Monday, January 13, 2014

Psalm 139:16 “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite passages in Scripture … and I just LOVE this verse!  But sometimes it is oh so hard to believe, trust and understand.  

I remember those early days after Rickey died wondering about the book being written for me.  

I felt so alone.  

Everyone I knew still had their spouses, their girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, and my best friend was gone.  He was the person who knew me inside and out, the good, the bad and the ugly.  He was the one who I bared my soul to and shared my hopes, dreams and fears with.  

I didn’t know anyone else who was 45 years and a widow.  

My parents still had each other, my friends had their spouses, my kids had lost so greatly, and I had no idea what to do.  I didn’t know how to help them or to help me.  I didn’t know anyone who had faced this situation.  I knew they were out there, but I didn’t know who they were!  So many people helped and tried to help, but was there anyone who really understood? 

I started blogging again, and through that, found a network.  There were widows out there, too many ladies who like me, had faced this tragedy way before we’d expected to be saying good-bye to those we loved.

One of those precious widows and I connected with each other pretty quickly.  She had been on the journey for 6 months longer than I had, so my emotions weren’t strange to her – and since her journey was so new, my feelings and emotions were still vivid to her.  In her I found someone who did understand!  She had been there!  She felt the unbelief, the anger, the frustration, the loss . . . all of it, she UNDERSTOOD!  She had a daughter who was close to Taya’s age, her husband died suddenly and unexpectedly.  She “got it”!  “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.  God ordained Leah coming into my life just when she did, just when I needed her the most!

As we journeyed “together”, Leah and I, {she lived in North Carolina and I in the Upper Peninsula}, we stayed in contact, reading each other’s blogs, e-mailing, texting, and finally talking on the phone as the girls and I vacationed in Georgia in March/April of 2012.

We shared the heartaches, the pains, and eventually even the joys. 
We shared the stories of finding someone new and {gasp} falling in love again.  And we understood each other, the joys, the fears, the jumble of emotions that can't be fully understood unless you have lived them.

We shared all of this through the wonder of the world wide web and a few phone calls and texts sprinkled in.  I just love technology!

Fast forward to December 2013 ...

Tessa is now all grown up, living with her Uncle (her Daddy’s brother) and Aunt in Kennesaw, Georgia, working at her Uncle’s business.  Taya & Kajsa have a full 2 week break from school {which ended up being a 19 day break because of our frigid weather!}, I am losing my job on 12/20/13 {see previous post, and the rest of the story, well, that’s an entirely separate blog post!}, and Rick can close Corrective Bodyworks for the holidays . . . so we plan a trip to Georgia to see Tessa.  She won't be coming come home for Christmas as she will be coming home in January for her mission trip to Liberia {another separate blog post!}. 

As we plan, and start to look at “logistics” I remember that Leah is only about 3 hours from Atlanta.  How crazy would it be?  Could it work?  It’s Christmas break and everyone is so busy, but I’ll take a chance . . . I send Leah a text telling her of our plans . . . she almost immediately responds that, well, as a matter of fact, she and Joel {her new, gift from God love} have tickets to see her Carolina Panthers play the Atlanta Falcons . . . in ATLANTA . . . the weekend we will be in town!!  

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” 

. . . Wow, God, you are amazing!  I’m crying as I type these words, for I do believe that God knew, way back on November 11, 2011 when my world came crashing down.  He knew that on December 29, 2013 both Leah and I would be in Atlanta, Georgia.  He knew that the timing would work out for us to meet each other {along with the new loves that God had brought into each of our lives}.  Back then, in the midst of darkness, He was orchestrating our meeting . . . when the timing was right!

On Saturday, December 28, 2013, Rick and I drove into the city and found a parking spot.  We took a walk looking for a smoothie shop {which was closed}, we met up with a sweet homeless man who walked us back to the CNN Center {which was attached to the hotel Joel & Leah were staying at} where there was a place to get smoothies . . . and Starbucks!  Rick got a smoothie, I got us some coffee and we sat and visited and people watched until Leah & Joel arrived. 

It was like meeting up with old friends . . . and after all that’s what we were really.  We had faced one of the biggest storms of life “together” and we had a bond.  A bond of our “widowhood” as well as the bond of Christ and the crazy, bumpy, heart-breaking, exciting, exhilarating road we have walked, hand in hand with Him, and with each other!

We had the precious opportunity to visit for a couple of hours!  The guys found plenty of “common ground” {married to widows, Dads and step-dads, and wives who can talk circles around them to name some of what they had in common!}.  Yes, Leah can talk as much as I can so you can imagine what the visit was like!  Time passed way too quickly and we had to head out and say our “good-byes”, but what a sweet time we had!  Leah’s Panthers {Joel is a Dallas fan, but we decided we like him anyway!} beat the Falcons that day, our Packers lost the next week, so as we proceeded in the playoffs this year, we were cheering “Go Panthers” ... unfortunately Leah's Panthers lost this weekend . . . so now we wait for next year {at least we don't have to cheer Go Cowboys!}!!
Next year, it looks like the Packers and the Panthers may be opponents here on the Frozen Tundra, so my fingers are crossed that Leah and Joel decide to try and make it to that game . . . and in the end, I know that God IS in the details . . . He knows when we will have to opportunity to get together again, until then, I'm thankful we have Facebook, blogging, email and texting!!! 

Here are a few pictures from our afternoon together!!

We meet FINALLY!! :) 

Joel, Rick & myself chatting . . . 

Joel & Rick trying to figure out how to get a word in . . . 

CNN center . . . and the Omni hotel.
Joel & Leah's room is in that tower - I didn't know that when I snapped the picture! 

Us ♥ . . . 

Joel taking a picture of Rick . . . 

Who was taking a picture of Joel! . . . 
(don't you love their pink phones?!)

Joel, Rick & Leah chatting . . .