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Saturday, September 23, 2006
The Tides
"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee..." Isaiah 43:1-2

Imagine an idyllic place where you can cast your cares away, relax in the sun, allow the stresses of life to fall away. Did you imagine a beautiful oceanside scene, clear skies, palm trees waving in the gentle breeze? For many, a chance to "go to the beach" would be an ideal vacation. Growing up in Florida just a few miles from the shore, I used to feel the same way. Circumstances of life have a way of changing one's perspective however. Now the ebb and flow of the ocean, the sound of the breaking waves and it's constant movement is what nightmares are made of. The sea cannot be trusted with it's ever changing currents and unpredictable calm or fury.

No, the sea cannot be trusted. But the Master of the Seas, the One who created them assures me that He can be trusted. The fury of high tide, the sigh of low tide, all bow to His purposes. Even when I don't understand the "what" or "why" of His plan for me, I cling to His promise: "I will be with thee."

Ebbing, flowing
Never knowing
What the tide will be
Yet receding
Grief always with me

Trusting, doubting
Ever changing
Emotions move like the sea
Not desiring
Yet embracing
The path now set for me

Comforting, drawing
Ever sensing
God's response to my need
Yet releasing
Perfect love surrounds me

posted at 1:52 AM  

Thursday, September 21, 2006
To hear "Words of Song" click here.

posted at 5:36 PM  

Monday, September 18, 2006
Words of song to fill my heart
"Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Psalm 42:8

I cannot explain what happened yesterday. Seemingly, as the day dawned God spoke and commanded His lovingkindness to be lavished upon me in such a way that I was especially aware of His presence. I cannot say why yesterday was different than any other day, just that it was.

There were a series of small blessings: a beautiful rainy day to quench the dry earth, an awesome Sunday School lesson that spoke to my heart, inspiring music and a powerful message from God's Word, fellowship at lunch with Godly friends, a direct answer to a specific prayer, a presentation by the children's choir, more inspiring music, more good preaching, and more fellowship with friends. By the time I returned home for the evening, my heart was full to overflowing. Not wanting the day to end, I sat down with my Bible and told God I would not relinquish the day without a special verse from Him. Reading through Psalm 42, as I meditated upon verse 8, words to a song began to flow. The crescendo of "small" blessings climaxed. Within a short time, a simple song had been born. It may not amount to much as far as anyone else is concerned, but the memory of sweet communion with my Lord will always be precious to me.

Verse 1:
Oh God, most faithful Savior
My heart today is full
For you have calmed the sadness
That daily stalks my soul
Just when I thought I could not bear
another lonely day
You came to me with words of song
and brushed my tears away

He commands His lovingkindness in the day
Shining bright, casting out the sorrow
And in the night His melody is sweet
Reminding me He cares, attending to my prayer,
Showing me I'm not alone

Verse 2:
If all the days were sad days
I could not stand the loss
As weak and frail emotions
Like waves are torn and tossed
Just as the sea is kept at bay
The Lord gives sweet reprieve
With words of song to fill my heart
And solace in my need

posted at 4:14 PM  

Thursday, September 14, 2006
How I'm really doing
“But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3

I had to smile this morning as I read an email from a friend asking “…so how are you really doing?” I’m not offended by the insinuation that I’m less than honest in replying “fine” to “how are you?” Let’s face it, not everyone wants to know the details of my life! I refuse to wear my grief like a cloak around my shoulders for all to see. That part of me is too personal to put on display for just anybody. And yet, I like to think if you take the time to read this blog, then perhaps you are one who really wants to know.

How am I doing? To answer that question means I must peel away a portion of the carefully spun cocoon in which I have encased my heart. I have managed to survive by hiding the painful emotions even from myself. Still, once in a while something triggers a memory or a thought that opens the floodgates and tears flow. I am helpless to stop it then. I am hurting, but I am surviving.

How am I doing? I just got back from a short vacation with my sister, Liz. We attended a quilter’s retreat in the Northwest. It was good to have some “sister time” together and see a part of the US I had never seen before. But after being gone a week, coming home to the empty house was a hard jolt back to reality. I dread returning to Taiwan for this reason, knowing I must face our apartment, his office, the church, a multitude of people and places all connected to memories of Malcom. Honestly, it frightens me. I’m lonely and I hate being alone.

How am I doing? I have chosen to set my mind on the only Anchor I have in this storm. God has promised to provide perfect peace in the midst of unsettled times. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3) In spite of my crazy emotions and irrational fears, I am still trusting, still clinging to the Lord.

So, how am I doing? I’m fine….really.

posted at 2:02 AM