Sometimes, out of the blue, tears still come. It’s okay for the tears because the just say I miss him. But they don’t last long because I have been so blessed. We had over 50 years together and I have so very many precious memories. But I think about those who didn’t have so much time. All our children knew their father and all our grandchildren knew and have good memories of their grandfather. I think of those who did not have the blessing of knowing their father or grandfather. I turn my tears into prayers of intercession for those who don’t have so many good memories and ask God to bless them and comfort them. If you are one of those please be assured my prayers are for you. Let the tears come but also look to God for He will surely comfort and bless you.
It was 18 degrees when I woke up this morning. All the outdoor pipes I knew about were covered so I wasn’t concerned. Midafternoon I knock on my door and a gentleman said I appeared to have a problem. As I looked out I saw a fountain shooting up over the roof. I didn’t know the source so I shut off the main water valve at the meter. I had no idea where the connection for that water spout was and panicked. I called my son-in-law to come out. While I was waiting for his arrival I prayed. Yes, that should have been my first response before the panic but I’m still learning. As I prayed I was led to get a shovel and look at the pipe. As I traced the pipe I had to get snippers to trim dead branches back. There it was. Several connections under all the growth leading to the two (yes, there was another water spout around the corner of the house) water spouts or fountains. I disconnected them, turned the water back on and smiled and thanked God for the knowledge He gave me. I called my son-in-law and thanked him for heading my way. What did I learn? God truly supplies all our needs if we only look to Him, ask Him and listen to Him.
When a loved one is taken from us we grieve. But after the initial grieving we must understand 3 basic things. God is in control and, though He didn’t cause the leaving, He allowed it in His wisdom and timing. Our life is incredibly short in the time span of all eternity. God has a purpose for us to still be on this earth in our bodies of flesh and bones. As we walk through our grieving process we must start meditating on these 3 principles and allow God to make them real in our minds and hearts. When we’ve accepted the first 2 it is time to pray and listen to the 3rd one, God’s purpose for us still being here. Our purpose first is to fellowship with God. Then we are also allow Him to work through us. His work through us can take many various forms during the different phases of our lives on this earth. We must be open to changes in our ministry as God leads us through our walk. Let’s open up and listen daily.
0I bought a pillow the other day. It is a very firm pillow that keeps it’s shape. I place it beside me in the bed. When I wake up during the night I feel the pillow next to me and fall back to sleep quicker. It’s nice feeling something next to me. It’s no longer my husband who was next to me over 50 years, but it does help. Where did I get this idea of using a pillow to help me sleep? I was in the store and as I cut through the pillow isle on my way elsewhere, I heard an inner voice say, “You need a pillow to sleep beside.” I’ve learned to pay attention to those inner voices and am so glad I did. If you have accepted Jesus as Your Lord and Savior, you also have an inner voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to you. Learn to listen for it. Practice hearing it in all things. Jesus said He is always with us, ready to comfort and lead us. Let Him.
One of my grandsons gave me a very generous gift card for a restaurant. I invited a couple to go with me as my guest. It was so very nice being with a couple again. It seems couples don’t like or maybe think about inviting a single to join them for a meal. I’ve missed conversations that include the male aspect and had a delightful time. It’s sad that the friends we socialize with change when our circumstances change. I’m sure there are several reasons couples don’t want to be with singles. I’m not sure what they all are. My husband and I frequently invited a single to join us for a meal out. If you’re a couple, it might make a good ministry for you to think about those who are alone. They are not dangerous or competition to your own relationships. They just want to share the love of God with others. I thank this couple for going out with me and they’ve said we will do this more often. If you’re alone, I hope you, also, will enjoy the fellowship of couples along with the fellowship of singles.
As I was having a melt-down and self-pity party I got to thinking about how God must have felt as His Son, Jesus, hung on the cross taking on our sins. God had to turn away from His Son at that time because God does not stand in the presence of sin. It must have been very painful, even more painful than any of us losing someone we loved. (Mark 15:34-35 NIV) 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). God knew His Son would live again and join Him for all eternity but He would live with the scars of His sacrifice for us. Many of us know we will be united with our loved ones for all eternity because of what God and His Son, Jesus, did for us. Yet the hole is still in our hearts. But that’s part of love. When the hurt gets too much, let the tears flow. It’s part of the emotions God gave us. Without emotions, we wouldn’t be loving beings. But as the tears flow, remember God knows our pain for He has experienced an even deeper pain and He reaches down to us with His love and peace and reminds us how much He loves us.
As I was thinking there would be no presents under my tree I recalled how for the past several years my husband and I didn’t get gifts for each other. There was nothing we needed nor particularly wanted. What we did instead is give an extra gift of money, what we would have spent on each other, to someone in need. I am continuing that tradition now. I have the joy of giving as if I am giving to my husband because I am giving in his memory. This helps the emotional strain of the day. Give it a try. Not only does it make you feel good, it really helps someone feel the love of God through you and that is a wonderful blessing for both the giver and the gift receiver.
The word for today, “Look at what you have left, not what you’ve lost.” That word is so right on. I’ve lost my beloved husband but I have 3 children, 2 in-law children, 8 grandchildren and so many wonderful memories. All of life comes down to the direction we look. The most important direction to look for a full and abundant life is to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Looking their direction assures us a life that is heading the right direction, the direction for which life was created. A life filled with the very breath of God. What more can we ask? His love is more than enough.
What to do when you have a meltdown? It depends on why the meltdown. There is a meltdown of anger. When that happens, we must look at why we are angry: not getting our way, feelings hurt, etc. Any reason must also come to the decision of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a choice and prayer will minister to the emotions. When the meltdown is from grief we must go to prayer and thank God for the blessings we have. We can thank Him for the time we had with the one we miss. It’s not a sin to cry but it is a sin to wallow in self-pity. Let the tears come but be sure to turn them into thanksgiving for God’s love surrounding us, His children. Then, after talking to our Father, lets get our mind onto others.
I always design and print my own Christmas cards. I actually do the design during the Advent season for the next year’s card while inspired by the music and decorations of the season. I mail them out at Thanksgiving so people get them before they are too rushed to take time to read the message. But now it is harder to do because there is now only one name on the card. Life is full of adjustments to changes as we continue to grow. Adjusting to changes can be a difficult thing even for someone who likes continual changes. The question is, how do we handle the changes we don’t like? We ask God to show us something we can like in the change. I like that my last name on the card is the same last name of my husband. We had a wonderful 50+ years together. Though I must only sign my own name now, I can take joy remembering all the wonderful Christmases we celebrate the coming to this earth of our Savior, Jesus, together. Every negative has a positive is we are willing to look for it.