The GLORY -
*Note: Written from my HEART. It isn't beautiful and it isn't perfect, and I don't just write it to get it down on paper or make a little more sense out of it, I write it for you. I write it and I hope you understand. I write it, and hope that you see the beauty of God working like I do. As you read, know that writing these heart-stories are not easy, and I'm left vulnerable as to how you respond. Please respond in love if you leave a comment,
thank you. :)*
*screech-tennis shoes start the speed* One lap.
*screech* Two laps. *screech* Three, four, five, ....
I'm out of breath, but my brain hasn't run out of things that are wrong right now.
Forget the pain. *screech* Lap six, tennis shoes pound the cement, to the start of the dirt, back to the other side, sunglasses slip down my nose, slippery with sweat ... I stop the laps, I pace back and forth to catch some breath, ignoring the cars that drive by.
I can't cry. That emotion hasn't sunk in yet. I'm dressed to be as nondescript as possible. Hair tied up, baseball cap, sunglasses, t-shirt, dark capris, tennis shoes. I don't want to be noticed.
I run a few laps around the rectangle of picnic tables. I stop, frustrated that I can't define what I'm feeling, that all I feel is a whole bunch of confusion over jumbled emotions.
I drop down onto the chalky cement and do 10 pushups, and my muscles scream. Yes, I'm out of shape. I sit up and start praying again. It's not enough. Every emotion that comes with grief is there, but not the wrenching sobs that I need to cry. They are there, they just can't push past everything else.
"God. I wanted more."
I stand up to pace some more. Hands on hips. Breathing hard. I get close to a metal/wood picnic table, and kick it as hard as I can. It only moves a few inches. The grief kicks harder than my foot ever could, I double over and sit down on another bench. I tear off my sunglasses. I press my hands against my cap and just sit.
"I'm sorry, Father. I'm sorry. Forgive me. But this hurts, Jesus. It hurts."
I shove off the bench and slip the soundless earbuds in again, and take off to run again down the sand path. The jog turns into a hard run, I feel the speed and the anxiety build and swell into energy per heartbeat and pound upon the asphalt. *beat, pound, beat, pound, pound, beat* I look sideways and can see the maples turning colors, the wind rustling them. *beat, pound, pound, beat* I can see the lowering sun sending shafts of yellow across the ground. After a ways, I have to slow to gain some air, and walking again makes my legs ache. I love to run. I hate to walk. But one must have air to do either, and so. I walk.
I've given up trying to understand any emotion right now, and instead just focus on what I can talk about. And so I talk, and I pray for peace and trust. Because I seem to be lacking in both areas, which is why I'm in this cloudy anger that is blocking the fact that I'm questioning the perfect will of a loving and holy God. Ohh, the irony. The mercy.
It's time to go. The sun slants its warm color between the palms and pines, and I tilt my head to accommodate the view. It's beautiful. I slide into the car, and drive out. So much for thinking I could clear my mind. HAH! If only I could have a perfect little white view for grieving. No black or grey areas, and no questioning. Just simple rejoicing and sadness. Equal glories. Hahaha, as if grieving is ever easy or black and white. :)
I sigh, and turn on the music I know I need. My SCC album. I try to at least sort through some things, and then I just give up. I realize that it's all grief, and it's all normal. The highest problem is trying to analyze myself or my grief. God knows my heart, even if I don't.
God is God. I am not.
I settle back for the brief ride back home, slide on the sunglasses and turn up the sound. I turn it to one of my favorites "Our God is in control" .... I know it word for word. Note by note.
"Though this first taste is bitter, there will be sweetness forever...
when we finally taste and see, that our God is in control, and we'll sing:
'Holy, holy, holy is our God', and we will finally really understand what it means,
so we'll sing 'Holy, holy, holy is our God'. While we're waiting for that day.
We're waiting for that day. We'll keep on waiting for that day. And we will KNOW.
Our God is in control."
It's the "holy holy holy" part that finally does it. The reminder of the redeemed singing that around His throne, with utter and complete joy. The first tear slides down my face, and the sobs begin.
"Lord!!" I cry ..... "I'm here." I hear quietly in response.
"You are God. You are holy. I am not. You are in control. Your ways are best."
I get home and grab the camera. The sunlight is now beaming over everything in its path, I saw it when I was coming down our road, it was lit up just like the evening before .... and I wanted to capture some of it before it left for the night. "His first night Home. Oh, Father. It never gets easier." The clouds only puffed up the air to add to the sun. The sun was the star of the evening. Its light burst in golden tones everywhere, and glowed upon the pavement just like I knew it would. I got down low to the grass, and I took a picture.
"..... Streets paved with gold ....."
The sun had been setting all during my run, it had been yards away, among the trees as I paced, it had sliced the pavement into grey and yellow lines as I drove home, and it spilled over everything I could see, as I turned down our street. I had acknowledged it, but I had missed the joy of the sunset, I had missed what I always remember about that view.
I had forgotten the glory.
The glory of Heaven. The beauty of Jesus. The sunshine of His face.
The precious knowledge of knowing no separation from Christ ever, but only walking hand in hand among the streets of gold, joint-heirs with Jesus of our Heavenly Home.
With Jesus, before the face of God, the Savior and His redeemed, to praise evermore.
Ahh, Jesus, the glory of You.
Our dear friend, Mr. Dale died on Wednesday, September 15th. No words can describe the dearness of this man to those who knew him. Our whole church loved him. The memories. The conversations. I remember him as long as I remember our church. He could set a room laughing, and quiet a discussion with a few words of wisdom. He could make a little girl who liked to smile feel like her whole day was great because she got a hug from Mr. Dale.
I know I'm never ready to say goodbye because in our hearts, we know that death is wrong. Death and goodbyes are not something that we want, but more than that .... we leave this earth with our earthly bodies, and the real living begins in Heaven! God's chosen cannot die! This is only a brief parting before we are re-united with those we love, and united forever with God in our Eternal Home. Amen? :D Amen!! I can hear Mr. Dale saying that .... :)
Mr. Dale, and his wife (left) at their 60th wedding anniversary party back in 2008.
My message on Facebook yesterday:
"I have learned to kiss the wave that strikes me against the Rock of Ages." ~ C.H.Spurgeon. Until then, Mr. Dale, take a few walks next to those we miss, and continually praise our Savior, and I'll kiss you again soon, hearing you call me by my nickname
...... I love you. ~ S."
To the Dale family .... I love you all, and am praying for you.
Thank you all for reading, blogging my heart out is never easy,
but when the going gets the hardest ... writing is what I do.
I always pray that something I write is a blessing to you,
knowing Christ gives me the joy to write, and share.
"Do not be dismayed, for Christ has overcome the world".
The Jesus we love and adore has already overcome the grave!
Jesus, Thou Prince of Life .... I praise Thee, my dearest Savior,
~ Jean Marie ~
"Jesus, Thou Prince of Life, Thy chosen cannot die;
Like Thee, they conquer in the strife, to reign with Thee on high!"
- H.A.Cesar Malan "It is not death to die".
Taken Sept. 14th, the late summer sun lighting up every grain of sand in the cement into its own glowing little orb of bright diamond-like beauty, reflecting yellow joy.