It is 6:45am Thursday morning here in Guam. I had a dream within my dream last night.
I was in a very large closet holding a pair of slip on tennis shoes, red with black piped trim. I held them up and asked "Do you think these will fit you?"
"I dink so mommy!" pipes up from behind me.
Silhouette coming closer, face clear in view, it is CHRISTIAN!
My heart is almost bursting with joy, the kind that we used to have when I would look at my kids and husband and the laughter filling the room when they would all wrestle together on the bed. Dog pile on daddy!
I smile at Christian's dancing blue eyes, pale skin, light hair and he smiles back.
Something within me realizes that this is not reality. While it is what I wish it to be, it is not how things should be... Breath leaves me, spirit lowers, tears prick my eyes.
With the sound of Christian's voice fading from memory, I wake up again. Face to pillow, eyes still closed, the dream within a dream is replayed in my memory as I try to hold on to that fullness of heart, the distinct sound of his voice, how the word 'think' was emphasized by a slightly higher pitch and volume than the other words, the look of his eyes staring right into mine.
It is a sort of desperation. I don't want to forget!!!
Christian won't ever be forgotten but what of the details? The exact sound of his voice, the feel of his hair, how it was just a little lighter in some spots than others, how he had this little blue vein that would run across the bridge of his nose?
I don't want to forget. It is this fear that gnaws at me, grabs for me, threatens to pull me down. Ten years from now what kind of mother would I be that forgets her own child?!
As I sit here appreciating the gift of this dream, of the remembering, the crazy fears subside.
My friend Susan comes to mind.
Yesterday would have been her son Joshua's 17th birthday. It has been over 8 years since her son, daughter and father passed away.
More years without her children than with them... and she still remembers.
She still remembers!!!
God gives grace in time of need.
Every. single. time.
Thank you, God for this grace of Susan's testimony in my time of need.
There is not one moment where God has failed me. He has always heard my cry and offered a way of escape.
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
-I Corinthians 10:13
Death and sorrow, disappointment and heartache, these are common things. Yes, it is new to ME, but to say that it is new to the world or unheard of is foolish. Even more foolish are those that live as if they will never die or that life will be void of suffering and pain.
As Christians, we should expect difficulty in life. Yes, God does bless--He has blessed me far beyond measure and far beyond what I deserve! I have JOY in my life and joy in the details and I am thankful.
Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perseverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life?
-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
But it is not enough to just be thankful, we must also be ready
. We are in a BATTLE, fighting for the King of Kings!
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Do not fear. We will win.