Today has been unusual, filled with mixed feelings of joy and sadness. As usual, I got my dates mixed up and was convinced that tomorrow was the 10th… still for no reason that I could explain, other than that a friend who spent the weekend with me wanted to know about Rich and how I knew that God had wanted me to marry him, I felt like putting on my engagement and wedding ring.
At the meeting today, one of the Elders came to me and said he remembered that six years ago today he had been at my wedding, and what a joyful occasion it was. And then I realized, today is August 10th!
And unlike other years, though I’ve shed a few tears, my heart is filled with joy in my God and Savior who comforts me and does only what is right. Maybe part of it is putting up so many of my old blog posts, remembering when Rich courted me, rereading his comments to my first blog posts. But it seems like lately my heart is filled with simple gratitude for how very well my heavenly father has cared for me. He cared for me when I was single, He was lovingly guiding when He led me to Rich. He was still working in our lives throughout the three years we were married. And from the moment Rich breathed his last breath here, my Savior has provided and led, work here in Israel, back with the Chinese Congregation and my Israeli congregation, maintaining contact with Rich’s kids, and enjoying watching (our) new granddaughter grow up. Every time I look at pictures her parents post, I see Rich in her beautiful blue eyes and smile.
He has led me through the valley, and surely my cup does overflow! (Psalm 23)
There is probably lots we don’t know about most of the people we befriend, because there is something we have in common… what has been neat for me is the many new friends I’ve made who believe in Jesus. IN a way we get to see in practice what early believers knew in theory but couldn’t see with their eyes — how the body is truly one, and when one part of the body hurts, we all hurt, yet one part is joyful, we all also rejoic.
Maybe the hardest thing for me, that I am still learning, is that I can’t appreciate true joy without being willing to experience sorrow. I’ve known this in theory for years… but as I walk through it, it becomes a precious truth…
What a beautiful but sad story, but still comforting when we consider God’s uplifting arms and peace. I didn’t know my FB friend had been through all of this.