Hoping to share the love, joy, and grace I have received in my own life.

The Bandage is Removed

on October 20, 2016

Today (well, technically yesterday now, as it is after midnight and I can’t sleep) didn’t go as planned.  I learned lessons…more lessons about life, dealing with it, and more about recognizing how the Holy Spirit can move in my life.  I have so many important things to share, but need to start at the beginning.  You know those days where you wake up and something is amiss?  That’s how my day started.  I woke up 45 minutes later than I wanted to, but get up early enough each day that those extra minutes of sleep didn’t throw too much off.  I still had time for 30 minutes of devotion (which at the time I had no idea how much I would need that later), time to make my husband’s lunch and coffee and get him out the door on time, and time with Amy before she headed out to start her day.

As I headed out the door myself I suddenly felt like I forgot something.  I unlocked the door of the house and reentered to be sure the coffee pot was off and my straightener was unplugged.  I wouldn’t call myself obsessive over these kinds of things, but today was just not a normal day.  The air was funny.  Something wasn’t right.  I rechecked my purse.  I had everything I needed.  I took a deep breath and headed to the car.  My phone rang, just before I put the key in the ignition.  Amy was having car trouble.  No big deal, we got her car back home and I would give her a ride to school and still be to work on time to open the church office.  I dropped Amy off and headed for work.  I was going to arrive at the office just in time to open right at 8:00, which was later than normal, but totally acceptable on this “off”day.  A red light caused me to make a split second decision to turn right and take what could’ve been a quicker route to work.  I didn’t think, while making that turn, about what it was leading me to.  I drove just a mile or two and realized I would be passing Lighthouse, my church, and also where Trevor is buried.  I cannot pass the cemetery without stopping.  As I approached the church, I considered that stopping at the cemetery would cause me to open the office a few minutes late, but I had an overwhelming reassurance that it was ok and that I needed to stop.  I actually pulled into the cemetery, drove down the lane, and rolled down my passenger window as if I was just going to holler, “Hey, Trevor, I miss you!  I was just passing by, running late.  I love you!” and speed off.  That air around me, much like that which wouldn’t let me leave my house this morning without double checking things, nudged me to get out of the car.  I walked over to the stone.  Stared at my son’s name and then the names of my husband and I.  I felt as if I was covered in a warm blanket. This comfort came over me that I honestly cannot explain and I was satisfied walking back to my car, after a prayer of thankfulness for the reassurance, which I knew had come from God.

The day didn’t start as planned but on my ride to work, I was reminded about my devotion just a few hours before.  Part of my study this morning were words from Beth Moore regarding the “anti-blessing” or “blessing of restriction”…blessings that come in ways we may not acknowledge at the time as being blessings.  My late arising was a blessing today because I hadn’t left home when Amy would need me.  The red light and last minute decision to take a different route was a blessing because I would soon need the reassurance that I experienced at the cemetery to get me through this day.  I made it to work feeling good about the day, opened the office and went right to work.  Suddenly things started to go very wrong.  As texts came, “Have you heard the news?”, my heart sank and I was suddenly feeling sick to my stomach.  As I was trying to figure out what was happening, my friend, Lisa, called.  There was a fire.  My friend (who was also my past co-worker and one of Amy’s 6th grade teachers) and her 3 year old son died as a result of that fire.  Immediately my heart went there…to that place that is so dark, so painful, so…indescribable, really.  My thought quickly went to her mother.  A mother who had just received news that not only had she lost a child, but a precious grandchild, as well.  My heart was bleeding.  Immediately the pain was so intense.  I was overwhelmed with questions…so many questions.  I started thinking of everything I could about my sweet friend, her sparkling personality, the smile that took up half of her face, her laugh, her love of life…and then to her son, that round face little guy who loved tractors and most certainly his momma.  Another mother on this planet did not love her child more than she treasured hers.  How can this be?  The next few minutes are a little bit of a blur.  I talked with people in my church office, texted my pastor there and knowing where I needed to be left to head to my other family, my OCEC family.  I worked for the co-op for 10 years.  Although I left to work for the church nearing two years ago, I still count my past co-workers as family.  We’ve been through too much together.  I can’t describe all of the conversations and feelings that filled this day, but I need to list some of the lessons I learned.

  1. The Holy Spirit is alive and guides me, knowing where I need to be to prepare me for what is coming next.  I have never been more sure of this than today.
  2. In the words of Pastor Chris (a past co-worker/friend’s husband, whom I just met today)…”Love is real.”  We will never know why, but we know that love is real.  It is felt.  We are able to keep moving through this life because of that love.  Love is real.
  3. God doesn’t make bad things happen.  God is there to bring us through the things that we cannot ever understand.  He works in us and in others to lead us to a greater understanding of this life and the life ahead.  God knows pain.  He knows it all.  We can yell at him and he can take it.  He will never stop loving us.  His love is so very REAL.
  4. Life is short.  No matter who we must let go of, it will never be easy.  When we don’t have an explanation, it becomes even more difficult, but love…love gets us through.  The love of the person that has died, the love of those around us, and the love of God.  (I know I stated that in#3, but I needed to reiterate.)  Love gets us somehow through the craziness that is this world.
  5. People are valuable.  I cannot possibly list the many, many people that encouraged me to keep going today, no matter how bad I wanted to just quit…to go home, close my bedroom door, flop myself on my bed, cover my head and just cry until the tears wouldn’t come anymore.  Instead I supported others and tried to exhibit the Light that I am so privileged to see after such a season of darkness.  People need people.  My OCEC family will forever be my family.  They knew me before my life became all that it is today and they were with me through the hardest days of my journey.
  6. The pain that I received when Trevor died allows me to feel things that others can’t.  I was immediately in the mind and heart of a mother…a mother with earth shattering news.  There is no description that would ever do that justice, so I will leave it at that.  That pain doesn’t leave me.  It can be masked and when covered in prayer and faithfulness, it can be lighter, but when faced with another situation, knowing another mother is hearing news that I have heard, it is like the bandage is ripped off abruptly and the blood of that pain comes oozing out just as it did on the day it became a part of me.

As we move through the next few days, my prayers will be for my own family (as we say good-bye to my Uncle Lynn), for the family of sweet Maggie and her precious son, Amos, for my OCEC family, for Maggie’s students and for all of her other friends. Most of all…my prayers are for this world.  I pray that in this election season that seems bogged down with more hatred than love people will start to realize that love is real (THANK YOU, PASTOR CHRIS!) and that love is what gets us through.  Love.  I will pray for more love.



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