Sunday, January 19, 2014
Always by My Side
This year, I'd gone with a teddy-bear decorating theme, in honor of our "Ted-bear" we were all missing so much. But removing the warmth, beauty and symbolism from my home wouldn't be easy, especially this first Christmas without my loving husband. The kids had all been home from far-away places, and we had shared sweet "God-with-us" time together, cementing new memories in this journey that was uncertain for all of us.
As I slowly took off each ornament with a story of its own, I thought I could be strong. But the tears began to flow. "I miss you so much, my love," I began to say to Ted. "It's been so long since I've heard your sweet voice. If only I could hear your voice... I loved our life together." I realized it had been exactly nine months since I had last heard him speak... since the night he'd been put into a drug-induced coma that he had never come out of.
I turned on my Christian music station because it was just too hard to be there in the quiet alone. In a few short minutes, I heard the Chris Tomlin song, "Whom Shall I Fear (The God of Angel Armies)," reminding me Who goes before me, Who stands behind and Who is always by my side.
Such strength I had received from that beautiful song, hearing it again and again during the very critical times while Ted was in the hospital. This was the same song I'd sung to him on that most trauma-filled night of my life, and his. I had grasped at whatever I could do to give him strength while he fought for his life. My tears were now coming in great gushes. Finding it too painful to go there again, I turned my mind back to untangling the lights.
I thought of how God makes His presence (and Ted's presence) so real. He has certainly shown me in a multitude of ways that He holds me tenderly in the palm of His hand. I have felt His enduring love in so many ways and the joy has reawakened in my heart. I told Ted not to worry, that I would be alright. "But the reality is that I just miss you tremendously."
As I dragged the tree out the door, another precious song came on the radio. This one was 10,000 Reasons, another that had encouraged us and had become a mainstay. I had later chosen it for his memorial service. Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, I still have 10,000 reasons to keep on singing and praising His holy name...
Both of these songs had been very popular last year, but hadn't received much air time lately. How odd, I thought, that not one but these two special songs had played just now to encourage me.
No... maybe it's not odd at all. I had sung those songs to Ted to give him encouragement and now perhaps he was singing them to me?
Gracious God, you are the BEST! How personal is your love and attentiveness to me. Whom shall I fear? Nothing formed against me will stand. You hold the whole world in your hands. I'm holding on to your promises, you are faithful...!