Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seeing True Joy Yesterday!

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Nuclear Meltdowns, anything else?

Doesn't it seem a bit surreal?

Can Japan face any more devastation right now, even despite the seemingly non stop aftershocks that would keep most of us rattled, sleepless, and thinking of relocating anywhere but there?

I keep finding myself wondering just what lies ahead. Is this a glass half full or a glass half empty situation? It's hard to keep a healthy perspective in things in light of everything facing us in recent days. Until you see the bigger picture and God gives you a peak.

Yesterday in fact I saw JOY! Unspeakable joy in the most unexpected of places and all without any planning except for the One who masterfully plans it all out that way.

My daughter, Caitlyn, had a friend over yesterday. She has a lot of friends and this is not an unusual circumstance in our home lately. His name was Ben. He's been such a huge blessing in Caitlyn's life since her boyfriend of the last year and a half broke up with her to see someone else.

Of course we didn't know it at the time, but he apparently wanted to date someone else and within days after their breakup had moved on. But Caitlyn hadn't, but was actively trying.

Then came along Ben.

He has been a friend of hers in the last few months, but made his way over here a few times, via the only transportation most boys without licenses have, skateboard. It's not too far of a ride for him, but for the simple fact he was willing to go out of his way to visit her was amazing.

Yet that is not where Joy was found yesterday.

Caitlyn asked me since it was getting late if I would mind driving Ben home since it was a 5 minute drive. So I said sure, grabbed my car keys and drove Ben home.

When we pulled up in front of his house, he announced, "Oh good, you'll get to meet my parents." I wasn't sure if he was speaking to me or to Caitlyn. Then they both got of the car and while hanging onto the door, Caitlyn peered in and asked me to come meet his mom.

She had just gotten off of work and Ben's dad was working on his truck in the driveway when I walked up.

Introductions were made and Ben's mom gave me a hug to say hello! I am OK with that since I, myself, am a hugger.

We shared some small talk about what they were doing just moments before we pulled up and the type of work she does, and then she shared with me her story of healing.

"It's been over a year and a half and it's finally time to let it go." she said to me.

I think my puzzled look must have been apparent and then she clarified the statement. Her son had tragically passed away, and she was just now finding ways to move on and let go of the sorrow.

I didn't know what to say, since if I lost a child I don't think the pain or sorrow would ever leave, and in fact I understood what she was saying in the process. The grief will still be there, you won't forget it, but you don't have to let it weigh you down any longer.

She went on to explain that she has been exhausted carrying it around for so long, waiting for God to take it from her, but she realized she hadn't quite given it all to Him to bear. She struggled to be happy when worshipping God and often times had to walk away because the tears were too strong for her.

I mentioned that we often have difficulty with that because the response we want from God is immediate relief and sometimes it takes time to see where the bigger picture is headed.

She smiled and shook her head. She said she did see the bigger picture now. She's been using that experience in her life to work with others, including her daughter in law, and showing her God's love and healing in all of this. She is seeing that even though something bad has happened, God will once more use it for His good.

He has been with this amazing and blessed family throughout every sleepless night, every tear-filled memory, and in the darkest and loneliness of places. He simply waited patiently until they were willing to finally give it to Him, in which He simply smiled and poured out His never-ending love on their souls and hearts.

She was smiling like an angel, while she shared how God has brought this full circle. Now she is able to finally move forward and they are looking at making their home, a House of Prayer to help others through these dark and difficult days ahead.

I felt blessed to be in the presence of this family yesterday and was honored by God to allow me to see His Amazing Grace displayed so beautifully. I got to see JOY and in the process I myself went home with a blessing and Joy in my heart, and a huge smile on my face. God gave me a peek.

Thank you God for allowing me to see the bigger picture played out in this way and to know once more that we should be still because YOU ARE GOD!

Sometimes we find ourselves like pieces of broken glass based on the circumstances in our lives that have cracked, chipped and broken us. We are sharp, and can inflict damage on those around us. But after awhile, we will find those edges will be worn down, the sharp edges will be buffed smooth, all thanks to the storms in our lives that will be used to make us better people and able to work for the goodness of God. He will use everything for His goodness.

Like the pieces of broken glass, we can still reflect the light of God to all who can see us.


KrippledWarrior said...

It is amazing where and when you find grace.

NanaNor's said...

Sunday blessings to you! I was so blessed by this post and I know that you were equally a blessing to Ben's family. God never wastes anything but redeems it all and I know that this friendship will be special for all involved.
Have a delightful week.
Hugs, Noreen

Mari said...

What a blessing this was to you, and now to us through your sharing! I like the way your compared it to the glass on the beach.

Wendi said...

So glad you shared this!

Rita said...

Those pains can feel like sharp glass, but if we let Him round them out they are so much better. What a wonderful way to end the day!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a beautiful blessing that was from God for both of you to meet.

GraceGal said...

Beautiful Post. Have you heard of the book "One Thousand Gifts"by Ann Voskamp? Your post reminded me of it, finding God in the midst of everything.