I knew it had been a lengthy time but it wasn't until I got out the calendar and counted the weeks this morning that I realized how long it had truly been.
Nine weeks since I was able to walk through my church doors and actually attend an entire service.
I tried to attend on Easter Sunday. That was only a week after I had returned home from my daddy's funeral service. I was a wreck the moment I walked in and finally called it quits and drove home after a few songs. Too fresh. Too new. Way too raw.
It's been hard being in a public setting with my emotions so out of control. But since my son got married a few days ago (that's another blog!), my daughter is home from Colorado and I thought attending church with her was the right thing to do.
What I experienced was actually quite surprising. It honestly was refreshing and renewing. I met God there. He held my hand as I walked through the crowds of people and hugged the ones who met my eyes. I called His name and He heard me. A sweet friend messaged me the day of my dad's service and said, 'just whisper the name of Jesus and His presence will carry you through this time.' That's what I did and continue to do on a daily basis. I tremble and then whisper the name Jesus. He has never failed to bring me a sense of security and comfort at the sheer utter of His name.
After Sunday School today, I entered the sanctuary. I tried to swallow the lump. I tried to maintain control. There's makeup, eyelashes and snot that appear in an ugly, magnified manner when the opposite happens! The notes rang from the musical instruments and the voices began to sing. Worship had begun. And then the oddest thing happened. The songs that I have sung for years and years had new meaning. Like it was the first time I had ever heard the song. Words pierced my heart this time. 6 months ago, they were just lyrics that I had memorized.
'In the sun or rain, my life celebrates. You are good. You are good.'
You can't sing that if you don't believe it. I stared at the screen before my mouth would open. Then with complete confidence and a straight spine, I sang the words that I know that I know that I know are true. He IS good. All the time. I know this, Lord, I truly know this.
Like myself, so many of you have an aching hole in your heart from the death of a precious soul that was a part of your life.
Whether it was last week, 5 months ago or 10 years ago, that void is still there. Does time really heal? I think that depends on your definition of healing. I listened to a live interview today in church of a veteran who talked about receiving the news that his brother was shot down at 18 years old after enlisting to fight in WW II. This elderly man wept as he told this 60+ year old story.
Why? Because the void is still there.
Please know that if you smiled at me today, chatted with me or even hugged me .... thank you. You played a huge role in the healing process for a broken child of the King.
And can I encourage you that when the floodgates begin to open and your tears flow without any pre-warning, just whisper the name Jesus. I promise you - He will hear you and His peace WILL compass you!