Tonight I took my girls to a coffeehouse in Nashville. We sat under four familiar Christian music artists sharing their hearts and songs. The theme? Surrender. Trust. Disappointment. Despair. Hope. Healing. Gratefulness. Jesus!
A year ago this week was a "break" week for Matt and I from chemo treatments. Those specific weeks were bittersweet. He began to taste and even want some foods again. He had a tiny bit more energy. We got to hear him laugh more. He was able to hold little ones in his lap easier. He sang. And right here is where Matt would share things God was teaching him in those weeks off. We had another conversation that week about all the things we wouldn't be able to do together. All the moments we had planned and things Matt wanted for our family--together. We cried and grieved together through much of his last months here on earth.
Tonight one of the artists shared how about his new song "Surrender" was about a part of his family's life that didn't go as planned. He said, "you need to allow yourself the death of dreams in order to let in new dreams". As his words struck my heart, I felt a pain mixed with some relief.
The pain of the last 19 months has been terrible and horrific yet it has also brought healing and restoration.
The death of so many dreams. Dreams of raising our kids together. Dreams of sitting together when we are old. Dreams of celebrating long years of a marriage. Dreams of planting a church together. Dreams of adopting a child. Dreams of traveling together. Dreams of trying new things together. Dreams of building that sunroom together. Dreams of watching our kids graduate from school together. Dreams of leading our kids to Jesus together. Dreams of walking them down the aisle at their weddings. Dreams of experiencing an empty nest together. Dreams of listening to one another talk in bed together. Dreams of hosting holidays and parties together. Dreams of sharpening one another as the years continued. Dreams of cooking Matt's pizza and fajitas for friends and family together. Dreams of watching him love/spoil our grandkids. So many dreams...
A friend recently reminded me that Matt was so good at "coming to terms with what life dealt him". (maybe it was his amazing parents that instilled that in him... or it was the crazy military school he was held prisoner at for 4 years) He was good at surrender--by God's grace. He did not blame God for his cancer. He was not angry at Him. He chose to love Him even when His plan was not our plan. He led us to see that God is still good even when our dreams don't get to be lived. His hope was in Jesus. He was enough. When Jesus is enough, we can truly surrender. Not because we'll get something better. We aren't promised that. But God in His amazing grace and abundant love for us does gives us Himself.
As I am here living the widow life...in surrender.....He brings healing to me. His word brings life and hope. In surrender, He continually shows me ways He loves my kids and I that I would not see if He did not enable me to be surrendered to Him and His plan. His plan is good and always perfect. In surrender, He gives strength to my weary body and spirit. In surrender, He faithfully teaches me. He constantly provides all that we need. In surrender, He gives me ministry moments to the lost-which allows joy to enter my life. In surrender, He is purifying my life of the messy/sinful things that I haven't seen there. In surrender, He brings new joy, new dreams and renewed vision of Himself. He alone is worthy to be praised.
Are you experiencing the death of your dreams? Praise Him in your storm ....from that computer crash to your loved one being diagnosed with an incurable cancer! Surrender to His plan because He alone is enough. He loves you incredibly more than you can imagine.