It is the little things. The ones I don’t see coming until, Bam! – there it is and I find myself suddenly undone. Today’s little thing was a church donation envelope. The envelope for April 26, 2015 is the last envelope for Bobby & Julie. The last one – another reminder that life has changed and next Sunday’s envelope will be from Julie alone.
Then there are the big things. Our anniversary is coming up next month and my mind is already trying to come up with ways to avoid that date. I’m not looking forward to it and am considering possible healthy ways to handle that day. There doesn’t seem to be a direction book for how to handle holidays. I struggled just to get through Easter. I cried through church and all through Life Group. (I love those good people who have so graciously put up with my Sunday morning tears.) I wish I knew how I was supposed to do this on the holidays.
I went on a short solo retreat of sorts earlier this month. Took a short trip to Orange Beach, AL as a time to pray and reflect. It rained off and on. I spent time laying in a deck chair doing nothing and thinking nothing which is something I rarely/never do. I prayed, I read Scripture, and I cried. I walked on the beach and along the water’s edge. I sat in the sand and stared at the seemingly endless expanse of water. I cried some more. Woke up early Sunday morning to the sight and sounds of a storm rolling in across the Gulf. I sat on the balcony, listening to the roar of the ocean’s waves, and watching the rain fall. There was wind, thunder, and lightning. I thought of Job. In the midst of Job’s grief, there is a storm.
“A voice roars: He thunders with His majestic voice, and He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard….Stand and consider the wonders of God. Do you know how God establishes them, and makes the lightning of His cloud to shine? Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds?” (Job 37:4,15,16)
My plans for the trip involved a few warm sunny days. Instead, God gave me rain. Even in that storm, God was at work creating a new day – a wet, cool, gray day. Stormy days are not bad. They are a part of God's creation. This storm has caused me to slow down. I've held on to God a bit tighter because He is my Comforter. Life is still often overwhelming and I'm so glad He has a plan, because I really don't have much of one at all. I also know storms are temporary. There will be time for sunshine later.
I had hoped for some great insight as to what my future will look like without Bobby. I had hoped to gain peace about all those tomorrows I face. Instead, I returned home with an appreciation of the importance of living in the here and now. I have many good memories of life with Bobby. One day I will be able to fondly look back on our life together. That day is not yet here. Right now, looking back puts me in a dark, sad place and I find myself tempted to stay there in the past just replaying certain memories over and over. I could get stuck there.
I haven’t spent very much time thinking about the future. Looking ahead brings worry and anxiety. I can not wrap my mind around the idea of living the rest of my life without Bobby.
So I prayerfully am going to attempt to walk through this season of life focusing on the here and now. To just live this one minute now, this one hour now, this one day now is my goal. I know that I do not walk alone. Even in this storm, this grief, this loss, God is at work this day.
This is the day which the Lord has made...