Friday, February 29, 2008

Mixed Feelings

It's been a sad week. A sad couple of weeks, really (PMS and self-indulgent pity party, notwithstanding).

First, I received news that a much-beloved woman who taught kids at a church I attend women's Bible study at died in a house fire. This week I learned some additional details that, honestly, I could have lived without knowing. I didn't know her well at all. In fact when I heard about it, the name only slightly rang a bell - until I saw her picture. Then I knew who she was. We had passed each other from time to time and said hello and had maybe one brief conversation that I can remember.

I learned that she had taught preschoolers here for 18 years, loved Jesus, kids, had a really big heart and many people adored her. If I heard correctly, about 500 people attended the services for her. That really says something about her, doesn't it? I was tempted to go, but decided against it. But I've been thinking of her and the grown children she left behind. I pray that the Lord completely envelopes them in comfort and peace and keeps them from the "what ifs" and "if onlys". No, let them have peace as their mother is walking streets of gold with the Lord and Savior she loved so much.

Second, a precious friend I attend church with has experienced the death of her mother. I knew her mother a little as they came to church every Sunday together. She was a very sweet, tender woman. Always kind, always had a pleasant word. My friend had just had surgery and was to stay off her feet when her mother took a bad turn. So instead she was at her mother's bedside. I spoke with her yesterday just hours before her mother's passing and she sounded good - encouraged even. She spoke of how good God has been to her, strengthening her and surrounding her and her mother with loving friends. Some people from church had gone to visit her mother and she said they sang songs to her and were going to sing her into Heaven. What a sweet picture that is to me.

As I went to bed last night I couldn't help, but feel sad. Then I had a dream about my father who died over7 yrs ago of cancer. It was a good dream. In it I was at my best friend's parent's house and was looking at an old photo album and in it were pictures of my dad and his brother (also passed away) at a party. They were laughing and having a grand time. There was also a video of this party - which is odd in itself since camcorders didn't even exist at the time this party was to have taken place. But anyway, in the video, my dad and his brother were so young and they were singing (which means they were probably a bit drunk too since that's usually when the singing got started). It felt so good to me in my dream to see those. I asked if I could borrow them to make copies for various family members - I knew they'd be cherished memories.

I woke up feeling a bit happier than I have in couple of weeks. I'm still thinking of the two precious women who so recently entered Heaven's gates and the families left here. And I'm missing my dad a bit. But I am encouraged too. Like I said to a friend the other day, this is just a season and joy does come in the morning. Those aren't just platitudes, they're true words.

You know what else? The flowers in the front of my house are beginning to break through the ground and this morning I heard the distinct sound of chirping birds. Spring is coming - a new season is about to begin.

Be blessed...

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