Monday, October 1, 2012

Canaan of Plenty...Six Years Later

I would love to tell you that I just don't have time to blog.

That has been true in the past and will, I'm sure, be true again sometime in the future.  But, currently, it would be an untruth...which is a nicer way of saying it would be a big fat lie.

Really, my issues lie more in the time-management realm.  I am fully convinced that the reason that the Lord has not entrusted me with children is that I simply could not care for them.  I can barely keep up with my home, a full-time job, 2 dogs, and a very patient boyfriend.

Can you imagine?  "I forgot your lunch, sweetie.  Here, have a Tic-Tac from the bottom of mommy's pocketbook."

No.  I cannot imagine.

I've been called ditzy.  I do not take offense.

Is this really all I have to say to you today, after so many weeks of silence? 

No way.

How beautiful is that smile?

Today, Monday, October 1st, marks 6 years since Chad went to Heaven.  I simply cannot let an anniversary go by without publicly declaring it.  I don't know why exactly...I guess it's just my way of reminding the world again that he mattered to me...he still matters, so much.  And his loss...even after six still devastating.  It still takes my breath away and leaves a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye in a moment's notice.  Not all moments, but many moments.  There are important things that have happened over the last six years, things I need to tell him and very important people that I need for him to meet.  There are funny stories to be shared, hugs left unhugged and laughs left unlaughed because it just wasn't right without him.  And Christmas?  It's just not right.  Our baby brother graduated college, got his first big boy job, and got married.  He got his first big promotion and a beautiful bride, all in a year's time.  Big stuff!  My beau and I were at dinner last weekend and I got a little weepy, as I do from time to unexpected time the last week of September every year, and he said, "I know this probably doesn't help you feel any better, but, man, I wish I could have met him." 

Are you kidding me?????

Me too.  (Understatement of the century.)

Enough of the whining.

Today, my BFF, Sarah Elizabeth Barnes, formerly of Charlotte, NC but currently of Myrtle Beach, SC, (which I dislike to the utmost) sent me the sweetest arrangement of fall flowers.

How precious is that?  I told her she was the best best friend forever ever.  She totally got it, and that is exactly why we are best friends.

The card reads "Rejoice. These are your wilderness days, but surely and safely, you are being led to your Canaan of plenty." 

I then proceeded to scream and cry and find a corner to go suck my thumb...

Not really, but that was my "position of the heart," as Beth Moore likes to say.  Beth usually uses it in reference to prayer, but I'm trying a different angle.  ;)  The words on the card are from the (very) old devotional God Calling.  I think I've written about this before, but Brooke, Pamela, Sarah, my mom, and I were all reading it together in Chad's final weeks.  The October 1st entry says this...

Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. -- Isaiah 45:22.

Look to no other source of Salvation. Only look unto Me. See no other supply. Look unto Me, and you shall be saved. Regard Me as your only supply. That is the secret of prosperity for you, and you in your turn shall save many from poverty and distress.

Whatever danger threatens look unto Me.... Whatever you desire or need, or desire or need for others, look to Me. Claim all from My Storehouse. Claim, claim, claim.

Remember that I fed the Children of Israel with Heaven-sent manna. I made a way through the Red Sea for them. I led them through the wilderness of privation, difficulty, discipline. I led them into a land flowing with milk and honey. So trust. So be led.

Rejoice. These are your wilderness days. But surely and safely, you are being led to your Canaan of Plenty.

It still takes my breath away, the perfection of the words in that moment...the truth of them at that time and even more so today.

We read those words to Chad, all piled around his bed, just as he was beginning to slip away after midnight on September 30th.  Then we sat vigil all night, whispered our love and goodbye-for-nows, and watched him slip away to his Canaan of Plenty in the early hours of Sunday, October 1, 2006.

I just spoke with Brooke a bit ago, and neither one of us can believe it has been six years.  So strange, when the impact it left on your life seems so fresh.

This year, six years later, I will choose again to celebrate that it is better than last year, which was easier than the year before, and so on.  This year, I choose again to be thankful that he did matter, and still matters, to so many.  This year, I choose to be thankful that we are not destroyed, and the grace and faithfulness of God has been steady and sure in our grief and healing.  This year, I choose to remember that the blessed and rich road that I walk is, in so many ways, a direct result of my loss.  And and I will choose not to be embittered by that, but to praise a miracle-working and infinite God that can make it so.   

This year, I celebrate Ephraim.  I celebrate all the goodness in my life, the blessings that have come to me in the last six years that I long to share with Chad Sullivan.  And, I celebrate this hole left in my heart and the tears that I continue to cry.  I celebrate all those things because all those things mean that I have moved forward, and I have taken him with me.  Always.

Beauty from ashes.  Ephraim.

Ephraim is, without a doubt, the message of my life.  Thank you, big brother, for the sacrifice and pain you endured to lead me here.

But most of all, thank you, Jesus, for making it so...starting at the Cross of Calvary.

It all comes down to Jesus.

Love y'all to the moon and back again...

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