As we move closer to Autumn, I find myself feeling much as our weather has been as of late--stormy at times then sunny at others and with pools of sadness and loss piling up in my heart just like the puddles of rainwater on our road.-
You see just as the season will be changing soon, so is my life changing and I find myself trying to deal with this loss of a dream-again,-
About 6 years ago our daughter and her family moved to another state and I still feel the loss all too keenly of them. And now as summer gives way to autumn, it is my son and his family's turn to leave for what looks like a permanent change. And so my heart is filled with mixed emotions--very happy that they will be together again and in their own place; sad because I am a 'selfish' grandmother and will deeply miss seeing them, being part of their lives and doing things that just are not possible when you are separated by hundreds of miles (and many, many hours).
With this change my mind is drawn back to one of my grandmothers and I wonder how she must have felt when her only child moved even further from their hometown and she could see them (and us) only once or twice a year. How did she deal with the pain she must have felt in her soul? I wish I knew for sure, but I do have a fairly good idea because she lived a life of faith. Soon, very soon, I will be walking in her moccasins and now I have more then just sympathy for what she must have felt like; now I have empathy--the true understanding that only comes when one is walking the same path as another. But even then there are differences in her path and mine, for she was a widow by that time and I am not.-
There are other changes too---the bad house situation is no better and yet we're still on hold because of circumstances we have little to no control over as the colder, wetter season sets in on us. The 'other' situation, which I have known about for quite awhile as a possibility, which then became a probability and is now on the edge of being a certainty will happen soon---again I have no control over this. And my walking and hubby's health issues combined with going into the flu season-one which there still is no vaccine for.-
Can I say overload? All of these very big stressors could easily rob me of the peace in my heart. It would most people if they were honest with themselves.-
And yet ...they only have the power I choose to give them...for I have learned that even in times where you have little to no control over your stressful circumstances or when your stress is anything but small, you still have a choice. By that I mean you can focus on your circumstances or your faith. You can surround yourself with things of peace or you feed the 'wars' that want nothing more then to rage in your soul.-
You see, this past year, I was put into a circumstance I did not choose for myself or my family and which in fact, because of my faith upbringing, placed me in a situation where my innermost being was being pulled opposite ways at the same time. Talk about mixed emotions! But through this time God clearly showed me His grace and peace -- sometimes through the kindness and prayers of total strangers; at others through the prayers and kindnesses of family and friends. Often through the songs of prayer (songs which mirror the prayers of my heart) I so often listen to and through the verses that would at just the right times pop into my mind. I can say honestly that for most of the time the stress I was under, the burden I was bearing was bearable. And all this in spite of world and national events.
Did this mean I never broke down? That I never felt true anger or fear? That I did not at times wish to be in the position other then the one I found myself placed in? Of course not! I am only human after all:) But I found that when my focus changed towards God and away from my circumstances and feelings I was more and more drawn into His world--a world of peace and total, unconditional love (now I am NOT saying I was transported anywhere or anything like that). So I poured out my feelings to Him in songs of prayer, often with simple words when that was all my heart could utter. Over time, I began to better understand Paul and Silas when they were physically shackled in a dismal prison and yet their spirit soared free and they could sing peacefully and with much joy of their Lord's greatness!
So as these changes come upon me one by one, I find myself again letting go and turning my focus from my very human (and very normal) emotions of loss, fear and sadness over them -- to HIM who understands and loves me unconditionally.
Today (and for the days that will come after) as the singers raise their voices in songs "Thanks be to God...", "Father I put my life in your hands", "You are my hiding place" and "Lord I know my life is in your hands" I do the same thing -- most imperfectly at times--and trust that He will, in the end, work all things out according to His purposes and His glory. And that this promise written centuries before to Jewish captives held in a nation far from their own good land is still true today --
"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me in earnest, you will find Me when you seek Me." Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT (Ilumina software, © 2003 Tyndale House Publishers)-
So just as the sun has again broken through the storm and the light again shines through the window there is still summer in my soul. And just as the birds will again sing their God given melodies, so do I.-
Blessings & peace from my home to yours,
Jon Michael Talbot's "Father I Put My Life in Your Hands" and "You are My Hiding Place"; unsure of other songs--sorry!