Today is one of those days where I just kind of feel like things around me are swirling and it’s difficult just to keep up. I forgot to take important paperwork with me today so they could be sent off (some people know what I’m talking about, no need to go into detail… if you would like to pray for this unspoken request, I would love that!). I feel like I physically have just hit a wall (3 nights in a row of VBS praise team rehearsal on top of life will do that to you), but pressed on to get some things completed because the clutter and unfinished business is driving me nuts!!! So then I went to check the mail & got a notice that a bill payment did not go through (one I did not realized was linked to Jeff’s card that was cancelled… this is a bill that gets paid annually, so it’s just now coming up). BUT THEN… God IMMEDIATELY showed His mercy in the form of a note from my friend Andrea. Just a quick card in the mail wishing me a happy early birthday and telling me she was going to be praying extra hard for us this Father’s Day. As if I wasn’t already crying from the stress of seeing yet another hurdle to get over, now I’m crying tears of joy at the beauty of the Body of Christ.
So then as I’m working around my apartment, struggling to hold myself up to complete stuff, I just suddenly became overwhelmed… for no reason. (This is normal for widows if you didn’t know) I just started crying in my bathroom as I was trying to clean it up, wondering why I felt so helpless and needy and like I just couldn’t catch up no matter how hard I tried. It is such a crazy feeling to constantly be overwhelmed, because while Jeff was so sick and eventually on hospice, I didn’t feel this overwhelmed, I didn’t feel this helpless. Sure I had my moments, but it wasn’t just a constant feeling. Not like it is today. I realize now, it is because when in the midst of the craziness of the cancer battle at the end, we had constant help. Sometimes it was in the form of people dropping in, sometimes it was in the form of family & friends being just an emergency call away, at the end it was in the form of amazing nurses at our side, and in the immediate days after his passing, it was in the form of meals, visitors, prayers, loads of cards in the mail, calls, people offering to help, etc. And while I am still getting so much help, especially with places for Jacob to be this summer, you notice that you don’t get the daily check ups from many of people that were once there… and it’s not because they don’t love or care for us, it’s just easy to go back to normal life after a while. I guess I’ve done such a good job of handling life that people who are not immediately involved in it just don’t see it anymore.
This post is not for pity, nor is it begging for help (although if the Holy Spirit leads you to offer help, I will not turn it down), this is not to draw attention to my struggles, it is simply to be open and honest about what goes on in the life of a young widow, and to shed light on where the blessings from the Lord still come in the midst of the storm.
For ONE, the card I already mentioned previously.
TWO… on the facebook page of the singer Mandisa, she posted songs that speak to her in times of grief and asked others to share songs that speak to them in their time of grief. Some of mine are :
- I Am- Crowder
- Oceans- Hillsong UNITED
- Even If- MercyMe
- Thy Will- Hillary Scott
- Praise You In This Storm- Casting Crowns
- Good Good Father- Chris Tomlin
(Just to name a few)
Seeing the list from Mandisa and other people adding their favorites has greatly blessed me and of course God knew I would need these songs today!
THREE, family & friends who will let you just cry it out and tell them your struggles.
FOUR, the unconditional love of a dog (dogs are the best…especially my Tango).
FIVE, deacons who love on you and offer help in any way they can.
I could list many more, but these are the ways today in which the Lord has shown me that He is always here with me.
Yesterday a friend said she felt that because of all the prep with praise team, she felt like the devil was trying to get after her. So that’s when we are just going to praise harder, shine brighter for Jesus, show His love to everyone we meet, especially in this coming week at Vacation Bible School. We are an example of Christ’s love, and the devil hates that! So since he knows that he cannot pluck us from the Father’s hands (John 10:28), Satan tries to destroy our witness, he attacks us in hopes that it will rattle us and get us angry, make us doubt the goodness of God or the presence of God, anything he can do to make it look like we don’t believe what we know to be true.
So in a moment when I could just as easily go on facebook and blast about my horrible day, I choose joy and truth. Joy– no matter what life brings, I am saved by the grace of God, a God who will never leave me, nor forsake me, a God who sees all and knows the struggles I am dealing with. Truth– life is going to be hard at times, but I am still blessed and will always have the Holy Spirit to comfort me & will one day see the Heavenly Father face to face.
So if you are struggling, if you feel like you just can’t seem to get ahead, feeling like you keep running into brick walls… Brothers, Sisters, Friends… I feel you! Pray about it! Let people love on you! Let GOD love on you!
2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I’M COUNTING IT ALL JOY TODAY…. THE FATHER IS WORKING IN ME.