It was a gorgeous afternoon. The sky was a striking blue, not a cloud in sight. There was a slight cool breeze that felt heavenly and the sun was blindingly bright. Perfect weather for a walk around the trail where I enjoy going in the afternoons. I love turning on Pandora, popping in my earbuds and listening to contemporary Christian radio while I make my way along the path. It is so peaceful there and it is a stone’s throw away from the cemetery where my mom is buried.
This particular day I was feeling uplifted in spirit, thanking the Lord for all the good things in my life. For those who have followed my journey, you know that the last few years have been especially painful as my mom fell ill and eventually passed. It has been a long road to healing, and I am only a short way down it. I have begun to realize that there may never really be full healing as much as you just learn to cope and adjust to the new vacancy in your life.
Life goes on.
I don’t cry every day anymore. Some nights I lay in bed and allow my mind to wander back to sweeter times, times that hurt less. I still picture her face, her smile, so clearly. In the darkness, I don’t try to hide from the pain that crowds around my heart. It is literally a physical hurt, I cannot describe it any other way but an ache. I know some of you have lost someone you love dearly.
You are the ones who know exactly what I am talking about.
I was having a conversation with the Lord this gorgeous day. A prayer of thanks for survival, laughter, tears, my family, renewed hope, restored joy, all the things I will never take for granted again. Song after wonderful song played in my ears as I walked and quietly talked with my Father.
It felt beautiful.
As I said earlier, my mom is laid to rest not too far from where I take these walks. Many days I finish my exercise and head across a short grassy area to a wider trail that leads to her gravestone. This short walk also has a slight incline. So as you are walking toward the cemetery the grave markers become more visible with each step.
When I’d finished my work out, I began the short trek to the cemetery. At the same time Pandora began the next song. It’s a song I’ve heard many times, but this day the words came to life for me as I heard it from a fresh perspective. Looking over the grave stones with the blue sky and the sun as a backdrop, it started…
“Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night And you tell me that you’re pleased And that I’m never alone…”
“You’re a Good, Good Father It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are… And I’m loved by you It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am…”
As this song was filing my senses and engaging my heart, a slow realization came over me. He really is EXACTLY what the words say He is.
A good, good Father.
I was still walking and brimming with music when the entire cemetery came into view. I could see the cross that marks her resting place and I was caught off guard with emotion.
I had lived the words to this song.
I had weathered the toughest storm of my life and I’d found Him to still be good. When I reached the cross that has her name written underneath it, I lifted my eyes t0 the heavens and and began to sing…
“You’re a good, good Father…it’s who you are…”
And I meant it.
I have no idea what is next for me, but I know He is good.
I may not always understand, but He is always good.
As I looked up to the heavens, I thought to myself, Momma would be proud.
Scripture: Psalm 84:5-7
“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”
Prayer: Father, we suffer much here on this earth, but you are still good. You take us through our difficult seasons and teach us so much. But, I thank you that you do not leave us in the difficulty. You take us to the other side of it all, where we can laugh and feel joy once again. I thank you for that. I also thank you for heaven and the hope of seeing those we’ve lost someday. They are not gone forever, just for now. Walk with us, Lord, and sing with us as we learn to live again. In Jesus Name, Amen.