Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When the Word Fits~

The roll of her eyes said it all.

"I can't believe she just said that. Right now. Already. So soon. I'm sorry."

And even though the chair my sister was occupying was a short distance from mine,
I felt her nearness and it settled my heart.

Somehow, I let the word roll on by before a teardrop had the chance to form and roll down my cheek.

We were sitting in an office at the funeral home.  The secretary, a sweet, helpful woman, had voluntarily offered to call someone on my behalf and follow up on a particular matter.

And, in her defense, everything she said was said with the highest level of respect. Her conversation, a model of top-notch professionalism.

But, there was that one word.

As we finished our business and stepped into the fresh air, I spewed what I had been holding inside.

"She used the "W" word. We haven't even had his service yet, and there's that word."

"I know. I'm sorry."

And, I knew she was.
Sorry this was happening.
Sorry we were at this place.
Sorry the "w" word now somehow belonged to and was associated with me.

I hadn't thought about it since,
the "w" word that is,
until last night when I was scrolling through photos I've made and I came across this:

And, there is was again.

Only this time,
instead of rolling my eyes,
I lifted my eyes to Heaven.

before I could let the word roll on by,
a teardrop,
and then another and another,
gently rolled down my cheek.

"...a champion of widows."

The phrase captured every single part of me.

"...a champion of widows."

And then,
like a movie playing in the forefront of my mind,
one by one,
I saw all the undeniable blessings of God
that had started the moment my husband's life had ended.

- the look of peace on my love's face
- the all-encompassing presence of God Almighty Himself
- the do-anything-for-you support of my family
- the strength of an army of prayer warriors around the globe
- the sea of cards daily flooding my mailbox
- the constant supply of familiar faces in unbefore places of need
- the kindness of a stranger praying for me in the middle of a store
- the "pay it forward" gift of $50 towards the purchase of remembrance cards
- the gift of paid time off sacrificially given to me by my co-workers
- the unexpected monetary gifts from unexpected places and unexpected faces
- the outpouring of tears, and hugs, and love - so much love

And while the grief and the sorrow and the trying to fathom the unfathomable
is at times
overwhelming and too much -
my God,
the champion of widows,
shows up in my corner,
time and time again,
defending me,
upholding me,
sustaining me,
supplying me,
reminding me,
embracing me,
in ways that is at times
overwhelming and too much.

And, I realize the word, that at first, had sought to wound my heart
is in fact,
the very word through which my God is
and guarding my heart.

"...a champion of widows."

Heading out the door for work most mornings, 
the conversation between my husband and I usually went something like this:

“God willing, see you tonight, Handsome.”

“Unless I decide to go to Cancun, in which case, I’ll send you a postcard, Beautiful.”

“Cancun? A postcard? You can’t go to Cancun, Handsome. What would I do here without you?”

“Oh, you’ll be fine, Beautiful; you have God.”

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
~ Psalm 34:18

Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you. 
~ Hebrews 13:5

God in His holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows.
~Psalm 68:5

For the first time in my life,
these letters are not simply words on a thin piece of paper written years ago, 
they are the rock solid foundation on which I am standing here and now.

wrapped up in the inescapable longing to go back to what once used to be, 
woven into the insatiable desire to once again be with the love of my life, 
is this undeniable, unstoppable, unchanging truth: 
no matter what may come my way, 
no matter how overcome by sorrow I may feel, 
no matter where I may be,
no matter who is or isn't in my life, 
I have God,
the champion of widows.

And, because I do,
little by little,
day by day,
I am learning to embrace this new word -
a word that now, somehow, belongs to and is associated with me,
while all the while thanking my champion God,
that I will forever belong to and be associated with Him.

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