I went to church this morning. To be honest, I didn't want to. Since hearing the news about Dwayne yesterday, I didn't have any time to grieve. Ashton's birthday party was just beginning and it was not the time to let go and cry. Then Daniel and I got roped into a sleepover with the neighbors daughter. That was probably a blessing in disguise because the girls kept each other occupied. I hate being emotional and it is reflected in my mood. Plus, part of me was avoiding letting loose. The pain was a bit more that I wanted to handle.
So this morning, I was still teetering on the verge of tears. Then Ashton started stirring and I heard the girls in the living room. I didn't know what was going to happen, but God kept putting in my head the "Our God reigns." I focused on that the entire morning. It's the only way I made it through without snapping and then breaking down. I'm not fond of being fragile. We ended up being 15 minutes late for church, but that was okay. I made it through dropping the kids off and Sunday school without tears. I placed Lara and her family on our prayer list without crying. Did I mention I hate, HATE, hate crying in public.
Finally class was over and I was talking with a friend of ours about getting together to discuss her recent trip to Romania and some progress that was made at our sister church. It was so hard to be upbeat and focused. I think I came off as a flake. It wasn't intentional, I just felt so burdened by this all of this loss.
As I sat in the sanctuary before service, it dawned on me that I went through the bible study intent on not showing emotion and did not find God their with me. Armed with that knowledge, I prepared to worship Him in the service ahead. The music started and it spoke to my heart of the awesomeness of our Lord who was there beside me as I hurt over the loss of a friend. The songs went on and I raised my hands in praise. The tears started flowing then. I was so choked up that I had to stop singing. I was so close to weeping but managed to hold that in. I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks all in one day.
We had a guest preacher and it was hard to stay focused on his message. He preached on Psalm 118:24 - This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it and Ephesians 5:15-16 - Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Wow. I was so grateful that I decided to sit in service and not hide out in my car and cry for a while. I have to be honest here, I didn't hear all of the service. But, I did hear the verses. On top of that, it reminded me that even though my losses have seemed many over the past 2 and 1/2 years, He is in control. He wants me to grieve these loses, but not as one who has no hope. Even Jesus cried at Lazarus' tomb. I'm not immune to it either.
I left church with a strange feeling. I felt that God had filled my cup again. Even though I was still sad, even though my heart was still heavy with hurt, I left feeling a bit more energized. God has started a work that only time can finish. His words renewed my mind and started working on the pain that is plaguing my heart. This season of grief is hard right now, but with God, all who are touched by it will be okay.
One-Pot Sausage and Veggie Rice by Erica
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