Yesterday, I went home. Sorta. I went back to my old church. The man who had been my pastor for fifteen years was officially retiring and a special celebration was being held to honor him and his wife. I was so glad to go. There were so many faces that I love, but don’t see often enough. One of those, a dear friend, hugged me tight then spoke these words to me, “I never knew how hard it would be!” The it she was referring to was life. Having dealt with quite a bit of it in the last few years, I had to agree wholeheartedly. Then she added a delightful ending….”but it just gets sweeter and sweeter!” Yes, yes indeed. And, because I tend to learn things the hard way, God needed to reinforce this lesson.
An unexpected hurt from an unexpected source. The pain was more than I could handle. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t….anything. I sobbed and sputtered, “God, I don’t know what to do!” I went for a walk (in the cemetery, where no one cares if I blubber like a baby). I prayed. I cried. I reached out to a friend whom I could trust. Another godly woman happened to text at just the right time – a trustworthy soul. Together, without the knowledge of the other, they spoke truth to me. Spoke encouragement to me. Still, this couldn’t be right. My heart was utterly broken.
Then evening brought a great church service where God was speaking to my heart. I didn’t care for the message, but was thankful He chose to speak. My obedience was necessary. I still didn’t understand. And still I hurt.
The night was hard. I kept the dear husband – who had been patiently talking to me, walking with me and praying for me – awake for an hour, afraid of the moment when I would be left alone with my thoughts. At last, he could hold out no longer and sleep overtook him. With the lights out, the enemy’s attack on my mind continued, even stronger than before. I tossed and turned. I cried and wrote. I prayed, “God help me.” I didn’t know what else to pray. Finally, God grabbed my attention long enough to remind me that I must praise Him even in this. That my focus must be on Him. I nestled down into my pillow and in His arms and slept.
The morning came and the fear and doubt and hurt came with it. Coffee in bed became a crying session. Tenderly, the dear husband reminded God was in control. God was working. This was Him. It would be okay. An unexpected text spoke some of what God had been trying to speak to my heart. The perfect words at the perfect time. Peace came. My heart was flooded with an understanding that could only come from Him.
Later, an unexpected blessing. An interview. Today. A job. Starting soon. Much needed, long prayed for.
Then, a sweet time with a precious friend. Healing time. I felt God knitting our heart a bit tighter, a bit stronger, drawing us closer to Him.
Ahh…life. So very hard. But sweeter and sweeter each day as we experience His grace and His mercy anew.
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5 NLT
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!