If you are a faithful reader of the Back 9 or you are brand new and checking us out……either way, you have to know that I truly believe God has a sense of humor as He seeks to teach us, encourage us and sometimes reprimand us in this life!
Recently, while standing in the receiving line to greet all the encouragers God sent to comfort us in a time of great loss….I was once again “OVERWHELMED” by the number of people that came! Seriously, I don’t believe in coincidences and if you follow the Back 9 page or my personal Facebook page, you know by now I have recently finished reading Perry Noble’s new book, “Overwhelmed.” I so recommend this book that, to date, I have given over 20 copies away! God’s humor comes in right here…..God knew when I started reading this book that I would be going into a season of being “overwhelmed with sadness and loss”. You see, watching my mother with this illness over the last two years has been hard but the last 11 days of her life….were HORRIFIC ….. DEVASTATING ….and the day after we buried my mom we called 911 to rush my father to the hospital where he still remains with pneumonia and a broken heart….The doctors have been quick to tell us that in light of his recent stroke and weak heart, there is no pill for a “broken heart”. So you see……I along with my sister, Marcia, are now in a season of…..truly being “Overwhelmed” in a bad way….but I want to share how God has taken that which is “overwhelming” and “overwhelmed” me, and my sister, with the GOOD! I think that God truly smiles, and even though I along with our families are broken, it makes me smile to know God prepares us in advance and while we are overwhelmed with the “bad” we are equally overwhelmed with the “good!”
We were truly abundantly blessed and comforted….with the kindness of others……seriously overwhelmed…..to stand in the receiving line and see my first grade teacher, my fifth grade teacher, my high school friends, friends from college, friends from great distances…..church friends….people with tremendously busy lives…..all standing there patiently waiting to HUG us, cry with us and share the love they had for my mom…….As I stood in that line…..minute by minute…..the overwhelming gratitude I had to God, to my mother’s well-lived life, and to the hearts of others all rushed over me like a tidal wave….. to the point God dried up my feelings of needing to sob….
Proverbs 27:9, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”
It was really strange as I thought I would be standing there sobbing, evidenced by the fact that I chose not to wear mascara that day. LOL…..I didn’t really shed a tear….I was able to visit and actually listen to all that others had to say……. and their words and hugs were “warm soothing blankets on a very cold and cruel day!”………………Looking back as I love to do… and reflecting….I see God…I see His fingerprints. Just like investigators shine a blue light…looking for blood residue after a murder…..evidence of God’s shed blood and love for me……was splattered everywhere….I could not take a step without touching the blood of kindness, love and encouragement as God worked through others. (My favorite show, if you don’t know, is Crime Scene Investigation…I have a fascination with the science now used to solved murder cases!)
We continue to be overwhelmed with flowers, notes and cards, food, emails, tweets, Facebook posts…..etc…..all have been so meaningful. Let me just stop right here and say…we realize people cannot plan their lives around when someone may die and the funeral…so we understand that some people didn’t get to come….never feel guilt…I did…once upon a time.…but I learned in counseling a long time ago….guilt is not from God. It is from the pit and there is always time later, as I have learned, to extend your condolences….so do not allow satan to take this post…..if you are my/our friend, and lay a chain of guilt around your neck if you were not able to attend the funeral…I love you and know you love me regardless of your presence and my sister would feel the same way. In fact, my precious mother taught us to be that way….to give grace….and understand other people’s lives.
Back to being overwhelmed…….we all are going to walk that road…we are either on it or getting off of it or headed down it….but understand…..God knows….He’s got it covered……walk with confidence in the storm…..overwhelming bad can produce overwhelming good.
Psalm 107:28-30, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.”
Isaiah 61:2-3, “…to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” I just can’t help but think in our deep sadness God is smiling and saying, “I got this!”