Our youngest turned 21 this past Wednesday, ten weeks exactly since her Daddy passed away. Wow! That hit me like a ton of bricks. I hadn’t expected to feel so horribly sad on that day…instead I had busied myself trying to think of ways to make it a special day for her. What kind of cake did she want? Did she want to go out to eat or eat at home? Did she want to invite friends? And what gifts would she love? My mom and I shopped and wrapped and planned the details. And then Wednesday morning came and on my way to work, the tears came. And wouldn’t stop. Craig was supposed to be here today. He wouldn’t have wanted to miss this day. I began thinking of all the birthdays that would be coming up without him, the boys’ birthday in May, mine, and his in September. “And Easter, that is coming up too… I don’t want to make a big meal for just me and Karimy. Wow that is going to be a lonely day,” my thoughts raced.
I had hoped to spend all these special days with Craig. And I know he had hoped for the same. I was watching a Fixer Upper show where Joanna had a sign made for this cute young couple that said, “Grow old with me. The best is yet to be.” More tears for me during that show because for me… the best is not to be. It already was. Or so it feels right now.
Whenever Craig and I would see a cute little grey haired couple holding hands and walking together, one of us would nudge the other and say, “Look, Hun. That’s gonna be us some day,” as we would smile and give a quick kiss. Now when I see those cute little couples, I cry. I had hoped that would be us.
So although on March 6th, we had fun and we laughed.. this year we grieved and cried too. Before Karimy opened her presents, I asked her if I could bring Craig’s picture down and set it in a chair and she agreed, although that was “weird.” I signed her card from Mom & Dad…because well, he still loves her and is still her dad. And I want her to know that.
When I went upstairs to go to bed, I pulled out my devotional and turned to March 6th.
“We had hoped.” Luke 24:21 Context: This is the story of two disciples walking on the Emmaus rode three days after Jesus had died. They were discussing all that had happened, “Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. But they did not know who He was.” Jesus asked them what they were talking about. In Luke 24:17 CEV, it says, “The two of them stood there looking sad and gloomy. Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, ‘Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?’” (Insert LOL graphic!)
“What do you mean?” Jesus asked. (Insert another LOL graphic!) They answered: “Those things that happened to Jesus from Nazareth. By what he did and said, he showed that he was a powerful prophet, who pleased God and all the people. Then the chief priests and our leaders had him arrested and sentenced to die on a cross. We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free! But it has already been three days since all this happened.”
They are talking with Jesus and saying those words to Him, “We had hoped.” They had given up and lost all hope because things had not gone the way they thought they should. By golly, it was already the third day and they hadn’t seen Jesus yet!! Jesus had died on the cross and in their mind, all hope was gone because He was gone. (I love how it includes the part about them sad and gloomy, cuz I can relate.) Meanwhile, Jesus, is right there with them in their very presence and they do not recognize Him. They are declaring their shattered faith to Jesus and not seeing Him there.
I read through the devotional twice that night. “Wait, what, God!? Are you speaking these words to me? This seems kinda like it fits today. I have lost hope today. “
Streams in the Desert (March 6) went on to say, “We can afford to lose every possession we have except our faith in the God of truth and love. May we never express our faith, as these disciples did in the past tense… “We had hoped.” Yet may we always say, “I have hope.”
Reminds me of this song that has been holding me close and playing in my head these last 10 weeks.
May we always have hope and believe that God is right here with us. Right here in our sorrow and disappointments, saying, “It’s okay. I’m with you. Through the flood or the fire, I’m with you and I won’t let go.”
Blessings on you,