I don't do a lot of socializing. I prefer the peaceful solitude of my home. Probably because I feel in control here. To be perfectly honest, the outside world scares me. Anything could happen out there--anything, and my mind plays out ridiculous worst case scenarios, so I prefer staying home. I feel safe here. I can keep my family safe here. Not so out there. Anything could happen. I don't like it out there. I don't know if I have slight agoraphobia, but the more I stay home, the happier I am. It's hard to budge me out of my safe little shell.
But I convinced myself this Bible study would be good. I could really use some time with girlfriends, time away from parenting and crazy puppies, dishes piled in the sink waiting washing, time to be just me, just His, enmeshed in His Word. Now, if that's not worthy enough to get me out of the house, truly nothing is.
Just past seven, Missy pulled up out front. I tugged on my jacket, kissed my guys, patted puppy heads, grabbed my purse and whisked out the door into the dark, chilly night. As a reward for simply making it out of the house, we stopped for a coffee at Sheetz then headed to Diane's, chatting about our weeks and weather, the possibility of snow over the weekend. We got a little lost because in my shorthand scribbling of directions, I somehow missed writing down the actual street name. Fortunately for cell phones, we managed to find our way. Whew! Another friend, Lori, joined us, tea steeped and prayers offered, we began.
October is not a good month for me anymore. Missing my dad steals my joy away. God blessed me with a patient, loving husband who bears beside me through the storming, grief lashing out in anger, wanting back what I can no longer have-his hand, his hugs, his smile, his eyes laughing. I dread the coming of his birthday, the remembering, the missing, the ten days 'til his passing, three more when he was placed underground, cold, forever gone. Three years hasn't made it any easier. The missing still hurts.
A few months ago I had read "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper, his after death experience when he actually walked in heaven before being prayed back to life on earth. When my dad first passed, I wondered in my heart if he had actually gone to heaven, or if he had to wait until the Second Coming, when everyone living and deceased will be raised. My pastor assured me his spirit would be in heaven, still a silent doubt yet lingered. Then reading Don's account gave me more reassurance that Dad would have gone on to heaven and that he's there waiting for the rest of us to join him in glory. Even still, the missing hurts.
Well, as we chatted through our study Thursday night, Lori, who works in the hospital ER, told us a story of one of her patients that week. An elderly gentleman who had also experienced death after a heart attack before being resuscitated, shared with her his peace, no longer fearing death because he had already once 'gone over'. His wife had also already 'gone over' and he was looking forward to going back to be with her again. That gave me such peace. Daddy'd gone over. He was happy. I will see him again.
God spoke to my hurting heart and told me exactly what I needed to hear that night. He helped me let go of some of the pain I've wrapped so tight around me. Then He showered snow on my early Saturday morning, softly loving me with what gives me the sweetest simple joy. I am blessed. Thank you, Abba. Thank you for always loving me.
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