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This morning, my youngest daughter and I played in the beautiful forest, surrounded by red, yellow and gold and sunlight pouring down. There’s something painful yet beautiful about this time of year, as I wrote about yesterday. So, I thought I’d share of this painful beauty, by giving you a window into my thoughts a few months ago, thoughts that I pray will comfort those of us who are mourning a deep loss, speaking the beauty of hope into our aching hearts:
Last night I lay in bed telling my husband that trying to find holiday houses in the town I’d walked around as my heart broke, brought back so many memories of Mom. I told him it made me think of the little pink scooter Mom had bought our oldest as a little two year old that Dad and her drove all the way to this town (six hours away), together with the little wooden rockable crib for our youngest. And how that one little scooter brought back a host of other little, but significant memories of Mom and each and every little item she’d have waiting for our girls to play with when they came. How her eyes would light up watching them play with each thing. And how each time we came there’d be new books, age-appropriate and exactly what our oldest was into at the time. One of the last ones was a book about going to school, our oldest’s very first milestone without her Grandma. And then there’s the book she got the girls that captures it all: “I’ve lost my Mom”. It’s about a little monkey that loses and then finds his Mom again.
Each time I fold the little clothes she bought for my wee girls, a lump forms in the back of my throat. And I told my husband how strange it is to be going home this December with no home to return to, no physical place with little momentoes of Mom’s presence in our lives. And I told him how sad it makes me that my sisters won’t ever bring their babies home to Mom, won’t ever have her fussing over them, like she did with mine. I couldn’t stop crying and I told him that my dream is to go live in a house big enough to have them all come home to stay with us. A home, where my brothers and sisters and their kids can come and be at home. But it won’t ever be the same. There’ll always be that little piece of emptiness, the heaviness of what’s missing.
Some people say losing someone gets easier, less painful the more time passes. I’ve discovered the ache gets deeper, as the missing her just grows. As the grief enlarges, however, so does my yearning for heaven and it encourages me to read and speak God’s promises into my heart, to soothe and hold me in my grief.
…all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.
Romans 8: 22 – 25
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult time of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Isaiah 35: 9 – 10
The people God has ransomed will come back on this road. They’ll sing and make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.
Isaiah 65: 17-25
“Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth. All the earlier troubles, chaos, pain are things of the past, to be forgotten. Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating: I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight. I’ll take joy in Jerusalem, take delight in my people: No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries of anguish; No more babies dying in the cradle, or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime; One-hundredth birthdays will be considered normal- anything less will seem like a cheat. They’ll build houses and move in. They’ll plant fields and eat what they grow. No more building a house that some outsiders take over, No more planting fields that some enemy confiscates, For my people will be as long-lived as trees, my chosen ones will have satisfaction in their work. They won’t work and have nothing come of it, they won’t have children snatched out from under them. For they themselves are plantings blessed by GOD, with their children and grandchildren likewise GOD-blessed. Before they call out, I’ll answer. Before they’ve finished speaking, I’ll have heard. Wolf and lamb will graze the same meadow, lion and ox eat straw from the same trough, but snakes- they’ll get a diet of dirt! Neither animal nor human will hurt or kill anywhere on my Holy Mountain,” says GOD.
In the same way GOD’s ransomed will come back, come back to Zion cheering, shouting, Joy eternal wreathing their heads, exuberant ecstasies transporting them – and not a sign of moans or groans.
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