Several years ago my husband gave me a “Journey Necklace.” It was intended to commemorate and recognize the many paths of our lives together. There have been several twists and turns. Some paths have brought us down into the valleys where we found our way watered with tears. Other paths have lead us up mountains where we experienced a fresh, new view of our God. More often than not we found as we ventured onto a new path it included both valleys and mountains. How blessed we have been to walk our journey hand-in-hand trusting the Lord when we couldn’t see what was ahead of us or around the next curve.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Five years ago the heavens fell at our ankles, and the sun no longer warmed us. Our minds were as malleable as soft clay. Expression failed us. Confusion overwhelmed us. Our dear ones, Chad, Courtney,and a grand-daughter whose face and fingers we never studied, were suddenly taken. Their laughter was silenced, but their testimony echoes in our hearts forever (Heb. 11:4).
Our son, Chad, was born 30 years ago today (May 3rd). How we wish we were making his favorite dinner and scrambling to find the right gift. For 25 years we were blessed to watch Chad grow physically, socially, academically, and spiritually. He will be forever 25 years old in our thoughts. Today we will cry; we will recall treasured memories; we will look at pictures; and we will hold each other, especially Chase, a little closer. We will allow ourselves to remember and smile through our tears.
On this day, perhaps more than others, we have a choice to make—focus on what we have or focus on what we don’t have. We must bathe our response with praise to the Lord and His good, sovereign leading in our lives. Our desire is to say with Job, “Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Today my brother, Chad, would be celebrating his 29th earthly birthday; but instead he is celebrating in heaven with His Savior for all eternity. I miss him every day and extra on his birthday. Recently the Lord has allowed me to dwell on two facts regarding my brothers passing that have been a tremendous comfort as I anticipated the coming of May 3.
Today I have spent extra time quietly reminiscing about our sweet daughter-in law, Courtney. I didn’t know her as a little girl growing up learning to walk, talk, read, play the piano and many other events. But as Courtney walked into our lives in the spring of 2008, it was a blessing to get to know this very special young lady. She brought joy and fun to our family. When Courtney entered the room, she brought a magic to everyone in the room. Her smile was bright and genuine, and she cared deeply for others. The day Chad married Courtney he was so overwhelmed that he wept through his vows. Courtney was the answer to our prayers for Chad. We were thrilled
Written in the style of the famed Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, the following is a result of arduous labor. Each line can be traced back to a specific instance in my life over the course of the past three years. I confess that I hated the process. The topic took me to a dark place—a lonely place—where I found solace within the shadow of the cross alone.
May 3, 2016. Chad’s 28th birthday! Chad is enjoying another indescribably wonderful day in the presence of the Lord where time will be no more and sin is forever banished, but oh how I miss him!
This Sunday you would have been 26 years old. You have spent the last two glorious years in heaven. Your gain is certainly our loss. As we remember your birthday, we grieve afresh but not without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Like all tests our lives begin as unmarked parchments. Requirements are much more than a GradeMaster and number two pencil. Regulations must be observed. Lectures must be heeded. No eraser can help solve the mistake of messing up here. When class concludes, what is done is done. Due dates are non-negotiable, and curves are nonexistent. These stipulations are neither unfair nor unique. Everyone must endure them.