Good Grief

Good Grief

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Puzzle Pieces

Today has been a bit bittersweet.  The stress of knowing May 18th(would have been our 15th wedding anniversary) was coming up made me feel yucky along with many other things.  Seems to be so much hurt floating all around me, just worldly stuff, divorce, financial issues, job loss, sickness, betrayal, time and energy suckers, just real world life. While I've reflected so many times through the years about May 18, 1996, how perfect it was, magical, happy, everything I had ever dreamed a wedding would ever be with a man I dreamt of all my life.  It almost seemed unreal, and life just got better and better.  Our marriage was not perfect by far, but we were perfect for each other.  We built our life together, God gave us amazing babies, things continued to work out. 
 Up on April 4, 2010.  While the bitterness is sometimes unbearable I so try and focus on the time Shane and I had together. Yep, I still feel cheated for the time that I don't get to spend with Shane, but I truly am so thankful for the time we had, short but wonderful. I will say it again, we had something some search a lifetime for and so thankful I was allowed to experience it. 
I usually spend my time with God at night when we all are settled in and kids are quiet. For mother's day I purchased the kid version of my new devotional for the kids.  I told them I wouldn't be a mother without them, so happy mother's day to them.  I usually read mine then read theirs, I did tonight and for some reason their version spoke to me more than mine.  Here is part of
what it said...
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. Is 55:9
"I gave you an amazing mind.  With it you can think great thoughts and dream great dreams.  But My mind is infinitely bigger and more amazing.  My thoughts contain all of creation and the universe, all of the past, present and future.  And because I understand all things and all times, My thoughts and My ways are different from yours.
Life can be like a box of puzzle pieces--with the box top missing.  When you look around at your life, all you can see are the pieces.  But I see the final picture.  I know how all the pieces fit together.  I know how to join together all the jagged pieces of hurts and disappointments, plus the smooth pieces of victories and joys. 
Trust My timing and My ways.  Trust Me to fit all your pieces together into a wonderful life.  And trust Me-at the end of your life-to lead you home to heaven."--Jesus Calling

After I read it aloud to the kids, Jake in his adult fashion said, "wow mom, that's perfect for you today, being yours and dad's anniversary."  I had to agree.  Yep, my life to me looks like a bunch of pieces and right now can't imagine the other half being any better than the first. Even though I don't agree with some of the pieces He has given me I think I will continue to trust the One who had it mapped out long before I was conceived.  He loves me and He knows what my "puzzle" looks like complete.  He knows me so well that He gave me a wonderful reminder when I picked up my Papa Stanley devotion...for May 18, titled-Supreme Love, based on 1 Corinthians 13.  This happens to be the scripture read on our wedding day, the scripture Shane based his last sermon on, and the exact scripture that I had placed on our headstone.  Coincidence?  No way, He loves me like that and He consistently gives me these little reminders.
Thank you dear God for the time I had with Shane, the lessons I continue to learn from him, the 3 blessings I call our children,  thank You for assuring me that no matter how hurtful this world is I have the assurance of living eternally without hurt or pain, thank You for allowing me to know what being loved in this world is all about and more importantly allowing me to experience daily, Your Supreme love, because the greatest of these is LOVE.  Amen

Saturday, May 14, 2011

God is Good---Not just some of the time but--- ALL OF THE TIME

A friend and I were having a conversation the other day and she mentioned that she had been doing some "deep" thinking.  She said she gets really tired of recieving emails/updates on people that are going through something and when things are not good they just ask for prayer but when things are good they end the email/update with "God is Good."  She said it made her stop and think why some do that.  When things are bleak are not so good why don't they end it with "God is Good" instead of just ending good news stories that way.  I agreed and said yep, He is good all the time, not just some of the time, or half of the time, but all the time. I told her she needed to reply to the bleak news with God Is Good all of the time and maybe they would get the hint.   I have since reflected on that conversation over and over.  I thought about it one day this week when I had heard of a dear friends news of her cancer recurring after 4 years.  Even though I was highly ticked at God ( I think He is use to me getting mad at Him now, but He is bigger than me so He most assuredly can take it), I thought of it when I heard of another young lady "winning" her battle of cancer and how her kids now have lost, not 1, but both parents to this stinkin' disease.  How, even though, they are college age, they are now orphans. The most recent time I thought about it was on a morning walk this a.m.  As most of you know our neighborhood (which has to be the best hood to live in in Rome, awesome neighbors, kids, community) was hit pretty hard by the recent storms.  As I was dodging piles of debris in the road and looking at houses having to be rebuilt, our neighborhood clubhouse fence demolished and just the destruction all around, I thought how good He really is even amoung this.  In all of the destruction only hearts were broken but no bones, no injuries.  As I was rounding the corner of one of the streets, with Shane's praise music coming through my earplugs from his Ipod, a sparrow (amazing I know) almost flew right into me.  I had to smile, I love how God is humerous like that. Literally, a sparrow, I know it was a sparrow because of the way his wings looked, when he flew up away from me.  I immediately started singing in my head "His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over me..." (even when MercyMe was ringing in my ears)
Sparrow in Flight
It scared him as much as it did me.  I'm so thankful that God's Spirit has let me be open to receiving such small reminders of just how good He really is.  Even in the midst of heartache, much pain, destruction of tangible things and destruction of hearts and spirits He continues to be the very same God.  He is the very same God that miraculously knits babies in their mommies wombs, He is the same God that places rainbows in the sky after storms, and lets the sun rise the day after, the same God that created one of my most favorite things... the ocean, He heals people daily, restores us secondly, loves us unconditionally.  Yes, He is the same God that flooded the earth, allows tornadoes to destroy, allows cancer cells to invade bodies, doesn't allow some to have those babies knit in their womb, He allows things that we don't like-BUT- He does this to benefit us, grow us and grow His kingdom. So no matter how bleak or how wonderful things are please please please remember that God is Good and He is Good ALL of the time, not just some of the time, part of the time, a fraction of the time, but ALL the time.  Open your eyes and hearts so you can see it.

1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting (Psalms 107:1).

19 How great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, before the sons of men! (Psalms 31:19).

5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days (Hosea 3:5).