Not sure where to start as it's been a few days since I have been able to write, so I'll start with today and try to get this out of my system, hopefully then go on to the good stuff from the past week.
Today's tough. I knew before I got out of bed that it would be a tough day. Little bit's of the week's joy were broken with the tears, the remembering, the missing. But today . . . I'm trying to pinpoint just what it is.
Probably that it was Rob's birthday yesterday. Probably because he had a tough morning having a first birthday without Trent here. Probably because I am too stubborn to let a day like my husband's birthday let me go down, so I wait until the day after. Everything is setting me off today~ picking corn, seeing pictures of children who aren't even mine on the Internet, realizing we passed another month anniversary, looking up and seeing Micah wearing an old shirt of Trent's that he found who-knows-where, seeing the bunkbed that was taken apart and is still sitting in the hallway waiting to go to the garage, finding a football in the yard and remembering the day Trent bought it at a garage sale with his own money and remembering again, and again, and again that it is football season and how we looked forward to games and practices and Trent's excitement this fall, or maybe it's the fact that school needs to begin in a couple of weeks and I don't want to see a schedule without Trent's name on it. Or maybe I'm just tired of everybody being sick and I'm feeling behind on everything from the lawn mowing, to keeping up with the budget, to figuring out what-in-the-world to cook for supper, again.
But the whole week hasn't been that way. It has been a good week, actually. A week of remembering the Promises. A week of joy for a son in heaven. A week of trusting. A week of seeing God's work in action. A week of realizing (just a bit) the bubble that God has us in, where we are being uplifted in prayer, and His grace really is sufficient and being poured out beyond measure.
Did you know that Jesus longs for His children to be with Him? In John 17:24 He says, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am." I have been pondering those words, cherishing them, loving God more for them. He knows our longings. He feels our hurt and the depth of our missing our son. He longs for us that way. In God's sovereignty, the waiting is necessary. One day, one day. . .
Isaiah continues to be my steadfast place of joy and hope. God has used those verses over these past six months to encourage me greatly. I am led back there again and again. "I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:9-10 "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you," declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 41:13-14
I have been thinking about the honor of suffering lately. Not just suffering, but suffering as God's children, suffering under His hand, suffering for the advance of the gospel. Zechariah 13:9 keeps coming to mind:
"This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say,
‘The LORD is our God.’”
Somehow I am trying to understand this verse from an eternal perspective. How easy it is to look at this temporary world and think that it is eternal. Eternity is real. This God is real. What He says is real and it is what He is going to base and judge everything on. The realization that He chose me to be put into the fire, to be refined and tested, for the purpose that I would call on His name and have no other hope, to wake me up, to shake me up, to reveal Himself, to prove Himself, to bring glory to Himself, to proclaim hope through my pain . . . what a thought.
And then to realize that I am not isolated here on a little island by myself. God is not only working in our lives with Trent's death. He has caused hundreds, I would even venture to say thousands just from the numbers I know, to consider eternity, their own and their children's, through one twelve year old boy entering glory. How many of them have ignored the opportunity for salvation? But then, how many have been impacted to live for Christ? To change their motives and desires and focus them heavenward rather than worldly. How many children's lives have been changed forever because God has gotten a hold of the parents through this?
Our lives where changed six years ago when close friends lost a young daughter in an accident. The way I live and parent and love my children and trust and long for God is different because of that day. I never thought I would be that mother with that kind of a story to tell for eternity. I never expected this kind of a gift from my Creator. I never knew He was this good.