My Love,

FB_IMG_1468893160817One month ago today, I had no reason to believe God would not heal you. In fact, I remained on the outskirts and allowed others to tend you. Your mama combed your hair, caressing your head. Your daughters gathered around holding your hands, your son stayed by your side, your dad, Joyce, my parents, they all took turns loving on you. But I held peace, a peace that baffled those around us, and continues to do so. I knew God was going to heal you, even after you took your last breaths I knew. Even after we visited with the funeral home, I knew God would raise you from the dead and you would be healed. Even the day of your Celebration of Life I expected God to glorify His name by presenting you before the couple hundred of people whose lives you touched by your witness of Jesus Christ. But God’s ways are higher than our own, and I will not pretend to understand, but I will trust his will.
FB_IMG_1464244809927A month, and I realize that I never said goodbye, instead I told you to rise and get up. I touched your arms and your hands, still warm, not once cold in the hour after you departed this earth, and I told you to rise. I didn’t feel panic that I would never see you again on this side of heaven.I knew you would pull a Lazarus and rise, and we’d talk about the experience. Yours, mine. In all the knowing, the one thing that superseded was the fact that no matter the outcome, Jesus was the more. He was enough. He is enough.

I sorely miss you, and I have no idea what to expect when I get to heaven. I don’t know if you’ll greet me or if I’ll even care in the face of Jesus Christ, but I miss you. If i could have one more kiss, it’d be much more, one more hug that let me know all was right in this decaying world, it’d be more than a hug, one more caress, one more night to love each other as a man and wife, it would be so much more because I’d know it would be the last. But God in His graciousness and goodness, knew that, didn’t He? Because He knew that if I knew the very second you’d take your last breath I would have clung to every moment with everything in me. I would have focused on all our lasts instead of looking forward to all our eternal things.

FB_IMG_1464244782791Remember how we prayed just a few short months ago to love like God? To have the compassion of Jesus Christ? To know their hearts? Well, God showed me something today, but you know that already, don’t you? He showed me the deep intimate things of His heart, the depth of His love, a love that is incomprehensible to man. Pure and unadulterated. One that could only be known through the deepest of sorrows. One that we, mere humans, can’t even scratch the surface, not  a mother grieving her child or a wife her husband can fully understand the depth of God’s love and His sorrow for the lost. It is a love and a sorrow so tightly woven together that there is absolutely no separation. I would share more of this revelation, but it’s not meant to be revealed just yet. In due time.

Thank you for sharing your cup. It is an honor and a privilege to walk this out with you, and I will carry on the ministry of reconciliation, to see many come to the knowledge and revelation of Jesus Christ until His return or my departure, whichever  comes first glory be to God.

See ya soon,

Christina

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Father, I ask that You touch every person who reads this with an understanding of Your heart. That they would know the depth of Your love for them. May they understand that the letter to my graduated husband is to stir their hearts closer to you. That they would know You!

Taking it Down

I hope y’all enjoyed the 24 Days of Christmas. I had so much fun reading all of the special memories from some of my favorite authors.And the pictures, I loved seeing pieces of their Christmas too. I can’t wait to do it again next year, Lord willing.

I used to get depressed during the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the sights and sounds, and the spirit of the season but I hated all of the hustle and bustle. For the last few years, I guess it started in 2006 when my mother-in-law had her stroke, I decided that I needed to slow down and do what I could and not try to please everyone. Five Christmases on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas morning, not including the opening of presents with our children, was a bit too much.

Yes, we enjoyed each one, but it came down to the fact that time isn’t guaranteed. When I was a kid we never went anywhere for Christmas, at least not during the holiday itself. And for a real good reason. As a kid my dad spent the holidays traveling with his parents. Knowing the difficulties of doing that, he chose that his family would celebrate at home, and I’m glad he did.

This Christmas, I didn’t rush around trying to buy a bunch of gifts for everyone. Okay, well there was that one day, but only because the one ‘big’ gift that my youngest daughter was to receive was back-ordered, which I didn’t find out until Saturday morning when I was supposed to pick it up. And I’ll admit I allowed a bit of depression to hit me. I mean she may not be our only child at home but she is the only non-adult child and I wanted her to at least have one thing she’d asked for Christmas under the tree.

But God is awesome (Yes, praise him in the small things, too!). DD#2 and I rushed out to the mall and in under an hour, maybe even thirty minutes, the last Saturday before Christmas, we hit three stores bought two pairs of jeans, a leather jacket (dd bought for hubs), a few shirts and a hoodie the youngest had wanted. Besides buying a pair of pajama pants, I was done! And a few days before Christmas Eve, now that is a miracle.

I’m going to rabbit trail here for a minute… Have you ever seen Coal Miner’s Daughter? It’s the story of country singer Loretta Lynn. There was a point in her career when she was just moving to fast and needed to slow down. She also suffered debilitating migraines. I’m thankful we have better ways of getting rid of migraines, real thankful, especially after suffering one for almost nine hours yesterday. Anyway, my career is moving forward, not too fast yet, as my goal has always been to be a full time writer. Currently, I’m under a tight deadline and while part of me is freaking out, the other part of me knows God is with me and will see me through this. He’s also nudging me that once this deadline is met, I need to slow down just a little and spend some time just hibernating in Him and focusing on my family. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that time isn’t guaranteed, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. However we do have a promise in Deut 3:16. God asks us to be strong and courageous. He goes with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

You see, in the last year (a little longer), I sold three books, which was a little scary with all the writing deadlines, edits, deadlines, proofing, edits, deadlines, book covers, deadlines edits, etc… We’ve also had a lot of family stuff going on, a lot. Including facing cancer head on. And it’s time to slow down a little.

But honestly, I have no idea what that means. It could just mean that God wants me to spend more quality time with him. More listening time. More time being Christlike, loving those around me. It could also mean he has a specific book that he wants me to write. He’s placed a few devotionals on my heart, so I guess we’ll see.

For now, I’m going to fully try to commit to the Lord whatever I do, so that he will establish my plans. (Proverbs 16:3)