Our old office (where we have not been in over 2 years was closed this weekend as the doctor moved into a new space and my husband's greatest fan, Heather, sent texts to us through her tears as she "packed it up" and reminded us of how much she loved working there, how my husband changed her life and that she was saved in that office. She, too, said "I know this chapter is ending with an even greater one beginning but I just needed to pause in the middle of the chaotic moving process and tell you how much I love you and am so excited for your next chapter...." Her words reminded me of the mourning we have already done...many times over it seems; trusting in God to not only see us through but not waste one day of it and replace that pain with something that would be eternal and exciting with an expectation of ONLY GOD attached to it. Reminding her it was time for her to "begin her new dance" is something that I realized Danny and I had already begun long ago (perhaps as early as when Danny first got sick), although finding our feet has been the longest of journeys and walked alone it seems much of the time without the security of our footing beneath us to carry us with any step of our own for a purpose which is not. Reflecting, I realize that is just the way God wants it. Utter dependence upon the Master for the piece that He is creating that we cannot possibly understand except when we look from the rear view.
One of my dearest friends, Jaynee, who has come into my life by God's design and stood faithful in prayer for our family has too experienced her own shift of life getting married yesterday. I realized as I was reading what she wrote to me that God is so faithful to the cries and pain of our heart. Her words lifted me to an eternal perspective when she shared her heart and said something so touching to me recounting my voice mail message to her: "I am amazed by your sweet and timely words. As usual, they hit their mark. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude about so much and most of those things can be traced back to you and your faithful prayers and friendship." She thanked me for those prayers (as undeserving as I felt reading them) and then she added this: "For without them, I might have given up and never realized that what I hold now is worth every bit of the journey and pain which pressed me into something brand new." I understand that so well...I understand the pain of closing a door that someone else slammed shut first, I understand the pain of feeling forced to move on when things feel comfortable and I also understand waiting until God says "It's time." Perhaps that is why I am not sad...I realize that we have walked a journey that has led to a life yet to be discovered for a greater purpose than even which we have suffered. I have repeatedly said that when the pain of holding on is greater than letting go, then letting go brings a greater sense of finality as well as a greater hope of trust in a God who loves us and is deliberately involved in our journey toward our destination. As she shared that perspective as well, I looked at her marriage and the joy within it that is causing her soul to sing as the way the destination of hope will be culminated in a unique way for each of us as God restores the years of thievery.
I have learned that those who "hear" are more unforgiving than those who "see." While those who see develop a perspective that cannot be diminished as they walk through their experiences, those who hear can convince themselves of anything they choose and what they choose usually is determined by their own conscience and its limited and self-righteous perspectives. I have also learned that being able to lay pride aside and focus not on what others want you to be, but on what He wants you to be is where your soul and your heart become united. When those two entities connect, the ability to reach beyond ourselves becomes unlimited, what we expect from life becomes unlimited and what we know God is capable of in our lives also becomes unlimited.
The next time you contemplate a battle, contemplate a purpose for it and contemplate what you will risk for it. While you may not understand or appreciate the losses associated with making progress, just remember you actually do not have to. Simply trust Him and follow Him as He leads you. Within the darkness, the light of day is born.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.