I feel like it's important to say that my days have not been all doom and gloom during this wave. I am not crushed to the point of being balled up on the floor waiting for God to take me home to heaven so I can hold Jaxon. Although, I might hope for that in a prayer or two. But no worries, I am not taking that business upon myself. :)
Now that bible study is over for the summer, I've been paying closer attention to my Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young. If you haven't heard of this book, man I tell ya, you've gotta get it. :)
Yesterday, July 30th, I was outside with some coffee, having some quiet time before the kids woke up and I read this...
"Worship me in the beauty of holiness. I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor- all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world. Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought. Some people use beauty, especially feminine loveliness, to sell their products. How precious are My children who are awed by nature's beauty; this opens them up to My holy Presence. Even before you knew Me personally, you responded to My creation with wonder. This is a gift, and it carries responsibility with it. Declare My glorious Being to the world. The whole earth is full of My radiant beauty- My Glory!"
And so it began. It started raining. There is a pool in the backyard of the family that I work for, and the sound of the rain dripping into the pool was beautiful. The rose bushes had so many tiny roses on them, I took a couple of them for myself and put them in some water so we could look at them all day. God really does make beautiful things. How beautiful is nature. I think a vacation in the country is calling my name.
God has lifted me out of every single valley I've ever come to. Have you ever noticed this little detail in the 23rd Psalm. It says, "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death..."
The valley of the shadow of death.
If we believe in Jesus, that he died for our sins, and we follow him with all of our hearts, death is not the end. Death is a shadow of something scary, but the scary thing is the unknown thing, the shadow. "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." As believers, we know what happens after our bodies die. Our souls remain. Death is really the beginning. Goodbye cruel world, hello paradise!!
I don't know if I will make any sense to anyone who reads this. But what my main point here is, God lifts me up even in the midst of grief, even in the midst of my self-pity (which I know gets out of hand sometimes). I will always have this twinge of pain in my heart, this longing to hold my baby Jaxon. Even Jesus cried when Lazarus died, he knows the sorrow that we feel when someone has passed. It is human, we are human. There is a time for mourning, and there is also a time for joy. We have something to look forward to. Knowing Jesus gives us hope. Without Him, what is there to look forward to? Where is the joy? Where is the peace?
My favorite verse, the verse God has shown me time after time after time (and happens to be the verse that inspired the devotion of November 13th in Jesus Calling- hello!!!) is this...
"I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
God thank you for your encouragement and being patient with me while I feel sorry for myself. Forgive me for my bitterness, my jealous feelings, and my impatience with others. Thank you for giving your one and only son so that I may see Jaxon again. Thank you for conquering death and giving us eternal life with you. Thank you for beautiful things, for peace, for flowers. Thank you for beauty in the rain.