Sometimes when I snuggle between the sheets at night, with the fan blowing perfectly on my face and the thoughts of a just-finished meeting with Jesus seeping into my soul, I think of things to write about...but by morning they're long gone. Well, at least the brilliance that they boasted in the twilight of the night before has faded...
Over the past several years, God has been exercising in me the art of His peace. Time and again I find myself in positions of varying levels of panic over life situations, very private situations where panic could easily be argued as a rational choice, only to be reminded by His sweet Spirit that I have never been destroyed, that He has always proved faithful, and that I am always provided for and taken care of. Time and again. Time and time and time again. I am not going to say I have mastered this peace, but I will say I am much stronger than I was. God's intention for us is never anxiety. Never ever. This has been hard for me to wrap my brain around, because anxiety and the sense of urgency that accompanies it are as second-nature to me as breathing.
As I said, I am hardly a master at the art of His peace. But, I have made sincere progress, and the last several months have been quiet and content ones for me...internally anyway. I am no longer in deep mourning, I think the grief process has run its course, and I have settled in to life as I now know it. There is never ever a day that Chad does not come to me. I can see his expressions in the faces of friends, hear his remarks in conversations I'm in, feel my fingers ache to dial his phone, and see his movements and being in my baby brother and dad. Sometimes, on the best day, I feel him come out in me in some way...a shrug of my shoulders or a turn of my head, or a Sullivan grunt...that noise that escapes us that only those closest to us can discern. I don't cry every day, and I don't ask why every day...I cherish the treasures of Chad Sullivan that are still among us. And I live my life in the here and now with those treasures as a constant companion.
Several weeks ago, I saw a commercial for Oprah about a young mom lost years ago to cancer that had made countless video and audio messages for the young daughter she left behind. I made a point to watch the show and, not surprisingly, this was a family of Christ-followers. I wept quietly through the entire broadcast, as I watched these messages from this young mother, now long gone, and this daughter, all grown-up and in college, and how she has healed and thrived. But there was one statement that stopped me cold, one remark that this young mother made in one of her last messages that haunts me in the most beautiful way. It gave wings and a voice to the desire of my heart to keep my Chad's legacy and name alive, even if his body failed...
"I have one request, and that is to be remembered."
It was so simple, but resonated so strongly the need inside each of us to know that we are heard, that we are cherished...that we matter.