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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Truth About Tomorrow


"We talk about them, 
not because we're stuck 
or because we haven't moved on, 
but we talk about them
because we are theirs, 
and they are ours,
and no passage of time will ever change that."
~Scribbles & Crumbs


I can still hear her laugh.

It really was the most infectious laugh.

I had never really thought about her laugh until someone else pointed it out to my husband in a condolence message.

And the more I think about it-I couldn't agree more.

On Saturday it will be exactly one month since my husband lost the first great love his life: his mother.

It was sudden-totally unexpected.

It shook our little corner of the earth in a way I didn't even know was possible.

Nothing prepares you for walking your spouse through this type of overwhelming, gut wrenching grief.

Nothing. 

We didn't touch on this in marriage counseling, there isn't a neat little check list of do's and don't, and blog posts on this subject are basically non-existent.

Trust me. I checked. 

The death of a parent-especially a beloved parent-is a different beast.

It doesn't look anything like grieving a grandparent, a favorite teacher, or sweet friend.

And so here I am-my marriage less than a year old-trying to help guide this completely shattered person down a path I never expected we would be traveling down so soon.

And let me be the first to tell you: it's heart wrenching. 

My heart breaks every time I make eye contact with him, or when I see him pause and get that far away look in his eyes.

And all I can think to do-all I know to do-is to propel us in the direction of forward.

One minute, one step, and one day at a time.

Forward.

Always forward.

Life doesn't stop or slow down just because we want it too.

And in the forward motion I find myself leaning even harder into the things I know to be true:

That God is good. That God is faithful. And that God is always there.

I read something this week in which the author mused that maybe God chooses for us to go through these valleys to teach us how to totally depend on Him and Him alone, and the more I ponder that-the truer it seems to me.

And in this moment, it is the only thing that makes sense. 

Because too often than not my heart wants to trust in people.

Real, tangible, living, breathing people.

I want them to pick us up.

I want them to bind up our wounds.

I want them to tell me what it is I'm supposed to be doing and how I am supposed to be helping him cope.

I want real bandages, and morphine, and the things I know of that were created to stop real, physical pain for him.

But, you can't put real bandages on a broken heart.

And in Psalms 147:3, David says, "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds."

HE does that.

Him and Him alone.

I know this is true because I have seen Him do it.

I have felt His peace and love like a salve on my own broken heart many, many times.

And in the midst of all of this, I can feel Him there.

Ever present. Ever faithful. Ever propelling us into the direction of forward-toward the life He still has planned for us.

While I'm not exactly what our today, or our tomorrow, or even our next week is going to look like, I do know that this has taught me how brief and how fleeting our time on this earth is.

We can make these grandiose plans.

We can store up all of our hope in our futures because we think it's going to be there.

We can put things off until tomorrow or the next day.

We can make lots of promises full of good intentions.

But, the truth is this: we have no guarantees.

Every second we get to spend on this earth with the people we love the most is a gift.

A beautiful, wisp of smoke in His grand scheme of things.

And if my mother-in-law taught me anything in the very short amount of time I knew her, it was how to make time to love your people and how to love them well.

Because she loved well. 

Her love shaped this extraordinary man I get to call my husband.

And for that I am ever grateful and ever convicted, as I find myself now more than ever asking myself, "How am I loving my people today and am I loving them well?"

Because when my time on earth is through, I want nothing more than for it to be said that I loved well.

I honestly don't think there is any greater accolade.

And I know there is no higher calling.

Yes, He has called me to great things.

There is definitely a plan for my life in motion.

But, I know my ultimate calling is in the privilege I have of being someone's wife and someone's mother, and the fact that I have been called above everything else to love them and love them well.

My people will encounter lots pain, discouragement, broken-heartedness, disappointment, and frustration along life's path.

I want to be their soft place, their champion, and the unconditional, unwavering love of Jesus in their life.

What about you?

How are you loving your people today?

Honestly, I think we all need to take this play right out of my mother-in-law's playbook and implement it in our lives today.

Not tomorrow.

Not next week.

Today.

Today let's love our people.

And love them well. 

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