Shelter Safe

Our church has some amazingly talented people, especially in music.  Last week as this song was sung and the words flowed through my heart, I did stand in awe.  It is based on Psalms 46, and says:

You’ve been our home, You’ve been our shelter safe
For young and old.  For generations past.
We stand in awe, Of a God so great.
We stand in thanks, Of your faithfulness.
Oh Lord, you’ve been our dwelling place.

my aunt, JoAnn

I’ve heard it many times, but I needed the reminder that the things that I’m battling, the issues my family is dealing with and our friends are hurting over, that those are not new.  30 years ago, my grandmother had already seen heartbreak and loss greater than I’ve been able to imagine.  My God is the same God who watched over her and the same God she worships today in heaven.

He was shelter for my parents through losses that included my Mom’s sister and my Dad’s twin brother, both as teenagers. Even when they didn’t want the comfort or couldn’t see it.   

I hurt for friends who hurt today, I ache over my own tired and worn out spirit, and I can so easily get self focused on that.  But my pains and struggles are no greater than those before me, and I think to the end of my Grandmother’s life and the fact that after all of that, she still knew the true joy and peace that knowing Him brings.  God was her shelter and will be mine.

My own family legacy of losing those we love at a young age can sometimes grip my heart with fear for the future, and for what my boys’ will need shelter from.  But I read those words and know that God will protect them and be their home, just as he was for generations of our family.   

What are you facing?  I encourage you to look for comfort in the shelter of Him.  

Stuck

I’ve been stuck.

My last post was written as I grieved my friend ending her life, though I had missed her for years as her illness had overcome her.  But it was a few days later when I was stopped in my tracks and became stuck.

Josh performing at The Church at Argyle

Just before the service, an acquaintance expressed anger at all the friends who had let Diane down, which obviously included me.  It was a blow.  I had already been thinking it, wondering if I could have or should have done more.  Just like I have asked since Austin has been gone.  No one had ever told me I failed, those were only my fears and hurts. But for 5 years, I had wanted to help Diane more than I could, and for almost that long have regretted not doing more for Austin.

That accusation stuck me in place, not allowing me to fully believe the truth.  For weeks, I’ve tried to move, I’ve tried to not let this keep me in this place, but facing the fifth Christmas without Austin and thinking on Diane’s family facing the first without her made it tougher. 

Then, last night I was blessed to hear an amazing artist perform live, Josh Wilson.  Josh’s music had touched me before, especially his song ‘I Refuse’ which inspired a blog post about 6 months ago. Last night as he sang that song, along with other incredible verses, I was reminded that God’s plan for me is not to look back.  God’s plan for me is not continue to be stuck, even for just a few weeks.  Josh sang beautiful words of Hope as well, but having Hope in God has never been a challenge for me.  Taking steps to do what God has called me to do however, that takes facing fears, including the fear of past failure. 

This Christmas, I challenge you to not be stuck by fear or hopelessness.  I challenge you to see the world before you who needs to see the light of hope, and to be that light.  My light may not shine on many, but may it shine as bright as possible on the few I can reach.

Vist Josh Wilson online