9 Years: All Things New

“It may be helpful to pause and ask yourself, How is my hope these days? Where is my hope these days?” -John Eldredge, All Things New (2017)

Giving and receiving books is my love language. My friend Staci just so happened to finish a book today by John Eldredge that she said I HAD to read. I knew at that moment it was God’s timing and a hug from Him. He knows me so well.

Nine years ago tonight my husband, Thomas, and I put sweet Caroline to bed and enjoyed an episode of Planet Earth together. I guess I’ll mention I had a big bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup, I was pregnant, so please, no judging!

Amazingly, God (I realized afterward) prompted me to write a note to Thomas to find with his keys the next morning since he was returning to teacher in-service for the spring semester. Within a couple of minutes of reading that note the next morning, he would meet Jesus.

It’s been nine years and just as people in GriefShare told me the grief doesn’t get “better” it gets different.

After God reached me in the depths of my despair, to show me there is still purpose in life, I decided to take Him at His word and try to start living again. Since then I soak up moments with my family, mundane and monumental, and live with intention as much as humanly possible.

I still get upset over silly stuff and stay in PJ’s for most of winter breaks, but instead of feeling guilt over those things like I might have used to, I relish the “down” time along with our kids and remember to give myself and others grace for our first world complaints. It is biblical to rest, but then we’ve got to get back to making disciples! That’s what Jesus did! 🙂

This is life; for better or worse and this isn’t how it’s always going to feel. Whatever it is that you are going through, there WILL be redemption for the heartache. However, give yourself the space to grieve. Jesus did. He asked His Father to take the cup from Him. We can ask, too. We just can’t lose the hope; that’s why we are here for each other now. To remind each other of His faithfulness, His goodness, the promised restoration.

God ordained we would all be on this wild planet at the same time for a purpose. I have *almost* given up trying to figure out the “why” of all this; I just know it is what it is. And I know God is real and incredibly awesome. If you don’t know Him like this, I dare you to ask a believer to tell you how He rescues and redeems. It will knock your socks off. But just reading about it from a blog isn’t the same thing. Go, seek, and you will find Him.

“The secret to your unhappiness and the answer to the agony of the earth are one and the same–we are longing for the kingdom of God. We are aching for the restoration of all things…That is the only hope strong enough, brilliant enough, glorious enough to overcome the heartache of the world.-John Eldredge, All Things New (2017)

God knew how much peace that little note I gave to Thomas that morning would mean to me. Thomas knew I loved him as he left Earth. I want to leave that impression when my time comes to leave as well: To let everyone know that you are loved more than you can ever know, by the One who created this world to be an Eden, and has promised to restore it all to its intended perfection.

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us…” Hebrews 6:19-20 MSG

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