One year ago today I had no indication that it would be the last time I would wake up beside Jason, hold him in my arms, kiss him, and tell him I love him. This was the day his fatal accident would occur late at night.
We returned home from out vacation in the early hours of the day and stayed in bed extra long trying to recoup from eight hour drive we endured all night. I woke up feeling very unproductive because of the mid-afternoon time we woke up but God had a plan unfolding in which, at the time, I knew nothing about…He was offering us extra time together that we had no idea would come to an end that night. I remember laying in bed with Jason recalling the fun times we had the past few days with our kids during our vacation. We made great memories and I believe God also had a hand in that as we spent six days together, uninterrupted by the daily grind back home. We had time to focus on loving each other and making memories with our kids. God again had a plan unfolding that we were unaware of by clearing our schedules to vacation at the time we did.
Today comes with unimaginable grief for me. Tears that won’t cease, a mind replaying memories, and questions with no answers. At some point we will all have unexpected pain, hardships, and for some of you, you may even meet/or already met a tragedy head on as I did. Hard times often come with many tears. Psalm 56:8 tells us, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. you have recorded each one in your book.” Every time I shed a tear for my loss, I can’t help but envision Jesus collecting those tears in a bottle and placing the bottle on a shelf to be received when I get to heaven. I then picture myself receiving that bottle as a gift from Jesus and as a response to His beautiful grace, pouring those tears out of the bottle and using them to wash the feet of Jesus. I cannot think of anything more glorious!
This past year I have seen God reveal himself in ways that I could not have even dreamed up. I fall more in love with Jesus and his greatness every day. My pure joy and calm assurance tell me that through my tragedy God wants to bless me and he wants to bless you too. I choose to have joy and receive God’ gift of grace. There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on your circumstances and joy is a deep-rooted seed that says, God is in control, God cares, and He will work everything out for good.
Maybe you’re in a difficult situation right now. Begin now by strengthening your relationship with Jesus. Make it a habit to meet with him daily by studying and memorizing His Word, praying, and listening. Your faith will be tested the most when difficulties come your way. Will you choose joy, receive grace, and walk by faith? Dare to stake your hope on the gladdest news of all: if God permits the challenge, he will provide the grace to meet it. Sometimes our greatest blessings come while we are in the valley. And how we respond in our valleys determines how high our peaks. That has been true in my life and I thank God for the path He is leading me down.
There is going to be a glorious unfolding that my human mind cannot comprehend. I won’t know what that glorious unfolding is or looks like until I reach heaven and meet my Savior face to face but I know my God will show up and show off :)
Listen to the song, Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman. It reminds us that this is not the end but the beginning!