“…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I smiled as I helped Faith and James grab sweaters and hoodies to wear over their t-shirts to keep them warm. It was pure comedy watching as they both tried to shove their coats, gloves, blankets and hats into backpacks only to realize that wouldn’t work. Soon, they were ready at the door holding what didn’t fit tightly in their arms as Phillip made sure he had extra cash just in case he decided to buy them a special treat. As James ran out the front door he shouted,
It’s baseballllllllll tiiiiimmmmmeeee in the RUMINSKI faaaammmmiiiillllllyyyyyyy!”
How funny I thought when I realized he was mimicking the words I have said many spring times before.
Tonight Phillip and the kids are headed to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox season opener. Over the past few years, the Sky Sox have become a huge part of our summers. As the kids have grown, they have come to love the game of baseball. Tonight they will be screaming at the umpire, dancing in their seats, yelling, “CHARGE” after the trumpet blares over the loud-speaker and most off all, cheering their team on.
It is good for the kids and Phillip to experience things that brought us so much joy in the past. It is so very good. It signals to them that the devastation of the past year will not hold its tight grip on them forever.
For me though, it is painful. In years past I would be with them rushing around making sure I had my layers of clothes ready as well as theirs. I would have bounded out the door just as excited as they were and been ready to scream, “CHARGE” as loud as I could.
Things are so different now.
As I watched them back out of the garage and was left by myself in the quiet of my home – loneliness began to creep in. Wanting to lose myself if a silly comedy or drama I grabbed the T.V. remote but couldn’t bear to turn it on as the deep heartache that now resides in me resurfaced. The weariness of hopes dashed, dreamed lost, a life changed and new normals galore just hurts sometimes.
STOP. WAIT. TRUST. HOPE. BELIEVE. STOP. WAIT. TRUST. HOPE. BELIEVE. STOP. WAIT. TRUST. HOPE. BELIEVE. STOP. WAIT. TRUST. HOPE. BELIEVE.
Father in Heaven, give me the grace and the strength to stop spirialing down and the ability to wait on you. Help me to trust in your plan and hope in you rather than myself. Father, I believe in you and your love. I need you now. Meet me where I am.
And slowly…His peace comes and I begin to remember…
This is the time — when the hurt runs so deep — that I must stop and remember my story is not yet fully written. There are still many chapters still yet to unfold. This is the time to push into the safe hands of my loving Lord who understands my sadness and who will comfort my soul. On my own I would surely crumble. There is nothing inherently strong about me. I am weak, fragile, often insecure and easily drawn into the pit of dispair. With Him however, I find strength to stand and endure. With Him, I find the patience to wait for the beauty of tomorrow to be revealed and become alive.
Oh yes! There is beautiful truth found in the scripture, Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
May I never forget, the journey here is not about reflecting my own strength or abilities for my own gain. We are sojourners here to shine and reflect the enduring and awe-inspiring love of God. If, in the loneliness, the sadness, the frailty and even in the midst of many insecurities the Lord is glorified then my story is right, good and lovely. With His strength and love, it is a story I can choose to embrace. So yes, tonight I am horribly sad but I am also at peace. Let there be no doubt, even in sorrow, His love never fails.
May I learn to wait, trust and believe Him more and more — even when life hurts.