The world is on fire, it’s more than I can handle. I’ll tap into the water and try to bring my share.
While there is nothing new under the sun, the challenges of this world can be overwhelming. Disease , illness, death, political entanglements, wars, deception…
Deep down we yearn for peace because we are made in the image of our Maker. I appeal to that image in us all to seek peace from our Maker. From that peace a river of kindness and love of our fellow man will flow. Know you are loved by a God who offers a peace that is not as the world gives peace, but a peace that transcends all of this mess. My prayer is that you may know this very peace even now.
I also invite you to pray for the people in Ukraine but also the people in Russia. Pray for these citizens caught in the middle of this political unrest and turmoil.
Pray also for the leaders of BOTH countries that their hearts and minds will be open to find a peaceable way to live together as neighbors.
Today is my Uncle Steven Carl Hicks’ first heavenly birthday. He entered eternal rest Aug.28, 2021.
Today in church we sang these words from an opening song “Christ is risen from the dead We are one with Him again Come awake, come awake! Come and rise up from the grave Oh death! Where is your sting? Oh hell! Where is your victory?”
As I sang tears streamed down my face as I both grieved my Uncle’s death and rejoiced in the truth of this song. In these tears I had simultaneously much needed pent up grief released and yes also joy.
Later during the service we sang the hymn, “Come Thou Fount”
The tears constantly flowed as I sang the words of this hymn we sang at my Grandma Arlene’s memorial. You see it was at this very memorial Unc stood up before his family and proclaimed fervently the truth that is proclaimed in that hymn. He knew this truth. It transformed him. His life changed dramatically and he yearned for all of his family to have this same hope and joy.
So today it felt as if Uncle Stevie, and Grandma (Memaw) , my two faith giants were smiling from heaven while I sang out through tears and sometimes choked through this resounding truth:
“Jesus sought me when a stranger Wandering from the fold of God He to rescue me from danger Interposed His precious blood
Oh, that day when freed from sinning I shall see Thy lovely face Clothed then in blood washed linen How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace
Come my Lord, no longer tarry Take my ransomed soul away Send Thine angels now to carry Me to realms of endless days
Oh, to grace how great a debtor Daily I’m constrained to be Let Thy goodness like a fetter Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it Prone to leave the God I love Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it Seal it for Thy courts above Here’s my heart Oh take and seal it Seal it for Thy courts above”
And as if God through His tender, comforting Holy Spirit reached into the recesses of my grieving heart and said, “I know it hurts sweet Shelly and I am here.”
Street signs and Lampposts adorned Shops dressed in baubles and bows Greetings of gladness and mirth Eagerness to overcome the woes Oh that we could relish this glee And see one another’s true worth And how we all bare the image of Thee Then alas we’d have peace on earth on earth
Today is Dad’s birthday. He would have been 71. It is his first birthday since his departure. While I do wish he were here and that we could have Mexican food or German chocolate cake with him one more time, I remember his last year. His mind was sharp, but his body failing him.
It is a crazy paradox: Dad’s stroke limited his body and caused him health issues, but because of it he did not spend a day of the last year of his life alone at all. Prior to that he was very lonely after losing his wife 5 years ago. That is a long time living alone without your spouse. I know he missed her and I know he was lonely so it is a peculiar thing his illness was. I do look for the silver lining in all things. Ideally he would have had company without a major illness, but risk factors of diabetes and smoking, and high blood pressure took its toll on his body.
So as much as I selfishly miss him, I know he is at peace and fully healed and restored. And I could not dare to want to bring him from such peace. I am just thankful in my time (God willing a very long time from now) I will join him and all the saints that have gone before.
Today was a busy work day. Dad has been on my mind throughout it all and I think I was feeling blah and in a funk most of the morning. I think it’s because I wish I had the day to sit, reflect, write, and even take a drive to his gravesite (not because that is my sort of thing, but it was his so in order to honor that). However duty called and it’s a Monday in cold season so we had plenty of patients most of the day.
I delayed my Facebook post of remembrance because I wanted to pen something eloquent, but then it was too lengthy. So I kept it rather simple with some photos. I figured I would save the lengthy exposition for this blog. Since it is towards the day’s end my writing is more stream of consciousness and thought processing as opposed to an eloquent or artistic tribute. Perhaps that will come soon or another day soon, but processing these thoughts are a vital part of the grief journey.
I chose after work at 7pm to keep the evening simple. Instead of cooking we ordered carry out Asian food and watched Shang Chi. I wanted Mexican food initially, it’s what we would have had for Dad or what he would of had but I did get a little choked up thinking about it and made my ultimate choice. It’s been a long weekend. My brother and newborn nephew were both in the hospital. We had my Uncle Steven’s memorial on Saturday, so Iwas pretty spent leading to this day.
I get winces of emotional pain with this or that memory which make my eyes threaten to cry on occasion, but no big cry today. Now that work is done and I did relax with dinner and movie at home with my husband and daughter, apart from fatigue I actually mostly feel peace.
I miss Dad. It is surreal almost that he is gone but deep in my soul there is a peace. A stillness. It is hard to explain but just an unusual calm. I know it is the Lord’s gift to me this day and I cherish it.
So for now I think I processed enough and I am just going to sit still and savor this peace as it has been a very long time since I have felt such a thing.
I miss you Daddy
We will see you in a little while!
Lord , thank you for your peace that surpasses understanding, sorrow, grief, illness or any circumstance.
Several years ago when I returned to work after a brief hiatus to be with my family after my dear, beloved stepmomom passed from cancer I walked into my boss’ office and said “Cancer sucks, God is good.” He said “thank you.”
Too many times he only heard fairweather rejoicing when things were good. My friends right now there is a global uncertainty, but God is good. He is not only our way through the desert, but he is what sustains us in it. And if we abide in Him we too can find songs in the night. Even though all around us seems dry we can find true peace and still rejoice!
For those of you in your desert moments, I am praying for you. Know you are loved. #songsinthenight #peaceinthevalley #pillaroffireandclouds #desertsong #dailybread #rejoice #Heisstronginmyweakness #neverforsaken #Heiswithusalway #peacebeyondcircumstances