I Can Only Imagine…

Dreams… hopes… wishes; we both had them.

We met for the first time when we were only 13. We could only imagine school crushes that could become life partners. Life seemed invincible at 13. It was only a few years later it seemed, one of our dreams and hopes were crushed, as my friend was left picking up the pieces with young children now needing raising and doing life without their dad.

I could only imagine

The first time I heard of the group Mercy Me and their now ever popular song, I can Only Imagine, was at the celebration of this young father and husband’s life. My heart just could not imagine what my friend was facing as her hopes and dreams she had, came crashing down around her.

I had a choice“…

rang loudly in my heart for a long time… My friend made a choice to look forward… move… repeat…one step at a time, get up out of bed amidst her hopes and dreams being shattered in an instant… I can only imagine.

I can only image, when I walk by your side… what my eyes would see… surrounded by your glory… will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still… will I sing… will I speak…I can only imagine when all I will do… is forever worship you... I can only imagine…”

The words of the song seemed far away in my head as I only heard some of them in my grief and disbelief for my friend.

“I made a choice“, still echoed quietly in my heart over the next months… maybe even years.

So many hopes and dreams have been shattered around me this past year. Some close… some not. Still all individual stories of heartbreaking loss. A son… a brother… a sister…a father… a mother… a baby… dashed hopes… dashed dreams.

My young friend knew where the love of her life was beginning his eternal life now. She could only imagine. Yet she took comfort in her faith, much leaned on her Jesus, who promised In His Word to wrap His arms of love around her. (Matthew 5:14)

He also promised in His Word to heal her broken heart and bind up her wounds. (psalms 147:4)

Still…Oh so many questions…

What was the love of her life experiencing now in Heaven? I can only imagine asked many of those questions we all would ask, even now as some of us face hopes and dreams dashed this season.

The scriptures told her her sweetheart had embraced the King of Kings as He had entered the gates of Heaven!! What a picture!!! She was promised there would be no more sickness, pain, death, or suffering for the love of her life and father to her young children. He was joyfully embracing those he had loved so on Earth!! Every tear wiped away! every hurt… healed! He had been escorted to a seat with his name on it at God’s amazing banquet table!! Feasts! singing!… oh the singing!… the laughter! (Luke 6:2)

The only tears now will be tears of joy for him and for many of our loved ones that have gone before us!! What a Hope there is for those who have accepted His Free gift of Eternal Life! Our mourning will turn to Joy!! Our hopes and dreams…. NEVER to be dashed again!!

Take heart!! MAKE A CHOICE to look into the face of the Ultimate Hope amidst the crushing blows of this fallen world… the taker of our hopes and dreams…

Joy… FOREVERMORE!❤

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE…!!

https://anewday950968079.blog/2021/10/26/ill-see-the-lights-2/

Crouching low as to not bump our heads on the low ceiling of the bunk in the 1970s family motorhome my little sister and I made ourselves as comfortable as could be in the small space. The Monopoly board, paper money, houses, hotels, and move tokens took up most of the leftover space. It was one of our favorite things to do on our many summer family trips.

A long narrow window out the front gave opportunity for the best panoramic views where we were headed day or night. My views consisted of the majestic mountains in the British Columbia interior to the water’s edge of Newfoundland over the years.

On this particular trip my dad pointed the motorhome south across the border to California. Spectacular cities and country views by day…KOA campground signs and mostly deserted roads by the dark of the night.

This particular night long after dark, searching for the KOA campgrounds, the rolling hills of Salt Lake City came into view. Perched on the top bunk now tucked in with cozy blankets and pillows matching the 70s brown and gold decor, the motorhome crawled up a particularly long hill. Only the headlights lit the highway in the wee hours of the morning.

As my eyes grew tired and mesmerized by the continuous passing of the yellow dividing lines on the highway, I started nodding off.

Suddenly something bright forced my tired eyes to open a bit. My eyes then opened wide as what appeared woke my mind wide. Cresting the hill, a sea of lights shone as a million white diamonds as far as the eye could see.

I gasped slightly as I caught my breath at the sight. My eyes were wide open now not wanting to miss any of this view that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. There was a comfort in the cast glow of the city, even then in my 12 year old mind.

The darkness seemed to all but disappear as the city lights seemed to envelope us all.

As I think back on this memory, it reminds me of the first time I heard the Gaither gospel song “Because He Lives”. One particular line in the song has stood out in my heart ever since and it goes as follows:

“I’ll see the lights of Glory… and…I’ll KNOW He lives!“.

There may be times we will have to travel through life in the dark of the night after the joys of daylight with only the dividing lines and a few signs illuminated. But knowing that the final crest someday will open wide the windows of all the lights of Glory that will leave your eyes wide in awe and your heart breathless, will make this trip worth all you or I will experience.

And…

you’ll know… that you know… that you know…

He lives!♥️♥️

Peace in the Storm

Was it ever going to stop?!!

My mind was racing in so many different directions much like the raging wind storm outside my vulnerable home living on a foundation of wheels nestled on the edge of my sleepy little town.

This hot and muggy summer morning was anything but sleepy as the raging twirling winds and the pounding rain battered the outside walls and shook the windows mercilessly. A dark blue and green sky blanketed my world.

As I grabbed my 6 year old girl with one hand and dragged her down the hall in panick, my other arm clenched my 9 month old daughter in the tightest football hold against my chest…trying to protect my little family as best I could in this moment from the unknown in my shaking home.

In those fleeting moments my mind flashed back to all my fears of storms as a little girl and how incredibly helpless I felt then and how incredibly helpless I felt now. That little girl was still inside now trying to protect her own little girls…

My fear of storms had followed me into my adult life through many a fearful camping trip, feeling so helpless and immobilized in being a role model for my 4 young daughters…who would tell them to not be afraid when I was paralyzed with my own fears?

My thoughts raced back to my reality in the moment. I dove between the wall and the bed in the futherest corner of my shaking home with my baby under me and my 6 year old huddling as close to her shaking mother as could be humanly possible.

My frantic call to my grandma down the road in the same small town had had come to an abrupt end as the storm mercilessly cut off my only thread of security.

As the wind got louder, the skies got darker, and the windows seem to shake harder than ever, my promises to God in that moment to do everything right in my life from here on in in exchange for protection for me and my frightened little girls was my utmost focus.

The feeling of helplessness overwhelmed me and the thought of not being able to protect my girls seemed to drown my heart as I heard the rage of the storm outside my door.

Many years later as my continued walk with God grew with more understanding of who my God was and what He really thought of me “on the bench” in the moment

, I realized there had been no need to bargain for my little families protection that day. My God did not work that way.

No matter how I may have fallen short in life, as His child I did not need to bargain for any of His protection or even Grace on my life.

He wants to protect his own as desperately as I wanted to protect my own. That is His heart. We may not always see it in our lives here on earth but that doesn’t change His heart towards us. He loves us so incredibly much… More than I could even love my own. He gave me the authority to speak to my mountains/ storms in His name as I found in His letters to me..The Bible.

But for that moment this was my plea.

As the storm quieted along with my fears, I gathered my girls from behind the bed and stumbled down the hall on still shaking legs toward a much brighter living room than I had remembered just a short time ago.

As me and my girls clinging to me like baby kittens on their mom entered the kitchen, I realized the intense streaming daylight was due to the entrance to my home having crashed on its side, leaving a gaping hole for all the light to pour in.

My knees wanted to buckle.

Yet in the same instant I was so incredibly thankful it was all over.

Hearing the news anchor tell of hundred year old trees crashing down in the neighborhood later in the day, I was even more aware of His hand of protection on me and my little girls that stormy morning.

It would be years before my immobilizing fear of storms would become all but non existent.

I remember one day I couldn’t and didn’t want to be in bondage to this fear any longer.

It was way to heavy to continue carrying.

I knew this would be it.

It happened that quickly. I gave it all to Him. In His Word He asks us to cast all our cares/ fears, anxiety, worries on Him…so I did. Nothing fancy…I just did…and He gladly took it.

In the years to come, I’ve woken up from a deep restful sleep to reports of bad storms that had raged on around me as I slept. I had heard nothing.

Sometimes the end of ourselves is the best place to be. It can be the open door to a whole new world of peace.

When the winds in our lives blow harder and the skies seem to be getting darker and darker….He is the Peace in the storm of our lives.

Peace that passes understanding as only He can give for anyone who wishes to take it.

And that day I took it.