Monday, August 19, 2013


We just got back from a week at the beach with family.  Toes in the sand, diving under waves, bike rides, and family meals.  It is so easy to rush through days forgetting the biggest blessing we have is in relationships.  How sweet it was to soak in the family time and see cousins giggle way too late into the night.  We are going to miss the summer days but can't wait to move ahead into what God has next.

The note

I saw the note flutter down out of the corner of my eye.  I turned from doing dishes and opened the backdoor to find the small envelope resting on the grass.  When I looked up to the second story window I saw Luke, then only five years old, peering down with big eyes.  He must have opened the window and squeezed it between the screen and sill watching it sail down to the ground.  I had sent him up to his room to think about how he treated others and not to come down until I came to get him.
My voice had not been raised but I was clearly at a loss on how to soften his heart.

I opened the small card with steam engine on front and read his large mismatched print.  With a heavy heart I climbed the stairs and hugged a still crying boy.  Those are the moments to speak truth in love.  Truth about unending grace and forgiveness that wipes clean.  Truth about love unchanging that is not based on what is done or left undone.  He answered with his typical response of already knowing that.  But then he quickly asked what if I had forgotten about him and had eaten dinner without him.  And, if I could forget him, then maybe I could stop loving him.  I gently reminded him that he was mine, my first son, given by a good God and I could never forget him.  Tears dried and we talked more, I left him alone again to think about love and forgiveness and a heart that is soft.  We all ate dinner as a family that night, the note still tucked deep in my pocket.  The prayers and I love yous at bedtime felt a little sweeter.

Since Shirley's death there has seem to be a number of losses.  Some that are not mine to write about but have affected our hearts.  Others that are ours and are still hard to sort out.  And like most important seasons in life, the answers and reasons are unseen.  The monotone place of wait still rests at our doorstep.  It is so easy to feel forgotten in the wait and unloved in the loss. It seems the biggest fear to battle from small child to grown adult is am I loved?  I found this note again in a big blue jar where I keep all the boys old love notes in. I reread this one, remembering with Luke the conversation we had that afternoon.  This note could have been written to God from me many times this summer.  Written every time my heart ached, or I felt forgotten, or a time line changed; each time I questioned His plan and struggled to receive His love.  And yet, His answer will always be, I have never stopped loving you.  I will never forget you, YOU ARE MINE.  Unending grace and unchanging love.

And I feel it.  I feel His love right now in a place of unknown.  In a place very different than I thought we would be a year ago, I feel His love and joy even in the wait and small losses.  I have no clue what will happen in the next two months.  I do know that I don't have to write these notes to God each night as disappointment spills from my lips or the whys aren't answered.  The cycle of feeling unloved can be met with the truth of His unchanging love.  I can choose to whisper I love you, I trust you, I receive what you have for us instead.  In that there is freedom and joy.  Anticipation that hinges on His ability and not mine.  

If you have time in these last few weeks of summer grab a copy of Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place.  It has held truths my heart was aching to hear this season.  I pray that you feel His love as you read it.  Here is one of my favorite quotes form the book, Corrie's father talking to her about love:
"Do you know what hurts so very much?  It's love.  Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.  There are two things we can do when this happens.  We can kill that love so the it stops hurting.  But then of course part of us dies too.  Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel."

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."Jeremiah 31:3