Honestly, I really hoped my dive back in to writing, would be on happier circumstances.
Sometimes our greatest times of teaching and inspiration can come through those circumstances that aren’t so great.
This has certainly been one of those times
Thank God that my Joy(true joy) isn’t dependent on circumstances.
As most of you know, my dad passed away earlier this month. On the day of his memorial service, my brother-in-law took a turn for the worse with his asthma/lung problems and we were called to the hospital. A few mornings later, he passed away at 27.
I’ll be real honest. When June started, I had NO idea what would be in store for our family. I had just returned home from a conference where I was representing our district as a leader which was quite the honor, we had just moved into our beautiful new home, and we had high hopes of adopting a dog, as soon as our fence was fixed.
The night before my first day of my 10 days of freedom before Summer School, I made so many plans. Things to do, people to see, house projects to work on, and books to finally sit down and read. I was excited for this break, as I had been going non-stop moving and traveling since school had been out.
I had one day of freedom. I slept in, went to a new exercise class at the gym, watched my shows, got some stuff accomplished. My husband and I went on a date, on a Monday, and I had edible cookie dough. Great Day!
At 10:30 that night, my world came to a halt, and from previous writing, you know the rest of the story. We planned dad’s service, got through that, went to the hospital to be with my brother in law, came home, everything was calm for a couple days, then my brother in law passed away.
I immediately threw myself into summer school, church, and trying to be “normal,” and my husband did the same because we honestly were tired of mourning. We invested our energy back in our house, and our beautiful new dog.
We have been doing good for the most part, with small storms of sadness, anger and disbelief.
Yesterday, as I heard a summer school student talk to me of a tragedy in their life, and how it related to mine, one word kept popping up,
Throughout the day, my internal conversation kept repeating this word.
Robbed of a chance to say Goodbye to my dad.
Robbed of seeing redemption in his life this side of Heaven.
Robbed of my future children, nieces, or nephews having a Grandpa.
Robbed of the chance to let him know that we loved him, and had forgiven him of whatever he may have thought he may have still harbored.
Robbed of a chance to know my brother in law better.
Robbed of my brother in law and my husband getting to have a better relationship.
Robbed of pieces of my future.
Robbed of my free time.
Robbed of my June.
Honestly, if I had let myself, I could have stayed in that “robbed” place for a lot lot longer. Instead, I was reminded of this truth.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (ESV)
In the midst of all this life robbery, I have been given an abundance.
Given a loving Christlike husband who shows grace to me even when I don’t deserve it. Who ministers to me, even through his sorrow.
Given a mother who listens, cares, provides, and brings moments of fun and laughter in the not so pleasant of times.
Given a brother whose adventuring spirit and love of life is inspiring in this time. He also gave me the cutest puppy nephew in the world and playmate for Annie.
Given many other family members who love and support us.
Given SO many friends that have prayed with me, talked with me, listened to me, sat with me, provided for me.
Given a church family both here and in Oklahoma who have given us wisdom, strength, and lots of encouragement.
Given a sweet, although crazy dog, who loves us unconditionally.
Given opportunities to further my education.
Given a wonderful new home to live in.
Given so much more than I could ever comprehend or imagine.
God is good to me. Even in the trials. Even when I feel selfishly robbed of things. Even when I whine, complain, argue, fight, or get angry, He still loves me.
When I look back on this month, June 2017, I will remember all the events that transpired. I will be sad and angry from time to time, but I will also remember this as a season of God’s faithfulness in my life. Even though I did nothing to deserve it, He has carried me through all of this.
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain othe salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for If we have died with him, we will also slive with him;if we endure, we will also reign with him,if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:10-12
People have asked us how we are dealing with this. Honestly, in the moments when it’s just us and God, it hasn’t always been the prettiest. It’s been downright messy at times. What motivates, encourages, strengthens, and carries Anthony and I through is simple.
It’s all God. The God who gives and takes away. He God who saves, creates, restores, and made a way for us. This same God has comforted us, provided us with friends and family, an unfailing love, and an unwavering Hope.
May the same God, the one and only True God, make Himself known to you today as well, in whatever circumstance you may find yourself facing.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. “-Hebrews 10:23
I know their will be days we feel robbed, but also days we see the abundant life we have been given in Jesus.
Prayers and blessings to all of you.