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Hope Abounds



So, here we are...Day 1000.  A thousand days of living without Paul and a thousand days of adjusting this mantle of widowhood around my shoulders...a thousand days of figuring out that I can never be both mom and dad to my kids and a thousand days of breathing through the pain.

A thousand days of counting...

each teardrop
each painful breath
each serendipitous blessing
each day of survival

And now, it's time to stop counting.

It's not that I've reached Day 1000 and I'm miraculously healed.  I'm not done mourning.  I'm not done remembering.  I'm not done hurting.  I'm not ready to take down my wedding pictures and slap my bio up on dating sites.

I've spent the last 1000 days learning to live without Paul.  Some days I've done really great with that.  Other days...well, they were disasters.  There were a lot of those days.

I am making the choice to step into the future God has planned for me.  I don't think I have to explain that it's not the future I had planned or wanted.  But I have a choice.  I can spend the rest of my life tearfully exclaiming, “This isn't how it was supposed to be!"  And I'd be right.  I could also spend the rest of my days waiting...waiting to be happy again...waiting for the kids to grow and get a little easier...waiting for a new husband...waiting for the loneliness to be more bearable.

A wise friend commented to me recently that we have to realize that where we are now is the life we're supposed to be living.  We can't waste our days waiting for what may never come.  Where we are now is where God wants us.  This is our life!

And so, I'm starting a new blog at this site.  My Mothering Men to be/Marriage/Misc.... site was started 7 years ago when my life was a whole lot different.  It was a great place to record the happenings of family life and a place for me to moan about my construction zone of a house and the craziness of having four sons.  After Paul died it became a cathartic place of refuge for me, where I could process the devastating impact that his loss created. 

A lot has changed.  Of course, I'm no longer married.  One child is grown and stepping into a beautiful future.  I have daughters now.  I'm only homeschooling one child and that's kind of a half-hearted effort at best anymore.  A lot can happen in 7 years!  So, this new site's title reflects that change.  It will still be a lot of what my old site was - a place to vent and reflect about life and share the cute and funny things the kids say.  Like before, I really couldn't care less who reads or doesn't read.  I keep this blog for me.  It saves me from having to write multiple emails or (horrors) having to make  phone calls and actually talk to people!  I'm not here to serve up devotionals. I don’t have enough wisdom for that.   I'm not here to promote myself or my writing.  I'm just here to write.

About whatever I want.

Despite my design of having it simply be a place to record the minutia of my life, I actually do have a purpose, though.  It's a ribbon  that I hope runs through all my writings and every conversation that anyone ever has with me.

See the picture up there?  Feb. 20th would have been my wedding anniversary.  So that I don't mope around feeling sorry for myself all day, I've turned that date into a celebration of family and the kids and I do something extra special on that day every year.  I try to do something special for myself, too.  This year, it was to order this ring.  "Hope" has been a word that I have clung to since the early days after Paul's death.

Hope

for better days
for some meaning in this agony
for survival
of knowing that our separation is temporary
of being seen by God in the midst of the pain that blinds me

That's my purpose for writing and what I hope others see when they are with me. 

Life is hard, the pieces collapse in on us, and all we know can be turned to dust in the blink of an eye. but God...

God tenderly ministers to us in our hurt.  He holds us.  He gives us the strength to slowly wipe the dust from our eyes and to painfully push through the rubble of life that is lays all around us.  One day we see a glimmer of light ahead and we know that we were never alone. Not once.  We cling to the One Who sustains and with the clinging and the climbing and the reaching we find that blessed hope.

The first year or so after Paul died I found a lot of comfort in music and songs written for the hurting heart.  I stumbled across another one recently. It’s sung by Danny Gokey, who experienced the death of his wife a number of years ago.  The song has a beautiful melody, but it’s the lyrics that touch me most.  They speak to that one word that means so much to me right now – hope.

Here's the link so you can hear this beautiful song yourself: Listen

You're shattered
Like you've never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor

And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Chorus: Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now

Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over
And your journey's just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far

'Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven's working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again


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