Good morning Folks ~ I hope your week before Easter is filled with God’s goodness. I am going to be putting orchid photos shot yesterday in between thoughts in this post today. The orchids have nothing to do with my thoughts, they are just part of God’s beautiful creation, which are gifts to all of us.
This is my favorite holiday because of what it stands for. What a glorious celebration of the life of God incarnate, who died and then rose again so that we all might have eternal life forever and ever. ‘He gave every drop of His blood, and died on the cross, so that we’d be free’ ~ Carlos Santana. “Somewhere In Heaven”. The words to this are beautiful and the singer has a fantastic voice and way of singing. (Play this all the way through as the singer and words are beautiful for the ending. It is joyous! You can turn down the middle instrumental part if it is too much for you.) This song is one of our favorites by Santana. We grew up with rock ‘n roll, and it’s been a big part of our lives. My husband enjoyed playing the guitar and Santana was one of his favorites along with Eric Clapton, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Arlo West, Arlen Roth, Gary Moore and many, many others. My husband looked forward to a gigantic ‘jam session’ in heaven and it WILL happen. I can’t wait to join in the music, dancing and singing before our Great King, Jesus.
Sunday started out with a visit from my husband’s brother and his wife. It was really good to see them, more tears of course, but lots of healing too. I am thankful! We went out to a wonderful Mexican restaurant called Rosalita’s. My BIL is going to help me with some of the projects around here and I am grateful. We will work together and I am looking forward to that. He’s going to show me how to use a tool or too also.
I have been getting a devotional from Grief Share every morning in my email. This has been a big help to me. They have groups also, that meet all over. You can plug in your zip code and they will tell you if there are any happening in your area. I have done this before, in hopes of finding a widows’ support group. This particular group is for anyone though who has lost a loved one. The last time I checked, they had meetings happening at the north end of the county and at night, too far, and I’m not comfortable driving at night.
Last week when I got a devotional about loneliness and telling about finding a group to share and grow with, they had their link again, and I felt this nudge to try yet again and I am so glad I did. It was God working it all out. (I have been praying to meet Christian widow ladies and just haven’t had success). There was a meeting happening at a church near me. I had been there for a Christmas program a few years back and it was great. The meeting was already going, so I decided to see what else this church might have in the way of groups. Well . . . . they had a group called ‘Friends Needing Friends’ for widows only. I emailed the contact lady, and she wrote right back saying they meet once a month and the meeting for this month was the 25th. I wrote back and said I would be there, and she told me to ask for her when I got there.
I was a tad nervous about meeting people for the first time, going as a total stranger by myself and I’m rather reclusive. I said a prayer for calmness, and when I got there I up to the sign in table in the breezeway where this was being held, I asked for her and she was across the room. Before she even got to me, I was already being enveloped in love, with hugs, kisses and words of encouragement. These ladies were all survivors, with smiles on their faces and twinkles in their eyes. God has been taking care of them in ways they couldn’t even imagine. They’ve been drawn closer to God and it showed.
I was asked to make a name tag, which I did, then I was handed a little form to fill out which I took in hand. I was told I didn’t have to pay for the lunch today as it was my first time, and that was nice. One of the sweet ladies said to come sit with her at a table and as I was putting my purse down by my chair, she introduced me to the lady sitting next to me. She said “This is Lois”. I looked over at the lady and just couldn’t believe my eyes. I said, “Lois!?!”. She looked up at me, I said “Rainey”. She got up out of her chair, hugged me and said she was so sorry. She had heard about my husband’s passing but didn’t know how to get a hold of me. Of course that started me bawling. She was a friend of my late MIL. She had known my husband since he was young. We all went to the same church back then. I just couldn’t get over it. We’ve not seen each other in years and years. She told me it was good to cry and that it would get easier. She’s been without her husband for about 7 years I think. I met the other ladies at the table, and filled out my form in a daze. I then took the form back to the entry table, and lo and behold, there is another friend from that same era, and she is my age, she lost her husband about 3 1/2 years ago. More hugs and tears and she was going to be sitting at our table too. There is also another lady that I know who goes, but she wasn’t there yesterday. I look forward to seeing her next time.
Some of the new ladies I met I bonded with instantly, you know how that is, and it’s amazing. I’ve never met them before but something just clicked. I can’t wait to go back next month. These ladies all have a story to tell of God’s love and how He has worked in their lives. We had a really nice time, with scripture, an Easter bonnet parade, singing that touched my heart and had more tears streaming at God’s goodness. Lunch was delicious and then more getting to know ladies before I left. My two friends from before and I exchanged phone numbers and email addresses to keep in touch. I still can’t get over it all. A nudge to do something I’d already done, led to this wonderful passel of widows for me to get to know, to learn from and to grow with.
I was smiling all afternoon and into the night, woke up this morning thankful for what God had done. It gives me hope to carry on, to live my life with joy and thankfulness in the fact that He cares deeply for us. He supplies all of our needs.
Have a wonderful Easter week.
I’ve been invited to church and Easter dinner with my friend Julie. I am looking forward to that. I’ve known her family for years, and I will be meeting another ‘hippie’ who will be coming to dinner also and that’s great. I had just said to Jesus yesterday after I got home that I couldn’t help being who I am, I’m just a hippie, then got the dinner invitation to meet another ‘hippie’ lady.
I will be fixing Easter lamb in the crockpot Thursday while I am at work. That evening I will raise my glass of wine in a toast to Jesus for His wonderful gift of salvation, free to anyone, it is a ‘gift’. I will enjoy the lamb dinner and toast my husband too for all of the spiritual insights he shared through our 43 years of marriage. He was my mentor, is the love of my life. I miss him but I know where he is and I am celebrating that too. We will be reunited one day.
Have a blessed Easter.
The sorrows of death compassed me,
and the pains of hell gat hold upon me:
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then called I upon the name of the LORD;
O LORD, I beseech thee,
deliver my soul.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
yea, our God is merciful.
The LORD preserveth the simple:
I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
Psalms 116:3-7 KJV