I sat there warm by the fire amidst the snow-capped hills so many saved dollars and a million expectations in, as the perfect weekend that had played out in my mind time and time again seemed to be crumbling at the seams. It can be so easy to make oceans out of the puddles of our problems. Yet, these times, just me and him, quiet, still—so rare, so precious. But there he was lying alone, hollow in that hotel bed, struggling to breathe and fight those heavy lids that matched my heavy heart. He was sick and I was unsympathetic. With a bitter heart and unmasked disappointment, I was sure my pity party would at least make him feel guilty for ruining our perfect plans if it couldn’t change the truth of the situation. He asked me to lie with him and I childishly shook my head. He couldn’t help but fall deeply into an unsound sleep, each labored breath serving as a reminder of the moments we wouldn’t spend together. The enemy had me trapped right where he wanted me, bound to that leather chair across the room, thoughts traveling to all of the times the Renaissance man had “let me down”, to all of the prayers I had prayed over this weekend that were going unanswered. God, don’t you love me enough to give me this one gift?
The truth is, when we cry out to God, He answers.
He reminded me that just that morning I stood weeping on the front steps of my neighbor’s home, staring grief in the face as we clasped hands and shared in the mourning of the loss of her husband and her sorrowful encouragement to always love my family well. He reminded me that just that afternoon, I poured tears over the grief-filled words penned in a letter from a relative whose husband had just been laid to rest. Both taken too soon, both taken by cancer. Both leaving a hollow mark in the hearts of the wives who would do anything to once more be beside the one to whom they said their vows, hear them breathe just one more breath, labored may it be, feel their heart beat one more time, respond to the their request to ‘come lie with me’ just once more.
“Yes, I love you.” my Creator speaks to me. “I love you enough to remind you, even in your selfishness, even in your lack of gratitude that this life is full of beautiful gifts that can’t forever on this earth be held —and right now you’re gift is lying right in front of you. Take this time to rest and cherish what you have. Take this time to love your family well.”
I stripped off my socks, shoes and pride and curled up next to the one I love. Wrapped my arms around him and thanked God for that moment of stillness surrounded by the beauty of his creation. I listened as each labored breath now serving as a reminder that he, in this moment, was here. That God had granted me one more day to love and be loved by this man.
It wasn’t what I pictured. A weekend away with no kids, filled with Kleenex and cough drops. Mustering just enough energy to enjoy the slopes and scenery. Yet, in the end, it was exactly what my soul needed. True R&R for the heart in the form of deep Reflection & Restored gratitude. It’s in these messy real life moments that our love grows for one another—stronger, profounder, and more deeply anchored in Christ.
Worship: I love music & I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Listen and Enjoy! You Make Beautiful Things
Gratitude: Are you facing any puddle-sized problems that you are currently turning into ocean-sized ones? What areas of disappointment can you surrender to Christ and find in them a reason to praise?
Grow: How has God loved you well? How can you pour out the love and blessings he has poured into you and unconditionally love your family well?
Give: “Love suffers long and is kind” 1 Corinthians 13:4. What does it mean for Love to suffer and for Love to be kind? What is one way you can live this out today?
Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.
© Tamara Gurley 2014