Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Child Like Faith - a real true blessing

1. made holy; consecrated.
2. endowed with divine favor and protection
3. bringing pleasure or relief as a welcome contrast to what one has previously experienced
4. those who live with God in heaven

1. Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful.
2. Expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile 

Four weeks after David's passing. There has been no time to breath, with birthdays, anniversaries, thanksgiving and now Christmas just around the corner. I mean seriously? I could have handled a holiday like St. Patty's day? But, these are the real deal holidays. Holidays, when I, like so many others, sit there and count my blessings. For the past 33 years, my blessings? My family, my children, good health, my marriage, our home, the abundance of what we have. We were blessed? But, was I? 
If I was, the past 33 years. If I was blessed with all the things I mentioned above, then that means that this Thanksgiving, this holiday. I am not. I am not blessed because, my husband is gone. No, we are not divorced. No, he did not leave us. No, he is not on vacation. He is somewhere that is untouchable. He was not healthy before he left. By, our version of blessed. Our facebook version of blessed. My version of blessed a few years ago. You are blessed with good health? But, David was sick? He was dying? Was he not blessed? 
Absolutely not........he was the closest thing to God............which makes him the most blessed.

Thank goodness for A God that unveils himself on  the darkest of days. That shows me, he is not a God that gives house, health, family to bless. He is not a God that takes away, so that we may say, this God did not bless me. No. He constantly blesses us with his love. When we feel him, we are blessed. We have a choice to feel him and to be blessed. If it is in the things we rejoice, or the things we suffer. It is experiencing him that makes us blessed. How can we know true joy if we don't experience sadness. How can we experience the good of people, if we don't experience the bad? How can we experience good health, if we don't experience sickness. The beauty of being blessed....you choose. Not God, you choose. You choose if you want to receive the blessing of his love in your happiness or your suffering. This season....This Holiday.....among the night tears of loss...... I wake up.....I feel.....I choose....And learn what really matters.........Life is a gift.......we have a God given purpose......and can say, I truly feel blessed. 

As many know, when asked about my ten year anniversary, my response... I survived. When asked about my thanksgiving holiday.....I survived. I miss David every minute. But, I am finding joy in each day and living. I am blessed more this thanksgiving then I ever have been, I have an appreciation for life that I never had before. I treasure it as a gift and a purpose. This Thanksgiving, I was thankful to be with David's family. I am thankful as this weekend opened communication on their importance in Audrey and Parker's life. That one day soon, Audrey and Parker will want to know more about their daddy. David's family can share this. That when Parker looks at his Uncle, he see's someone that looks a lot like his daddy. I am blessed with in laws because through them God has shown me, they grieve with me, they mourn with me and they find joy and the permission of it with me. Through the suffering and brokeness of death, God has shown me, the strength he has given me through them. That I am still their daughter in law, and death will not sepreate that. 

I will admit, I woke up Thanksgiving heart ready. But, as I looked at Facebook, my heart sunk. Beautiful family postings.... blessed for good health..... and I thought, this was me....this was us. But, then came the heart of a 3 year old to teach me the true meaning.  We sat around the thanksgiving table saying what we were thankful for. Twelve of us saying, Family, health, job, friends......and then came Parker's turn. He said, I am thankful for my daddy. Yes, thankful for a daddy that is not here. A daddy that was not healthy. But, Parker, unlike so many of us is probably the closet to the spirit then any of us. And their is no doubt in my mind, that although he endures the daily sadness and loss of his daddy, he feels his daddy. And he feels Christ. And for that Parker is blessed and thankful. His daddy. Something he can't see, or touch. But, he knows he will one day.The faith of a child. 

Matthew 18:3
And said, " Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

David is blessed in heaven and the last four weeks we have been blessed, and say that and believe that:) with his constant presence. Because we know that is only from God. Many who follow us on facebook, know that I hesitated to put up Christmas decorations. Baby steps:)  Instead, I started a new tradition of taking Audrey and Parker to go pick out little tree's for their room and a handful of ornaments. As always, was amazed with Audrey's choices of cross, angel, green for daddy and the word peace.

As we drove out each morning after our decorations, I noticed a little leaf staying on a tree in our backyard. It stayed there for both cold fronts that blew in below freezing temperatures and high winds. One single leaf. Shaped like a heart. Every day, a constant reminder from a conversation I had with David before he passed, that he will always be watching over us.

Coming back from Thanksgiving, Audrey acknowledged Christmas was right around the corner. We all know, it is literally right around the corner. I reminded her of their already decorated Christmas trees in their rooms. She insisted we pull down our big family tree and do the outside lights. At first I told her, it was just too hard for mommy to do on her own this year. It was then I realized, how my kids are still processing. LIke it was no big deal, she asked me to call daddy in heaven because they have to have cell phones. Everybody does, right? After a heart felt conversation, I couldn't say no to the tree. I had to suck it up. And David, would tell me to also:) So, with some help from neighbors we got our tree up and decorated the whole outside with lights. Already looking like a beautiful Christmas. The best part of doing this, it was a high of 80 degrees. The next morning, I pulled out, all happy to start the day and of my accomplishments and I noticed........the leaf was gone. It wasn't a windy day, it was calm. It was beautiful. The leaf never blew in the windiest of days, but there in the prettiest and calmest of days, it was gone. And for once, felt David saying, You Got this. 

The day went on as one of joy, as I kept telling myself, you got this. But as night came, it felt lonely. My mind ran as the leaf was gone, symbolized David being gone. I cried to God for the strength for the next day. For just one more sign...just one more. I mean come on.........just one more. Again, this is when someone looking in probably says, COME ONE, haven't you had enough.  But, I am human:)  Today, I kept myself busy. My best therapy:) Planting pots, finished the last of the lights, enjoyed the 80 degree weather and an unexpected guest showed up. She introduced herself, Leslie. She said she has been following the blog and wanted to take a few minutes to talk to me. She said she bought me a gift weeks ago. That she didn't know when the right time would be to bring it. She talked to her husband about it. He said, just go over, it will be fine. She prayed about it. And like so many of us, she said give me a sign when the right time to take this over would be. As she sat on my porch, she showed me a box that arrived, weeks after this prayer. It was from Amazon. It held Christmas gifts for the holiday season. The return address.......David Hurst. Of the Millions of people that Amazon ships to and from, her return address was David Hurst. She needed no more and came over to deliver the gift. Little did she know, today was my first day to experience the no leaf, the you Got this, the first day after crying out to God...... please one more........... And there in my hands she handed my the UPS box for me to have and her gift, a sweet pillow that read...Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. 

Taking Steps By Faith,

Dana Hurst