Monday, August 27, 2012

Hard Days...

"You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" ~ Isaiah 26:3 NLT

Reflecting on this time of year 4 years ago... these were some "hard days" on my heart and soul. 

However...some things have changed in how I reflect back. Instead of dwelling only on the “dark stuff” of Brad’s last days...I more often reflect on his death this way....

Brad was received victoriously into Heaven September 1st 2008. 

It blesses my heart to imagine his first moments of utter astonishment and awe in seeing the absolute beauty of Heaven!  As the crowds of people welcome him...they step aside...

Brad at first hears...then sees his Grandmas... Mills, and McGuire...both are excitedly calling out his name as they embrace him with tears of joy! Oh how Brad loved his grandmas! 

I imagine my dad there too...being as patient as he possibly can...not wanting to interrupt this beautiful reunion (one he easily recalls having with his mom and dad, his brother and grandparents when he arrived nearly 20 years ago). 

And then...Brad sees him! Both their faces light up into the biggest grins as they reach out to embrace each other with hearts filled with sweet relief and joy that their parting has finally ended. (I have a feeling they made some plans to go fishing together!)

I imagine...while all of this reunion is going on...that Jesus is right there standing next to my husband smiling and laughing and delighting in Brad’s joy!  Of course, Jesus has been by Brad’s side long before this time of reunion. Jesus was with Brad every moment during his last struggles inside his earthly body...Jesus was there with Brad when he breathed his last breath on earth and took his first breath of Heaven! 

Oh, what it must have been like when Brad’s shaded eyes were opened and the first thing my precious husband saw was Jesus! Oh...that just had to be the most glorious and overwhelming moment for him! I try to imagine what Brad would do...or say...or feel. 

Whatever it was...I feel certain that at some point...there was some singing going on between to two of them! Yup! Brad and perfect harmony singing a song of victory! Brad singing words of praise and gratefulness...and Jesus...well, I think His voice must have sounded like beautiful music...and then Brad hears Jesus say...”well done, Brad...well done!”

When I keep my thoughts and heart on Jesus...when I keep my heart and thoughts on Heaven...I am comforted when I recall this time of year 4 years ago. I know that one day I will see Brad again and I trust that our reunion will outweigh all my heartache and loneliness I now feel...outweigh this longing of my heart for us to be together again. 

For the record...I absolutely hate not having Brad with me still...I miss him as much today as I did the moment He left our loving home carried in Jesus' arms. I will never stop loving him or missing him as I breath each breath here. 

Friends...time is not something that will remove the ache my heart holds for Brad...time is not the salve that God says will remove my longing for my husband to be with me still.   

What time has it has given me some “distance” from the initial pain I felt when death inflicted it’s cruel cuts. I still have residual pain...and the memory of it is still clear...but, by God’s mercy and love...He has used this distance through teach me many things about Himself that I likely would never have learned otherwise.

I know Jesus loves me (the Bible tells me so!)...but now I know He loves me for I have experienced His love in ways I never did before. I have experienced God’s faithfulness...even when I was not faithful in return. 

God has shown me He keeps His promises...I have also learned that I cannot take one of His promises and transform it into a promise I want it to mean. I have learned His promises are worth holding onto.

I am learning that my dreams may end..but I trust God has even bigger and better dreams for me to experience. I am learning that I have to “let go” order to “take hold” of the plans God has for me. 

Sooo...I’ve decided it’s “ok” that I feel a few sad moments when this time of year rolls around again and it’s “ok” if I shed a few tears too. After all...I still love Brad and I still miss him. 

When a person dies...our love doesn’t lessen. After all...just look at our love for you love Him less because He is not visibly here? Have you not also cried when recalling His painful death on the cross. Is not your heart tender for the love He has for you...and your love for Him? 

Glory! I am so anticipating the day I am with Jesus in is what makes life worth living here and now...knowing that a grand reunion will one day be mine too and I will see Jesus.

“To whom will you compare me?
    Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

Look up into the heavens.
    Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
    calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
    not a single one is missing.

O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
    O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless. 

Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:25-35 NLT


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