Take heart

A day off. An inhale and slow exhale kind of day. That’s what I was expecting this morning. After taking care of the dogs, I laid back on the couch and lazily watched the news while wrapped in a soft blanket. The dogs had settled back down after a morning romp and the house was still. I just kissed my man goodbye and reminded him of how happy I was for him to return in the evening. I got up to make the bed and when I returned 5 minutes later, I saw that my phone screen was full.

Who on earth is trying to reach me at 5:45 in the morning????

It was Roger. In that moment my heart starts to beat with an intensity that left me dizzy.

My mind whirls with horrible thoughts. His heart….. an accident……my hands tremble to unlock the phone and call him, bypassing the messages he left me.

My husband doesn’t leave messages. This adds to my distress and shaky hands.

I reach him. He sounds strong and good and annoyed. It’s the car. Exhale…… the car, just the car. No accident, the car decided to stop working.

What a great thing. Cars can be fixed and replaced. He’s fine I tell myself. I will get him and he will take my car to work and we will deal with his later.

Outside is filled with a fog so intense, we missed turning back into our house when he dropped me off. The fog feels like my head right now. All muddled and full of fear. Anxiety in my chest feels heavy with the panic that came to visit when I didn’t know what was wrong.

Though he’s fine, my body feels like it’s been attacked by a wave of fear that leaves me struggling to orient myself  (for those who don’t know, he has a heart condition that we watch closely).

I thought I’d dive into my Bible. Scriptures have always been my favorite way to connect with God but I feel this invitation to go out and be in the garden.

I walk around a fog-filled, early morning garden and  I voice to God, this is what I feel like on the inside!!! It’s not helping….. Then I sense a prompt to take a closer look.

The fog had transformed everything. The spider webs have droplets on them. The flowers looked as if they were covered with sugar.

In that moment I realized that I’m covered too. I’m covered by a God that is everywhere at once. The garden was covered with a fog that at first seemed completely disorienting and frustrated my ability to view the world around me. Then I realized that it also covered the world with life-giving water. Not just covered things, it made them more beautiful. Something about the sheer wonder around me cause the fear to slip away.

I fear Roger leaving this earth and being alone. The one I’ve loved so deeply and for so long. But the truth is, I am never alone. God is always everywhere all around me and his spirit within me.

Everywhere I looked was an intricate design of grace. I didn’t have my real camera with me and these photos were taken with my iPhone but they are still a delight.

My fight with fear is not over but God’s grace will always trump it if I allow him to lead me through it.

What a tender and powerful God he is.

John 16:33

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

 

 

 

Can you still bow?

Can you still bow? 

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Has your year has been beyond your wildest dreams, or have they been filled with hardships and griefs that are welcomed to never return?

Has it changed your view of God?

Has God become less good because our lives went sideways when we thought we had a good plan in place?

Have people gone that you thought would last a lifetime?

Has loss come to visit or has it been fortune?

Last year brought both extravagant blessings and severe grief.  My emotions have been stretched beyond their boundaries and are in foreign soil.

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In a year that has rivaled it’s predecessors; this is what I know for sure.

God is good.

He is hope eternal.

He is the anchor that holds.

His love is deeper than any grief and richer than any blessing.

To KNOW Him is the continued cry of my soul.

A few weeks ago, I rose from my bed and heard the cry of a little girl calling me from the basement apartment. My grandchild had been up and playing and decided she wanted her Nana. As I entered the room she jumped up in my arms and realized how warm I was in my robe. She bowed into my warmth and let my embrace fully sink in. I was overwhelmed with delight to hold her, and warm her little self, with all of me.

So I pray this year we can bow into His goodness and warmth and know how deeply that action delights Him.

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I have no idea what 2015 will hold but I know who holds my heart in 2015.