The day I dreaded is almost over and I can honestly say, "God is good!" I am so grateful I did not stay in my bed balled up with tears. I actually contemplated it this morning. As I started getting ready for church I was already tearing up and knew church was going to be difficult. I thought it just might be easier to let my family go to church and stay home with my emotions. I am so glad I didn't. I would have missed an incredible day of watching the Lord comfort me through others.
I am so grateful I have chosen not to stay on an island with my emotions. My relationships with family and friends have become stronger and richer because of this choice. My first Mother's Day weekend without Ryan actually had much more joy than sadness. I had gifts, flowers and meals dropped off, my house cleaned from top to bottom, numerous text messages from all over wishing me a Happy Mother's Day and expressed extra prayer, and so much more. So many touches from the Lord.
I read somewhere that as Jesus walked the earth He out-touched his talk. He did more than talk the talk, He lived the talk; He loved, touched, blessed and comforted the broken and needy. He modeled touchable grace. Touchable grace is unmerited favor that meets a person right in the area of need. Through others God has been showing my family touchable grace as we walk this difficult road of grief. Today alone His touch through others was so evident.
I was stopped by friends as we walked into church and when I finally found my family I saw that we were sitting surrounded by friends on all sides. I felt so enveloped in love. Worship was bitter sweet. The first song was "Blessed Be Your Name". I whispered to Tom, "Oh shoot! I don't want to sing this!" There is a line in the song that says, "He gives and takes away...." I knew it was going to be rough. Tom asked if I wanted to leave but I felt I needed to stay. Tom and I ended up clinging to each other in tears, yet offered our lives up together in surrender. Loving hands touched my weeping shoulders from behind and beside; touchable grace.
Amazingly the sermon at church today was, "Why does God allow suffering?" Talk about God's timing. It was as if Matt Heard, our pastor, was speaking directly to us. I sensed he could feel our pain. His words affirmed what I've known: I am being refined, fine tuned and strengthened. God's words are my promise for healing.
Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Revelation 21:3-5 I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.
I was right, Matt Heard knew we were there....he sought Tom and I out in the last worship song and hugged each of us tightly and spoke God's promises in our ears; touchable grace.
After church we went to lunch with a couple wonderful families and then off to Luke's basketball tournament in Denver with our dear friend Isaiah, one of Ryan's close friends. It was an afternoon of laughter, sweet conversation and some awesome yelling at the refs (one of my favorite ways to blow off steam)....although today I was quite subdued as I just didn't have much fight in me. Luke did awesome and his team came in 2nd. It was a beautiful day.
Thank you to all of our friends who touched us in such a special way today through your touch, your smile, your prayers, your words, your acts, your love; touchable grace. You out-touched your talk. We love and appreciate each one of you.