All things work together
We don’t always see the beautiful, behind the scenes, God working in ALL things…the stories, the people, the ‘obstacles and the blessings’ as Carolyn called it~Sometimes we miss it because in our brokenness, our mess and in the confusion of our circumstances, we simply can’t see past the pain or imagine that in “this” God is working (for our good).
Other times, we cry out so desperately for a sign, a word, something tangible, applicable, something real..that when God, in his kindness, comes through in a way that is undeniably from heaven~ You see it and you hold onto it, study it and share it with whoever will listen…
That’s how Wednesday, December 17, 2014 was for me. My heart was broken, my whole body was weak and I wasn’t sure how I could face the reality of Warren’s death another day. It hadn’t even been a month, I was tired and felt a desperateness for Jesus….
Wednesday December 17, 2014 (from my journal entry)
Every day is a sad day. Sad doesn’t necessarily mean tears, it’s just an overwhelming feeling~ Something is just NOT RIGHT.
My morning started with a visit from a friend and coffee. It was nice.
Our hot water heater broke, needs to be replaced. No shower.
Need to run errands. Laundry. What I wouldn’t give to be folding Warren’s clothes. I screamed at Grace during a fight about who knows what.
Grace and I decide to get out and do some Christmas shopping. It’s so surreal. How can this be? I find myself gripping the steering wheel several times asking, out loud “Please God show us something, a sign. We need you so desperately this day…” We thanked Him for every parking spot, friendly cashier, the cool weather…
I offered to drive carpool. Surely, I can drive the girls to cheer. We pick up a sweet 8th grade girl (a friend of Warrens) She and Grace giggle in the backseat. Grace asks her about finals…I can’t help but think ‘Warren should be taking finals’…We pass the high school. Another trigger. (something else Warren will be missing out on) I push these thoughts out of my head..Not now, Julie. Pull yourself together!
The girls pile out of the car. The last door is shut and my heart explodes into a thousand pieces. Tears flow and I can’t do a thing to stop it.
I shouted and I asked “Why? Why? Why” As I cried, somehow the sorrow turned to fear and I felt hopeless.
I drove into the driveway, walked straight inside and headed to Warrens room where I fell onto his bed, grabbing his pillow…I cried. My entire body longed for relief. Bill came and snuggled up next to me. The pain was so deep. I asked the Lord to please just help us. I said “O Lord, we believe, but we need to hear from you. Please give us a sign that you are near and that we are going to be ok. Father please help us…Help us believe.”
It became quiet. A quiet that seemed to bring the much needed relief. I felt exhausted. I could have stayed in that moment forever. It somehow felt safe.
At some point we transitioned to the living room. This time and space seemed sacred. There was almost an unspoken feeling of embarrassment..What just happened. Have we gone crazy? Is this grief going to take over?
As if to break the silence my phone dinged. I went to check it and it was my neighbor from across the street. She told be to go outside, there was something in my front yard she wanted me to see.
I guess I had missed it when I drove up. My eyes had been wet with tears and I’d hurried into the house as fast as possible…
I walked out. It was cold and damp. I felt numb. What I saw in our front yard literally sent chills over my entire body. It was a sign. Seven red glittery letters that spelled out the word BELIEVE.
Some may call it coincidence, others a miracle. I know what I know and this was a gift from the God who weeks earlier promised to hold me. This was a word for me to cling to as I journeyed the most
difficult excruciating season of my life.
He hears me. He sees me. He cares for me. He IS working…
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together….for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28
I am still on the journey of what it looks like to believe when life doesn’t go as you planned or hoped. Moving from head knowledge to heart knowledge, delighting in the Lord and treasuring Him above all else. Surrendering all and fully trusting that He is who He says He is.
It seems like “firsts” are still the norm for us. As Christmas quickly approaches we have decided for the first time since Warren died to be at home…Just the 3 of us. But we are BELIEVING, fully expectant that it’s going to be ok. It just will. And, in fact, maybe it will be better than ok.
Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus..The baby boy in the manger that has changed EVERYTHING!