Monday, August 20, 2012

Drawing courage from yesterday

Today's been tough, extremely hard for me. About the time I think I'm on top of a situation, the ground gets pulled out from under me.  I had a good cry, and I mean a good one. Then, needing some comfort and reassurance I talked things over with the Lord; told him how overwhelmed I felt, how heavy the sad within me is. I talked a long time, then sat quietly, as always I do, waiting, knowing that before long the emptiness I felt- the deep sadness would soon pass. And it did

    It began to fade away as I read an earlier post of mine. I'm sharing it again here, more for myself, than for you, but do hope something in this post lifts your spirits or makes you smile.
My 2009 Post


Whenever I start the morning greatly appreciating my life, I take a memory walk, wanting to reconnect with people who inspired me, encouraged me, lifted my spirits,  or taught me something, people whose belief in me enabled me to believe in myself.
     I shared Gingerbread and hot chocolate with my Mom, my heart filling with admiration as she shared her life experiences, speaking softly, as always she did, about how love can go wrong, how important it is to remember that people are more important than things, and that doing our best is always good enough. Our last conversation left me with words that literally changed my life. "If you can be honest with yourself, she said, "about yourself, you'll find the quality of your relationships will improve. Why? Because when you look at another persons  faults you're now able to see your own."She's been gone a long time now, but sometimes, like today, it's as if she never left.

The second person I visited on my walk was my father. As in all families, and within all relationships, not all is perfect. It was so with us. But I've never focused on the hurting memories, of which there are many. Better it is, I learned a long time ago, to focus on the good in life, as well as in people. This being so, I revisited Sequoia National Park; ate cold watermelon as I observed my father, who stood leaning against a Redwood tree- gazing upwards while sipping a cold beer, looking happier than I'd ever seen  him. "It just doesn't get better than this."he said, smiling at me.
     I've never forgotten that moment or the sights, sounds, and smells of it. My father taught me many things (though none by example). The most important thing?
 1-Don't take life or people for granted.

 2- Learn to control your emotions- don't allow them to control you.
 3- Everybody deserves a second chance.
Next to visit was Tommy, the first love of my life. I rode his maroon and white bicycle again, danced with him, went horseback riding, and felt his strength when he embraced me for the last time. It's okay, Princess." he whispered, while brushing my tears away with his fingers. "I'll be back."
   He didn't come back, but what I learned from him kept me strong, has helped me through many a storm. He was unique, had the heart of a poet- was so tall in my eyes. He taught me the true meaning of integrity, loyalty, and friendship, taught me that I'm much stronger than I believe myself to be, and am able to do whatever I wish to do.

Next, I visited Pastor Joe, who introduced me to Jesus, enabled me to experience somebody actually living what God says love is. I spoke with former friends, spent an hour swinging on an old tire swing, then revisited the tree house Tommy built for me. "For when life's too heavy." he said.

     Oh, but I loved that tree house, spent many hours there doing nothing except think about life- about how unfair it was, the way it put heaven in your hands, only to snatch it from you when you least expected it. I thought about how noisy the world was, and how hard it was to find a quiet place. I thought about the present day- wondered what tomorrow would bring (if it would leave my life as it was or change it into something I would hate). Mostly I'd think about Tommy, wishing, praying, hoping, as his dad did, that we'd be together always.

We weren't together for always. But life goes its own way, doesn't it? And the years pass, each one confronting us with truths we're never quite ready to face like: waking up one day and realizing that not only has youth left us, but we are no longer in the middle-age bracket. It takes much longer now  to do things we once did so quickly- so easily. And we're not always comfortable with the stranger in the mirror, nor with our bodies, which far to often betray us.
   But we're always going through some kind of transitions, whether big or small. And not all changes are bad.

     Like many of you I'm facing difficult things: the death of a sister, another one recovering from a stroke, a third with Parkinson's, a son whose marriage failed, a daughter losing her home...and the list goes on. We're all going through hard times, but even so, we are blessed. Every one of us! So as I so often say, be brave and have courage. Every trial comes to its own end. There is always tomorrow with it's brand new opportunities.  What helps me the very most is not to remember who I am, but whose I am.

I wish you all good things: love, joy, laughter, peace, and hope.

As always, Johnny and I wish to thank each of you for your friendship, support, love, and prayers.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Yes most of all we have a loving Lord who gives us strength to go on and who comforts us when we are burdened beyond all telling. Life goes on no matter what happens each day and while we are here we are always in His hands. It's so good you can look back and still be so thankful for the blessings in your life.

barbara said...

Just what I needed to hear today. Praying for you and your family. God is good and we are in his hand.

Sybil said...

Thanks for these words dear Barb. I t is amazing how words you need to hear/read come just at the time they are again thank you. and I thank the Lord for all his blessings, even when sometimes he feels far away,
God Bless you and dear Johnny xx

Kath said...

Called in when I saw your notifacation this morning barb on my AOL e. mail.I have learned much from your wonderful words over the years I have known you,and I hope I learn more as the years go by.I have always said "Every Cloud has a silver lining" and itis my belief this is so true.As you speak of difficult things and times.We often think we are alone in these,though we are not.Many of us are the same,but OUR GOOD LORD will lways see us through them,I am sure of this,along with one anothers friendship prayers and love.I love you millions.Thankyou for all your past prayers for me.I wish I could be their to give you both a big hug.Take Care God Bless In my prayers always.Kath.xx

Malagutigrrl said...

Always have candles lit for you and Johnny.

Barb said...

A very enriching entry.Your strength and faith are admirabble. I found this entry very inspiring.

Missie said...

I needed to read this today. Enjoy your day!

Dianne said...

I love your writings, Barb--just exquisite--thank you!

Anonymous said...

Barb, as your writings always do, I stopped for a minute and took that memory walk with you and found, at the end, that even I feel a little more peaceful for taking that walk with you.

Somehow, you write and I am comforted, inspired and thankful for your words.

You (and your Johnny) are always in my prayers.

Kathy Z