Friday, August 14, 2009

and thus, until we meet again...

If you are reading this, you ought to be handed some sort of medal. Upon it would be inscribed: 'faithful reader of a not-so-faithful writer' or something to that effect. While for months my thoughts and hopes and fears were traceable here, on this blog, I find that now, in a new season, with so much more on my mind than what once was, it seems fitting to depart from this place and to embark on a new journey. As a member of a group of people who have committed hours of their lives to walking through the last couple of years with me, I hope that somehow the fondness that swells my heart for you will permeate that glowing computer screen and you will know what your prayers, words of encouragement and consistent companionship - even if alongside me via my incessant online ramblings - have meant to me. Were it not for you, I am confident I would not be where I am today.

As I consider what might have brought you here for the first time, I'm aware that many have their own seeds of sorrow to sow. Many have yet to sow them. And it would be naive on my part to believe my own grief is entirely gone; indeed, though the wound has healed, a scar remains, and sometimes, in the most unexpected moments, it will seem to spring back to life with a pain so acute I cannot do anything but pray it away. But I want to encourage those of you who are walking a road similar to my own: fear not. You will smile again. You will feel again, in the way you once did, without the struggle to breathe mixed in. You will laugh and sing and know victory, if you will ask for those things. Ask for them, and receive them, for surely if you will only ask, you will find your cup filled over. Don't compare your story with anyone else's, for in the comparing there is the promise of bitterness or guilt. Stand perfectly still if you must, looking neither backward or forward, and simply believe that you can make it through the day - or the next five minutes.

I pray if you do look at me, or where I am, or rather, where God has brought me, you can be filled with hope because I have been given "bouquets of roses instead of ashes, [a message] of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit" (Isaiah 61:3, The Message). God has exchanged my sorrow for elation, my weeping for dancing, my agony for peace. Though I hold in my arms a new baby, and what would seem a redemption for the life I lost with Copeland, in truth this peace came before she did, and I recognize that God often first gives us what we do not know we need before He gives us the things we long for. For we "do not know the thoughts of the Lord; we do not understand His plan" (Micah 4:12).

From now on, let this blog remain a tribute to God's faithfulness to me in the darkest days of my life. Let all who read it be blessed and encouraged, and let those who doubt the might of the Holy God be astounded at His goodness to me, a woman redeemed by the blood of the One who sees more in me than I see in myself.

I will continue blogging elsewhere, and would love for those of you who are interested to please come alongside me again. The Lord has given me a distinct passion for His Word and uncovering truth for the generations to come, particularly for my precious children who will fight a battle perhaps even fiercer than my own. It's on these topics that I hope to put down my thoughts on the next blog. I am having a sweet friend do some "maintenance" for me, and will shortly give you the web address.

Be blessed today, and everyday, as you open your hands to receive what the Father will lavish upon you. And may He grant us a thousand lifetimes in eternity with which to know one another and to rejoice in His goodness to us.

With deep love and affection,

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