(This picture is of my daughter a few summers ago. Beauty personified.
I don't know why, but this picture always causes me to sigh… to reflect…
and to remember that in my moments of pause and thoughtfulness,
In my moments of need...God is there.)
The ones that can either define... or stay neglected.
The kind that beg for you to notice them but won't shout for your attention.
You need to see them to capture them. You have to feel them to be able to be touched by what they can leave. A picture captured at just the right moment… at just the right time. The moments that stay with you and cause you to reflect… bringing you back to the dream they happened in.
As I have sat these long weeks... Waiting... Anticipating the bad.
As I have held the hand of the one that I fear losing too fast... She has poured joy.
She hasn't turned. She has remained as faithful as she ever was.
She has danced.
She has laughed...
And in those moments I have thought her lost I have found her melancholy. I have found her thoughtful.
She still worries a little. She wants us all to be okay. But she hasn't changed.
Her foundations are still the same.
Her faith. Her God. Her family.
It is all there.
It has seemed dark for so long. Her... her essence... the being of all who she is and will ever be to me. In the moments of her profound weakness they have begun to shine brighter than I remember. They speak loudly to anyone who waits to listen. Who chooses to see.
This is where I have been standing the last few weeks... In the shadow of all that she has ever been. Iconic. Legendary. Loyal. Faithful. Loving. Strong. I am a mere shadow of all that I hope to accomplish someday... All that I can ever hope to be.
She... She humbles me. Her life... Her story... Her strength... Her weaknesses... Her passion.... Her heart.
I don't want to miss it. Any of it. I want to hold still and drink it in.
Sometimes... Sometimes it's too much. I can't sit still and the fear crowds in and the reality tries to settle right under my skin. Irritating me and making me itch.
It's uncomfortable. It's unruly... This life.
I crave predictability... Safety... Assurance.
Then I hear it. Distant... Increasingly growing in volume as I heed to it... Bow to it...
He is in control.
I don't always live it like I should. Act on it like I want to.
But I KNOW it.
I know it's true. The truth.
In the moments that I am anticipating the raw... The real... The moments when life throws us the curve balls that we were not looking for nor that we want.
We always want it thrown straight. Even. Easy. Life doesn't and won't always cooperate. He allows us to be stuck sometimes... Dirty.... Holed up... Just so we can understand....
He is in control.
Like the sun peeking through the clouds as it descends after a long day...
It holds promise. In the pink and hue of twilight He speaks.
"As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord ’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord ? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make Your saving help my shield, and Your right hand sustains me; Your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. (Psalm 18:30-36 NIV)
When life gets dirty... And ugly... And just plain hard... I will remember...
Just like she has lived it. Every day then... And every day since. Captured by the memories I will carry around forever. Packed away in the furthest reaches of my heart...
I don't ever want to forget it...
He... not I.I am not alone... We... are not alone. In any of it.
It's the biggest and best lesson she ever taught me...
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)