcame, I choose to be strong, steadfast, immovable, always remembering that nothing I do for the Lord is ever useless.