Once again, I have been asked to speak at a women's Christmas dinner/event. When I am asked to speak, my first reaction is "Oh, no! Another chance for me to get nervous, anxious and worse...the attacks from satan. I'm not capable of this, Why me? and many other thoughts." At the same time, I get this stirring feeling inside of excitement, joy, and an energy I can't explain. When I got the phone call I told her that I would need to check my calender and pray about it. I did so over a weekend, and all weekend kept getting that nudge to say yes. So I said yes. In the mean time, I also took on facilitating a women's Wednesday night bible study at my church. I so wanted to say no to this request, but so glad I kept getting that same nudge. Not sure if the women are getting much out of it, but I sure am. Ironically, in that bible study we discussed "Mary & Martha" and there is absolutely no doubt that I am Mary. I would so much rather be the one sitting at Jesus' feet while someone else does the work. But God, being God, has turned the tables on me (He does have a sense of humor) and has me speaking about the goodness and joy of Jesus. I really couldn't be happier. So as I ponder on what to speak about (my testimony or something else) I always go back to thinking God has had me go through what I have been through for a reason. I expressed to someone the other day, that while I do want to give God the Glory He so deserves I sometimes just don't want to relive those 5 months of Shane's sickness and his passing. I don't want to have to read the words in my journal and revisit the pain, and have all of it come rushing back as if it were today. It's bad enough to face each day, knowing that 2 years ago, at this time, we were beginning the journey of it all. The questions, wondering where God was in all of it, knowing that Shane's 40th birthday would be next Monday.
I think the human mind somehow pushes painful memories back into a closet so as not to have to see them so vividly. Don't get me wrong, those memories are never completely hidden but you do have to open the closet door to see them. When I speak of those months, I open the door wide and sometimes its a little overwhelming at how vivid the memories are. Its like reliving every single second. Only difference is, I know the outcome. However, after saying all of this, in reading the book that goes along with my Wed. night bible study, the author spoke of the saying, "Time heals all wounds." She asked if that statement were true. I thought about it for a moment and agree a little with it but not completely. After I continued reading I have to agree with the answer she gave-"Time does heal, but only when we're willing to talk about wounds. Otherwise, our wounds fester through time." (You Matter More Than You Think-by Dr. Leslie Parrott) So I think the nudging I get when asked to share my story is God's way of continuing to heal me. He is knowingly making me open that closet door and face the wounds so that I can continue to heal and hopefully help others and share His goodness. My only hope is that He will nudge 3 children's spirit to open their own closets, so they too, can continue to heal.
My very wise pastor said something last week in his sermon about how when we are telling others about the goodness of God how it should not come from whats inside of us, but what is overflowing from us. My prayer is that God will continually fill me with His Spirit to overflowing so that I can tell of His greatness that I have experienced and continue to experience. I want to be like Moses when he came down from Mt. Sinai. 29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. Ex 34:29. I want others to know that I have experienced God's Glory. In opening that closet door of hidden memories, I recall the day after Shane passed a friend came by and I was sharing with her, on my front steps, of my experience with God the morning of Shane's passing. She looked at me and said, "DeAnn, you are glowing." I thought it odd that she should say that, I had had no sleep, was planning a funeral and my husband had just passed away...but when I look back, I had never experienced my Savior quiet like I had that early morning in April. I had seen God's Glory. WOW!! Thankfully, I will never be the same. How could I not speak of this?? Thank you Father for allowing me to see your Glory. Fill me up to overflowing with your Spirit and let my words be yours. Amen.