As I was sitting at my desk this past week, I sat and looked at the sky. It had rained and stormed off and on a couple of days so it was very overcast. One day the clouds were trying to lift so the sun peeked through from time to time. Just when I could see the pretty blue color with the beauty of the sun, dark clouds would cover the scenery. I could see the jets that were just taking off from the airport and I envied them because once they reach altitude, they get to admire the shades of blue and puffy white clouds. I was left with the dark and gray overcast.
This scene reminded me of my grief journey. I have been walking this path for the past 7 years as of tomorrow. At first the journey for me was all cloudy, dark, and overcast. I didn't see any blue at all; the sun couldn't pierce through the thickness of my grief. As time passes, I've been able to see more of the beautiful blue sky. Don't get me wrong, I still have days and times that storms move in. I have had storms that ended up staying longer than what they should have; and they come more times than what should be allowed. I can say with certainty that after they hit me from all sides with gale force winds, torrential rain fall, and pain that takes my breath away; I am still standing.
Twenty five years ago on June 12th I married my best friend. We got engaged in August 1992 and decided on a June wedding that happened June 12th, 1993. I had so much fun planning my wedding with the help from my family and friends. It was a long time coming, we dated for 5 years off and on. We endured a couple of hard break ups and one of them was for a substantial amount of time. My heart was broke a couple of times while we dated. When we finally worked everything out and we were engaged, I was so happy. I felt so lucky to be marrying my best friend. We were looking forward and excited for our future together. I was truly blessed to have found Kirk. He made my heart sing.
That's how I felt when I looked in the mirror after I lost Kirk I didn't recognize the woman looking back. I looked pale and lifeless. My eyes that were always full of life looked sunken in and sad, no sparkle to be found. To be honest, I couldn't stand to look at myself because the reality of what life had just thrown me was written all over my face; my eyes told the tale. Women that were complete strangers would come up to me in public, pat my hand, and give me a look of first hand knowledge and understanding.
"The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?" Proverbs 20:24
Our lives are all marked with milestone dates on the calendar. We all have celebrated the big birthday numbers, or special anniversary years. I remember going to several 50th anniversary celebrations for my grandparents and great grandparents. We just celebrated my parents 50th anniversary this past February. And of course we can't forget the big birthday celebrations, 16th, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th....etc. etc. We have all been to parties to celebrate with those we love and care about.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love HIm. James 1:12 NIV
Have you ever looked up the meaning of the word perseveres? It means to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success. Do you consider yourself a person that perseveres? Do you know and admire others that display this in their daily lives?
Psalm 62:7 NIV “My salvation and my honor depend on God; for He is my mighty rock, my refuge.”
For over half a year, I have been sitting at my new area at work. I work at a big hospital in Indianapolis but my job is within a doctor’s office. I was able to move from a room that has no windows to what I like to call my “penthouse suite”. I have four big windows that overlook our parking lot and our cancer center. In front of the cancer center is a pond that has a fountain. I am three floors up so I get to see the geese and ducks enjoy their water oasis. I’m not going to lie, I love watching them swim. Most days, when it’s beautiful and sunny, I envy them.
"The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and ask God for help." I Timothy 5:5
As I have met widows and talked with them, the one theme that comes up in conversations is how much the word "widow" is despised. I always agree with them; the word is awful. The word to me sounds so lonely and cold. As a child, I had two great grandmothers that were widows. In my mind, they were the poster women for that word. But they fit the word widow to me, they were older and lived alone since their children were grown and had families of their own.
So how did that "W" word become a word associated with me?
"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3 NIV
Treasured Memories: We all have them. Memories that fill your heart with joy and happiness that brings a smile to your face. Some bring sadness or maybe even anger when you reflect on past experiences. Either way, we all have them.
But some memories become treasures; beautiful gems that sparkle in any light. When you lose loved ones, those memories are priceless. Memories are something no one can take away from you. They are yours and only yours.
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