10 years ago today on Saturday, February 10th, 2001 I was at a 4 day retreat, 'The Walk to Emmaus."
My husband, Michael, had joined men from all over central California the weekend before on "The Walk," and on this weekend it was my turn to join 60 unfamiliar women, at an unfamiliar church, in an unfamiliar small town, in hopes to (like the disciples on the "Road to Emmaus") come face to face with Jesus.
To be honest, I didn't think I would see Jesus.... really, I didn't want to.
I was mad at Him.
It had been almost 5 months since He took Caleb home.
I was sad.
I wanted my baby back.
In my belly.
I wanted to be looking forward to the month ahead when Caleb was due with joyful anticipation. Instead I was dreading it; mourning every single day without my son.
During the afternoon on this day of "The Walk," all the ladies on the retreat were lead into a sanctuary. There we were given the opportunity to meet with a pastor for counsel. After counsel and prayer we would be anointed with oil (freedom). We could sit in the pews for as long as we needed, but we could not leave the sanctuary until we met with the pastor.
I sat there alone for what seemed like hours.
I watched one woman after another get up and walk, but I would not.
I sat in that pew and ignored God.
He did not ignore me.
Teary eyed I pretended to ignore Him.
He cradled me.
I wrestled Him to release me from His arms.
Still, He held me.
He cupped my tearful face in His hands.
I closed my eyes.
He spoke, "Beloved."
I cried..."Why? Why did you take my son? I want him back"
Still unable to look at Him, I asked, "Will I always feel such grief?"
He whispered, "Your life will look different a year from now."
"What?" I asked confused.
He spoke again, "Your life will look different a year from now."
I sat and took in His words.
Finally, the last one in the sanctuary, I made my way to the altar. There Wonderful Counselor spoke words of Comfort, Truth, Peace and Hope through the pastor, and I was anointed with oil.
I returned home from "The Walk" assuming God meant my grief would change within the next year. I didn't think God meant for me to take His words literally.
Fast forward to a year later and the Wednesday before Sunday, February 10th, 2002. I was 38 weeks pregnant with a little girl. Michael and I met with our o.b. for a routine check-up and asked about being induced (something I'd never done or considered before). The o.b. agreed. He scheduled us for the upcoming Sunday.
As we drove home, Michael and I discussed how odd it was that the dr. had chosen Sunday. We knew that was his day off?
"Why Sunday?" I asked.
Then I heard a promise made to me almost a year earlier, "Your life is going to look different a year from now."
One year later
One year later
Sunday, February 10th, 2002
at 2:58 p.m.,
(Josefine, "May God Add")
How precious to me are your thoughts,
How vast is the sum of them!
Josie was not intended to be a replacement for Caleb, but the joy she has added to our lives has replaced our grief.
God was so generous to write her into our lives.
Today, 10 yrs after seeing God on my "Walk to Emmaus" I am reminded that God is faithful. OH, SO FAITHFUL! That God is good. SO INCREDIBLY GOOD.
And I wrap my arms around my 9yr old Josie, and I tell her her story. I read to her Luke 24- the story of the "Road to Emmaus." I tell her about tangible, real, living, moving God. After I tell her her beautiful green eyes widen; I watch her embrace the Author, Who so wonder-fully wrote her into being... "God planned me," she says joyfully. With tears I say, "Yes, Josie, He had you planned all along."
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100: 1-4
Happy 9th Birthday Josefine!