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I’m Back Home

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Earlier this year, some friends of mine offered me the use of their condominium on the beach as a retreat for the kids and me. I finally took them up on their offer and we are now at the beach this whole week. Because Mia is in college now, she was not able to join us and we are greatly missing her sweet presence. I had a feeling that it was going to be a beautiful time of continued healing because we are all at a different place than we were the last time we went to the beach. We are someplace that we never went to with Michael. There are no Michael/family memories wrapped up in this location. Everything is different for us than our normal trips to the beach. Michael and Mia aren’t here, it is a different town, different restaurants, and we are even doing schoolwork in the mornings before we head out to the beach each day. We usually go to the beach during spring break, in early May to celebrate the beginning of summer, or later in the summer. This is our first time to do it during a “school” week. Julia and I worked on some history essay questions yesterday, while sitting on the balcony in our swimsuits, perched on some chairs at a bar table overlooking the beach. The peace of God was heavy on us all day yesterday.

I knew it was going to be a continued time of healing because God and I are now talking again. Even though I learned much during our time of silence, I prefer open communication. After so many months of sitting in silence next to one another, it is good to be talking, I to Him, and Him to me. He has been with me and has followed me through this journey, which felt like I was far away from home. It is good to be back home again.

I describe what my relationship with the Lord felt like for the first 7 months in my post entitled, “No Reply from Heaven”…

I have always enjoyed a two- way conversation with God. I have heard His voice, a few special times audibly, most other times a quiet whisper to my spirit, and sometimes through someone else. I would talk to Him, and if I took time to listen to Him, He would talk to me. At this point in our relationship, I feel like we are sitting quietly next to each other without speaking a word. What can be said? What comfort can words bring? I feel Him with me all of time. I feel His comfort. I feel the silent understanding. I don’t hear answers or advice. I know He is hurting for me and loving me, but there is no reply from heaven, and, quite frankly, I am not speaking much either. I thank Him for carrying me through each day…. Actually, come to think of it, when I do talk to Him, all I can do is thank Him for the life He has given me up to this point. I do have much to be thankful for, but beyond that, I just don’t know what to say to Him. I sit in silence a lot in my bedroom and wonder, ‘Should I say something more to Him?’, but there is nothing….so we sit in silence together. I am listening every waking hour. The silence does not mean we are absent from one another. It is a loss for words….. not that God is ever at a loss for words, but I am.

My sister sent me this quote from Oswald Chambers after having read that post. It helped to confirm my belief of what the silence was all about…..
"When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days in the same place where he was." John 11:6

Has God trusted you with a silence - a silence that is big with meaning? God's silences are His answers. Think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany! Is there anything analogous to those days in your life? Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking for a visible answer? God will give you the blessings you ask if you will not go any further without them; but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into a marvelous understanding of Himself. Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response? You will find that God has trusted you in the most intimate way possible, with an absolute silence, not of despair, but of pleasure, because He saw that you could stand a bigger revelation. If God has given you a silence, praise Him, He is bringing you into the great run of His purposes. The manifestation of the answer in time is a matter of God's sovereignty. Time is nothing to God. For a while you said - "I asked God to give me bread, and He gave me a stone." He did not, and today you find He gave you the bread of life. 

A wonderful thing about God's silence is that the contagion of His stillness gets into you and you become perfectly confident - "I know God has heard me." His silence is the proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of silence. If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, He will give you the first sign of His intimacy - silence.

A friend of mine brought me the book, The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan, a few weeks ago and had written in the front of the book that it had been comforting to her during some hard times and hoped it would do the same for me. I brought it along to read this week during my quiet times at the beach. I started it yesterday morning, and after just the first 6 pages, I had plenty to chew on for the week. On the first page, I was reminded of Asaph, whose world was “in ruins, and though exhausted, he couldn’t sleep”. Later, Asaph records his thoughts in Psalm 77. Because Asaph was feeling so much the way I have been feeling the past 7 months, I immediately stopped reading the book and turned to my Bible to read the Psalm.

The whole chapter of Psalm 77 is great, but I am going to focus on verses 1-14.
“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. (The Message Bible says, “I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.”) I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days (my life with Michael), the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired:
‘Will the Lord reject us forever? Will He never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has He in anger withheld his compassion?'
(Many years ago, I wrote in the margin next to these coming verses, “Remember this”.) “Then I thought, ’To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all you mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles…”

I reminded myself of all of the times that God performed miracles on our behalf, in ways that nobody knew but Michael and me. They were always done in God’s timing and seemed to come when we least expected it. God is performing miracles in the healing process of the hearts of my children and me. I am beginning to see a few parts of the puzzle, (which had been put mostly together, then was dumped out all over again), begin to settle into place. Of course, they are not the edge pieces, which is the way that I like to put puzzles back together…. it establishes boundaries, lets you know where you are going with it. These pieces that have been put together are somewhere in the middle of the puzzle and I can’t picture where they will be placed yet, but the process of building, mending, and putting things back together has begun. It has begun because God and I are now talking, not that progress was not made during the silent stage, because that would be far from the truth. He held my hand and silently took me places and showed me things. Like when you put together a puzzle, you spread out all of the pieces, you begin to group things together, get a general idea of what it might look like when it is all put back together, then you slowly take one piece and search for the match. My silent time with God gave me a perspective that I would have never gained had we been talking all of the time. He gave me glimpses of the whole picture. Just enough snapshots that I could begin to feel that his unfailing love has not vanished forever, his promises have not failed, He has not forgotten to be merciful, and He has not withheld his compassion.

Because it is just me now, I am forced to talk to God more than I ever did before. I have to ask his advice on simple little decisions that I used to take to Michael. Simple decisions are not really simple any more when I consider the weight of staying in God’s perfect will and in constant communion and fellowship with him. He is my husband, and I desperately need his input, fellowship, communication, guidance, and wisdom every single day of my life. I have longed to be back in his presence,in fellowship with him, where I continually feel the comfort of being home.


Anonymous Says:
November 2, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Indeed, the Word is true. He NEVER leaves us or forsakes us. Regardless, regardless, regardless!

Thought from earlier: In Todd Burpo's book, the child speaks of seeing his Grandfather in heaven, but he was the "younger" man of before. Found your comment interesting in your dream where you all of a sudden saw a "younger" Michael. Interesting parallel since you've read that book.

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