To Read on the Journey

Thursday, February 9, 2012

whispered hope

EDITED & REPOSTED from last year, because this is what i'm thinking about today, the day before Josie's 10th birthday. 

11 years ago 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.
He spoke.
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"
He listened.
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  took in Life-Giver's 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 a year to 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 not 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. 

And the Spirit  reminded me of a promise made to me almost a year earlier, "Your life is going to look different a year from now." 

Exactly one year later
Sunday, February 10th, 2002 
at 2:58 p.m., 
(Josefine, "May God Add")
was born.  

How precious to me are your thoughts, 
O God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 
Psalm 139:17

Isn't God AMAZING,
too too Good to us!?!!

 now i must go and smother my baby-girl with hugs and kisses, 
on this the last day
of the first decade 
of her life!


Kathleen said...

oh my gosh, chills just ran through my body. What a touching story about God's sovereign love and His promises kept.

Happy birthday to your dear one!

Linda Z said...

I love this beautiful story. I love the words you have used to tell it, Denise. It is so amazing to see how God fulfilled His promise to you.

Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

Thea Nelson said...

I love this. God is so good and so evidently DELIGHTS in redeeming even the loss of a son!

Laura said...

How awesome that even though you wanted to avoid God, you were still open enough to HEAR Him.
I often picture Him...screaming at us..and yet, we go on and on, doing our own will.

Have I told you yet how much I love you?
I feel like I know you.
Your words are familiar to me.
I love your story...

happy birthday to your little girl

here is to another year and all the wonders and miracles yet to come

KorinaB said...

yet again, sobbing at my computer screen....

thank you for sharing so many stories about God's work in your life

it brings so much hope into mine.

Love you lady :)

hannah singer said...

this is beautiful. he is good, and amazing. thanks for sharing this, SO encouraging.

i adore you. xo

Rachael said...

Sorry to keep bothering you about the cakes in jars, but did they take long to make? I think they're amazing but if they're really tricky/ time -consuming I may have to give them a miss. Rx