Sunday, August 12, 2018

Just Follow Jesus~



Some of you may recognize this photo.

It is the cover of my new book, IF ONLY I COULD.

It is also the exact spot
where my husband and I were married.

It's precious, indeed.

Each year on our anniversary,
we always returned to this spot
and renewed our vows
to each other
and to the Lord.

The last two years,
I've returned to this spot alone.

Last year,
I went to thank God -
on behalf of my man and myself -
for seeing us through our vows
until "death do you part".
Any one married knows
it is only by God's grace
that this is even possible.

This year,
last Tuesday as a matter of fact,
I returned again.

Knowing this book
was on the horizon,
knowing God
was doing a new thing,
I prayed for
unwavering faith and Godly courage
to walk this new walk,
now as a "me"
instead of a "we".

And while I still don't know
where I'm headed
or in which direction
I'm going,
I'm ok with that.

All I need to do
is follow Jesus.
If I do that,
I will be right where
I need to be.

It's the same for you.

Just follow Jesus.

Always and in all ways.~

For information about my book (which at the time of this post is ranked #1 in NEW releases in  "Christian Death and Grief" - thank you, Jesus!) or to purchase a copy - simply follow this link. 
Knowing many of you live outside of the United States, "If Only I Could" ,
is also available for purchase on Amazon's Europeans websites
including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de. Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es.


IF ONLY I COULD



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Becoming One Again~

“You know what it is?”
I ask out loud to a living room of one.
“It’s the whole 'two are better than one' principle.
That’s exactly what it is.”

(And, admittedly,
talking out loud to myself,
is part of what it is, too.)

Two are better than one, 
because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, 
one can help the other up. 
But pity anyone who falls 
and has no one to help them up. 
Also, if two lie down together, 
they will keep warm. 
But how can one keep warm alone? 
Though one may be overpowered, 
two can defend themselves. 
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

One too many ice cream shakes.

Far too many sleepless nights.

Harder falls with even harder pick-me-back-ups.

Too much taking myself seriously
and not enough of you
to put my eyes back on God.

“Yes, this is what it is, Handsome.”

Marriage isn’t easy,
make no mistake about that.

Two lives,
two minds,
two hearts,
two dreams,
two opinions,
two “know it alls”
trying to mesh into one.

No wonder marriage is for life –
without a doubt,
it takes a lifetime
for the “two to become one”.

It takes a whole lot of dancing
to learn the steps
and to finally enjoy
waltzing through life.

But, what happens
when death cuts in
(unwelcome, uninvited, unplanned)
and leaves you dancing
on the dance floor
alone?

What happens
when one of the two
who have become one,
is now
one again?

Yes, two people becoming one flesh is hard.

The only thing harder:
Becoming one again
after having been joined as two.

Yes, I have family.
And, yes, I have friends.
And, yes, Handsome –
everyone has gone above and beyond
to encourage,
to comfort,
to support,
to be there for me.

But the thing is this:
No one knows me like you do.

No one understands my hopes
and is aware of my fears.

No one can predict
how I will react
before I react.

No one can hear
what my eyes
are saying.

No one can
talk me down,
talk me up,
balance me out
and keep me grounded
like you.

No one knows our history.

No one can sight
a leading of God in the past
to encourage me
to step out into the future.

No one can quote a scripture
with a memory
connected to it.

No one can
rekindle my faith,
reboot my courage,
re-ignite my passion
like you.

Except God.

And, of course,
God is always the exception
who is exceptional
at all of this and so much more.

But, I miss
the second best part of me, –
the part that was second best
to the best part of me,
God.

I miss my dancing partner.

I miss your words
and your humor.

I miss your look
and your hand in mine.

I miss your zeal
and your enthusiasm.

I miss your honesty
and your spontaneity.

I miss your hugs
and you wrapping me
in prayer each morning
and each night.

“The hardest part for me
was feeling like part of me
was missing.
Because, it was.”

My mom told me these words
a couple of days
after you were gone.

Kneeling on the floor in the hallway,
outside the bathroom door
where you took your last breath,
sobbing uncontrollably
and wanting nothing more
than you back,
she –
having walked this walk before me –
walked over to me
and said those words.

A couple of months later,
one night while talking with her
on the phone,
she said them again.

No wonder I feel so lost.

No wonder I feel so empty.

No wonder I feel so “not like me” anymore.

“Yes, that’s what it is”
I say out loud
to a living room of one.
“It’s the whole 'two are better than one' principle.
That’s exactly what it is.”

While the missing you is hard,
and while the trying
to become one “me” again
after years of becoming one “us”
is pulling me apart,
I lift my hands to Heaven
and thank God
for the better
I had with you.

A beautiful better.

A better beyond
what I could have ever
hoped better to be.

A better
I would choose to do with you
over and over and over again,
if only I could.

If only I could . . .



( August 7, today, our anniversary
and this - another excerpt from my book,
“If Only I Could”, releasing soon. )