Afflictions Eclipsed by Glory

Grief has layers, not unlike the onion.  It creeps up on you, and the realization that you loved this person more than you had imagined hits us in the solar plexus.  As the sons and daughters of a merciful and loving God, we firmly believe that our beloved has crossed over and is now home and pain free.  Yet even in the knowing, we fight the reality that this person whom we adored and perhaps took for granted is no longer by your side, helping you to fight the good fight and ease your burden.  You are better off for just having this kindred spirit in your life.

My dear friend Scott succumbed to cancer on September 22, 2019.  We were very close, and I had cared for him in the last days.  So it came as a shock when my husband phoned me this morning.

“Honey, I have some bad news,” he sighed.

I immediately thought of Scott.

“Umm, he died last Sunday.”

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My breath caught.  Last Sunday?

He spoke his comfort through the phone, and promised to stop in at lunch.

I don’t remember what I did after that, even if just hours ago.  I called a friend and wept, openly.  It was hard for her to make out my words, but her tender soothing meant the world to me.  I ended up on a hike, and to be honest I shouldn’t have been driving.  As I walked I spoke with Jesus, I spoke with my friend.  His wife was never a fan of our friendship-going as far as thinking we were intimate and stalking me two Summers ago.  On his death bed, Scott admitted to me that his wife had emotionally abused him for thirty five years.

“Sugar, you’re just emotional, you don’t mean that,” my voice broke, I felt the sting of fresh tears, this was all too much.

Long story short, he was dead serious.  Towards the end his wife asked that I “STAY AWAY” even as her husband was begging me to stay.  Hospice was long gone, he had no friends or family stopping in-his entire family kept working.

He was helpless.

“Scott, I can’t do this.  I can’t be in your wife’s home against her will.  I’m so terribly sorry,” I wrote in the text.

I’ll be okay.  The last three words I heard.

My heart was ripped apart, I prayed for the Lord to have mercy on him, that he wouldn’t suffer, that his wife muster some compassion for him, not see him as a burden.

I drove to his property, where he had planted a rare maple tree.  I could see the new bench by the tree, next to the pond.  I walked half-way across the yard, then headed back to the jeep-then back to the bench.  I didn’t care who saw me, I put my head down and wept.  I stared as a maple leaf spiraled to the ground.  I grabbed it.  The rest of the day was a blur.  I needed my husband, I didn’t want to be alone.

When Dwain didn’t answer the phone, I broke down.  The only thing in life that remotely frightens me is the loss of my husband.  My entire psyche shuts down at the mere thought of him not coming home.  I rarely have these thoughts anymore, not since Jesus took a good part of my worry away.  I truly do have that peace that surpasses understanding, but I railed at Jesus.

He understood.  He knew that I had mourned the loss of each and every person I had loved in this life.  One by one, my mother, father, best girl friend, and now Scott.  I was estranged from my nieces and nephew-my sister put the Kibosh to any hope of a relationship with them years and years ago. A story for another time.

Kill Jezebel.

I hate myself when I take my pain out on Jesus.  It wrecks me.  My husband pulled in and I fell to my knees-apologizing for the bitter words that had spewed from my fat Irish mouth.  I begged his forgiveness and asked for his mercy.

A few months ago I heard Field McConnel speak about monarch butterflies being a sign of God’s love and protection.  It stuck with me, as there was a monarch out in the middle of Lake Pleasant the moment I spread my father’s ashes.

I had known in that moment it was a God thing.

I walked out on the deck to greet my husband, still sobbing, still unhinged.

My newest adoptee purred at my feet.  She knew something was terribly wrong.  I picked her up and held her close.  She kissed me on every spot on my face, another blessing from above, Maybel is.  I looked down into my garden, and my breath caught again.  A perfect Monarch butterfly, right there before me, and in late September no less.

My tears of sadness turned to tears of joy within moments.  I went back into the house, tried to find the momentum to do, to do something.

Dwain slammed the screen door.  I looked up at him, as if to say, yes?

“Come see.  The garden is full of monarchs.”

And just like that, my afflictions were eclipsed by His glory~

Meeting Mathias

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for three days now, and now I’ve forgotten what seemed so pressing at the time.  I know I wanted to talk you y’all about God’s grace, and how often, after a struggle or mountain to climb?  He rewards us in wondrous ways-but you have to be aware of what is going on around you.  A good way to tune in is to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in all of His ways.  I just plain say,

Abba, I know I’m a little slow on the uptake, so please make things clear to me.”

Actually, I used to be an incredibly oblivious person.  And I must tell you that I am becoming more observant by the day.  You know why?  Because of QAnon.  The military boards on 8 and 4 chan, Trump’s tweets and videos decoding the maestro’s genius 3D chess game is intricate.  I have learned to look at the entire picture, not just what is in front of my face.  It knocks me off of my feet to think of all that I have been missing all these years.

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After Tom Hanks threatened me for I blog I wrote about my late friend Isaac Kappy’s death?  I began all out war on the enemy.  I carry, have mace and a dog.  God blessed me with bionic hearing, and I am eerily aware of my surroundings.  I always pray before a hike or any other outdoorsy activity.  I pray the blood of Jesus wash over us and protect us.  As a matter of fact, if you are ever in a situation where you feel threatened?  Call out His name!  He will help you, this I know for certain.

See something, say something.

I mean, after everything I have learned in the last three years?

I am just coming out of a deep depression, brought on by too much research, too much isolating and a few extenuating circumstances.  One being the terminal illness my best friend is battling.  He is okay with going, even eager, or so he says.  A few weeks ago I thought we had said our goodbyes.  He had told me that his wife, a good friend for years-was not exactly my biggest fan.  In fact, he told me she wasn’t too keen on our friendship-and Scott, being a man, said this:

I don’t know what it is, but Sara and I share a special bond.

After a gut wrenching goodbye, (See Farewell My Friend, Farewell) I wept for three days straight.  My heart was so grieved!  Another best friend, Barb, had died from cancer 15 years ago-she wouldn’t let us near her-I am a nurturing person and I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I understand why Barbie did what she did, but it left a gaping, grievous wound that resurfaces now and ag”ain.  Now I wouldn’t be able to be of help to Scott, and so selfishly-I ached.

Long story short, much to my surprise, Scott phoned me yesterday.  He told me he had died, but that his son and wife had brought him back.  And then?

“Hey, can you pick me up three chicken thighs and a pound of butter?  I’m making Fettucine Alfredo tonight…”

My heart skipped a beat!  I was torn between elation and the realization that I would have to say goodbye, eventually, again.  As Dwain and I pulled into the driveway, I took notice that his wife was at home.

Honey, I don’t know if I’m going to get out of the truck.

You have to know my husband, and you had to be there-but the look on his face said:

What you talkin’ about Willis?  Where are your sensibilities?  Have you gone mad?

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And so it was that his wife and I sat and talked, outside, privately.

We worked it out, and in a loving and authentic way-no cat claws whatsoever.

I offered to help in the kennel they own.  She shook her head, but offered this up:

“I could use your help with Scott in the mornings and evenings, if you could, I don’t know about your schedule, I…”

She couldn’t say anything else, I had my arms so tightly wound around her neck, by head burrowed in her long black hair, choking the life force out of her, I’m sure.

 

I was torn up, I can tell you that.  So thankful that God had changed things around, my attitude being one of immense gratitude.  We pulled into a car wash, waved down by kids with signs.  As Dwain moved up to the proper spot, my eyes were drawn to a small child in a wheelchair.

I approached the family with caution, bending down to touch the little boy’s hair.

“This is Mathias, and the car wash is to raise money for his sixteenth operation,” a young man informed me.

I sat down in front of him, in utter awe of his spunk.  We made quick friends, sharing blueberries and laughing out loud.  Matt was four years old, and his single mother was struggling to survive after a series of complications he suffered.

“Down Syndrome,” she nodded.  “I couldn’t help but notice how fond of you he is, thank you.”

And this is how God works-just when you’re thinking there’s no point in living?  He will blow you away by answered prayer and abundant love~

 

Some New Truth

The censorship is so bad, that YouTube won’t allow you the privilege of sharing their videos.  It sent me into a tizzy, for approximately 5 minutes.  I quickly realized there are many different ways to access music, and I am the better off in the long run.  Screw you YouTube.

I have taken my case to Abba, and asked that I not suffer the bleak blackness ever again.  You see, if you are a follower of Christ trying to spread spiritual truths?  You’re going to come up against heavy prosecution, it’s just the way it is.

I remember, in 2017, when I was coming to the realization that my family would never, ever be the codependent train wreck it once was.  It was debilitating, overwhelming and a bitter pill to swallow:  the idea that I could exist without a one of them had never crossed my mind.  I put my family first, and even, I am ashamed to say, ahead of my own husband.

I hated holidays that weren’t spent with my family of origin.  Instead of loving the ones I was with, I became forlorn and depressed-each and every Christmas, like clockwork.  God has the power to change our hearts, from the very inside out.  When your heart is where it belongs?  That is when the miracles begin!

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It isn’t that I don’t love my family, I do.  However, I have learned the hard way that we must exist independently from our siblings and parents.  If we can’t move on, and into the new family you have created, you are putting yourself in an atmosphere of misery and wont.

At some point in one’s life these ties must be, if only temporarily, severed.  Once you become your own person,  strong in your faith and belief system, then you can have a mutually beneficial relationship with them.  Trust me, there is plenty of dysfunction to go around-you aren’t alone in feeling that your family was different.  The fact is, there is no such thing as the perfect family unit.  There is baggage, emotional pain, sibling rivalry and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I made the mistake of believing the enemy’s lie:  that I was somehow less than, not deserving of a loving foundation, and the more I leaned on my family for validation?  Well, the more I realized that they weren’t loving on me the way that I was loving on them.

Capiche?

At some point in our adulthood we need to grow and nurture our relationship with our Creator, as individual beings, with purpose driven lives.  Find out who you really are/want/cherish/believe as an independent agent-free of the burden to be anyone but who you truly are.

No matter what your family thinks you should be.

 

Dark to Light

Every trial, every heartbreak and each and every tear I have shed has made me the strong person I am today.  Great Awakening or not, everything in my life makes so much sense-an absolute victory.  It is my prayer that each and every one of you will turn to Christ.  There you will find all truth, peace and power over the enemy.

My best friend Jason came out to the farmette for dinner last night.  Due to circumstances beyond our control, we hadn’t seen each other in over a year.  Jason is a Pranswer (answered prayer) and the moment I met him I knew we were fated to suffer the journey together.  From the Jeep Wrangler to the gift of prose, we had everything in common.  He is an Empath, an Intuit, a Sensitive.  He wants nothing less than to change the world, or at least be a part of the momentum.  

As he walked into my kitchen, nothing seemed amiss.  As a matter of fact, he looked amazing.  It wasn’t until we sat down to talk that I saw the darkness, a black pool of nothingness-his pupils.

Melania Trump is a fucking whore,” he blurted.

My husband looked at me, then at him, then quickly back to me.  And then it happened, he did the unthinkable-

“What good, what good did that tacky glutton do for this country?”

His eyes were full of spite, for lack of a better term.

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I thought my husband was going to leave the room.  His head was on a swivel, the smile wiped off of his mug.  He wasn’t necessarily upset with Jason.  He knew his wife and he knew her Irish temper but most of all he knew I adore my president.

It occurred to me that Jason had been out in the big bad world for a mite too long.  His jaded, saddened heart was proof in the pudding.

There was no argument.  We sat down in the kitchen and I asked him, what do you want to know?  Presuming he wanted to ask anything, I sensed he was coming up for air.

We talked well in to the evening, confessing our brushes with the still sleeping masses, how alone we both felt, how we couldn’t talk to our spouses about the coming avalanche of red pills headed our way.

“If God is going to eviscerate evil from this earth, I must be a cog in the machine.  I have always known I would be a warrior for good in my lifetime.”

As I walked him to the door, we both broke into fits of laughter I haven’t experienced in a Coon’s age.  We cackled until there was no breath left in either of us, then stopped to say goodbye.  I looked deeply into his big blue eyes-and relished the moment the light returned.

“…It’s hard to live in the darkness, to have faith that light exists and is coming.  But Your Word says we can bear fruit even when the world is dark because our light is the Lamb of Jesus, the Word Incarnate, who shines on us, in us, and through us.  We pray for  a flourishing visible to those around us that has no explanation apart from Your power in us.  Not a flourishing of wealth and power, though; gold does not shine in the darkness.  But Your love does.  Give us your love to light this dark world.  Amen.

–   Prayers and Promises for a Hurting World