The month of October is filled with celebrations. My wedding anniversary was on October 5th, my son Trevor's birthday was yesterday October 17, my husband's birthday is the 21st. He would have been 62 this coming Monday. My husband and daughter both died on October 28th. It will be three years since her death and two years since my husband went home to be with the Lord. I cannot believe how fast the years have gone.
I have been trying to keep my mind busy so as not to dwell on the anniversary date of my loved ones departure. I must admit, that I am in a better place than I was a year ago. I am refreshed, happy, optimistic, and walking in my calling. I never would have thought a year ago at this time, that I would be pastoring my own church. I have experienced making new relationships, found myself woking in radio and hosting a weekly segment entitled: "From Broken Bread To Poured Out Wine," conducted three nightly church services in July that focused on spiritual renewal, praise and worship. I have had several opportunities to speak to groups about grief and the bereavement process, share my personal testimony on how I made it through these tough times, preached on Sundays and taught Bible Study consistently on Tuesday evenings in my home.
It has been an interesting year, and a blessed one. I never would have thought I would have the strength to continue on in ministry without the support of having a full time job. I retired from teaching last September. It has been a real challenge getting use to having a pay cu,t half of your salary, as well as only receiving that check once a month.
My friends and associates have been so kind as to send me encouraging words during the month of October; to help me deal with the memories of my husband and daughter. The truth is that November is the also a tough month as well. I lost my dad on November 18, 2002, my grandmother's birthday is November 15th and Danielle's Birthday is November 17th. with the four of them gone now,iIt is sometimes a challenge to get through these tough times. But sandwiched in between those days in November is my son's wedding anniversary. He purposely picked November 19, to get married on, because he wanted the family to have a pleasant memory to celebrate during this season of loss for my family. I do thank him for that. He and Allyson had a beautiful wedding on that day, despite the fact that it was not even three weeks after we laid his father to rest.The good news is that as a result of their marriage, my family will be increasing. A granddaughter is due in February of 2014. So excited about that.
Truly I can state that: "The Lord God is my strength and power. and He makes my way perfect." This was a psalm that David wrote after the Lord had given him victory over all his enemies, including King Saul. David writes this psalm to thank and praise God for giving him the victory over all of the troubles, trials, persecution he experienced at the hand of his enemies as well as so called friends. He praises the God that comes down and attends to the needs of His children. I never could have make it through several years of disappointment, grief, anger, loneliness, depression and oppression on every side, if It had not been for the Lord's goodness and mercy, I would have fallen, given up, and perhaps turned away from my faith.
At times I look on the right and on the left and there was no one that could help me. There was no one that could easy my pain and troubled mind, But the Lord. Sometimes I could not pray. At times I felt going to church was a futile act, but I persevered and went anyway. And the Lord never failed to give me a right now word to hold onto for just that moment in time. Sometimes all I could do was yell, scream, roll on the floor, or hold on to one of the teddy bears one of my students gave me after my daughter died. Many times I would just curl up in a ball hug my blanket that my friend Wanda prayed over and rock myself to sleep.
But I could always hear in my Spirit the still calm voice encouraging me to fight on still another day, because victory, victory shall be mine. Your Spirit man, ladies and gentlemen, is very strong, reliable and stable. The grace of God that He downloads equips you to hold on and hang on in there even when you can not hear God, feel God, or trace his steps. You just have to know that the work he has begun in you, He will complete it.My strength was made perfect in my weakness. Whenever the Bible talks about being "perfect," it doesn't mean blameless, Rather it means "Mature." Jesus learned obedience through he things He suffered. Paul did so likewise. When God allows you to go through a trial, He already knows that He has equipped you with the ammunition that you need to come out of it. That is why you have to read, study and meditate on the Word of God, You must cultivate a personal relationship with God through prayer, You must surround yourself with people who are believers and have like faith, and in all cases stronger faith than yours. You must be filled with the Spirit of God and build yourself up on your most holy faith. that means praying in the spirit as well as in your understanding/normal language.
Getting help from the medical community, spiritual community, and from friends and loved ones, is a prescription that I used to get better. I am not what I should be, but thank God, I am not what I use to be. I am stronger, wiser, and so much better.
The first sermon that I ever preached came from the Book of Isiah. It was in chapter 26:1-4. the meat of the text centered around these words in verse four. "Trust in the LORD forever, For in YaH, the LORD is everlasting strength." People often want to know how did I make it through such a sorrowful time. I tell them that: "The power and the grace of God helped me to make it one day at a time." I hope these words of encouragement have helped you to make it one more day. Be Blessed!
And, Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers!