Dear praying friends,
It’s been now over a month since I last was able to sit down and write an entry for the Caring Bridge site. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, or even felt at times a tugging on my heart that I needed to. It’s just that I have been fairly overwhelmed by the minutes, and days and weeks of this past month to have time to write.
I have several entries just waiting to be written. The thoughts are bumping around in my head and my heart is bursting just waiting for God to grant me the time to write. I would appreciate your prayers that God would make His timing plain.
I believe I’ve been doing the right thing, spending a lot of time with several of the children listening… talking…listening some more…praying with them, listening even more…and trying to show them how very much I love them in ways that just fill up my days (and often nights too!)
I’ve been doing pretty well this past month, but last Sunday when we were singing “My Jesus, I Love Thee” I just lost it and couldn’t stop crying. Verse three brought back images of Chris’s last moments with us and it just completely undid me.
I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
Verse four was a touch of a balm to my soul:
In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I pictured Chris up in heaven loving Jesus, singing to Him, delighting in Him and affirming his love for His Jesus. I could almost hear him singing this song loudly (he liked to sing loudly with all his heart in church) and see him with both hands raised up high. This helped me to stop crying and feel better…at least just a little bit.
In my missing Chris lately, I’ve realized one of the ways he loved me most–there really are a LOT of ways he loved me, so let me rephrase that–one of the ways he loved me best (ie. spoke my love language) was giving me time; time to pull away to be with the Lord, time to spend in His Word and in excellent books that would nurture my soul in the Lord.
He gave me time to be alone to listen to sermons (as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post–I LOVE Alistair Begg’s gracious, humble, solidly biblical, relevant teaching!).
Chris gave me time to do art journaling so that I could meditate on the promises and truths of the Scriptures and the many books I usually work my way through (albeit slowly; no, more like VERY slowly, as in sometimes years! I’ve always thought, however, that slow and steady is better than not at all. Unfortunately, life right now kind of feels more like “not at all” than “slow and steady”).
Chris’s gift of time to be alone and read and journal and draw were one of the most significant ways God used to recharge me these past few years. As I journal and record gold nuggets of God’s truth, I intersperse drawings and sketches, and sometimes little watercolor paintings. In some inexplicable way, when I do art journaling, my heart feels drawn into God’s presence and I have a greater awareness of His nearness. I also find I have this keen sense of satisfied delight in Him.
I miss that priceless gift my husband gave me. As long as we live in this world, we must work to believe. We must fight for joy, daily petition our Lord for faith to trust Him in everything, and preach the gospel to ourselves moment by moment.
This is the greatest work I think we can ever do. Everything else flows out of what our hearts and minds are grounded in, as in Galatians 5:5-6,
“But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
And Jesus in John 6:29 reminds me, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
Chris and I have both fought to “believe in Him (Jesus) whom He (the Father) has sent.” Chris no longer needs to work for faith. He has obtained the Promise.
I, on the other hand, must work to believe, to press on in faith and trust each day. How I long to do that more and more! When God reorders my life by taking away the one who loved me best on this earth, He reminds me that He who loves me for all eternity is still there with me.
The Lord promises to make me lie down in green pastures and lead me beside still waters. Father, help me to believe this when there seems to be no pasture in sight, when I hear no sound of still waters!
And thank you, friends, for continuing to pray that God would refresh my soul with Himself for the many days, weeks and months ahead!
I think it’s time I rediscover
All the ground that I have covered,
Like seek ye first what a verse
We are pressed but not crushed
Perplexed but don’t despair
We are persecuted but not abandoned
We are no longer slaves
We are daughters and sons
And when we are weak we are very strong
And neither death nor life nor present
Nor future nor depth nor height
Can keep us from the love of Christ
And the Word I need is the Word that was
Who put on flesh to dwell with us
In the beginning
~from the album, Conversations