Dear Friends on the blog,
Where to begin? The days are busy, tending to so many things, on both sides of the border. I look forward to everything being in order, and for life to even out. Yesterday I stopped by the beautiful cemetery where we buried Carlin. It was time to remove the geraniums Cheri and I had placed there for the Memorial Day week. I was happy to bring them home and plant them in the “Carlin Garden” container garden. So precious. Memories. A tear.
When Ray asked me how I was doing, I thought about all the times I have felt a pure joy welling up within me, and then, the times of busyness, the details it seems I’ve been continually dealing with, the times I look at the chair where Carlin used to lay his clothes when he was getting ready for bed (oh. tears). But I, so tangibly, know my tender Father’s care.
The other day, while driving to yet another appointment to sign some papers, I was taken, overwhelmed, with a beautiful sense of being loved. I felt such love, as if I were hugged. As I mused on that, I thought it had to be my Father, again, who has promised to be a husband to the husbandless. So, when I am asked how I am doing, I have to say I am walking in peace and assurance and joy. There may be some who would chose to misunderstand that, and perhaps I am expressing it poorly. You, who have walked through the loss of a spouse would understand more clearly. “Oh, how He loves you and me,” goes the old song. I am so grateful.
One of Carlin’s dear friends, JP, who worked alongside Carlin at MBMission as, among other things, the IT guy, has been so helpful to me. Dear, dear JP.
One day when he and his wife, Sam, were here, I asked JP what of Carlin’s could I give him. He replied that he would really love to have a book that was special to Carlin. We walked into the library.
Where to start? I reached over and pulled out Carlin’s Spurgeon’s devotional book, which Carlin has read every day over the past couple of years, making notations in the margins. And he even noted the time when, after his prognosis, he had been awake during the night and in his spirit just asked God for something. He needed something. And to Carlin, it was as if a voice—was it Jesus or angels—that said, “I will hold your hand, and we will walk away quietly together.”
Well, with a catch in my heart, I gave JP that precious book. Perhaps it would be a major thing in his life as it had been in Carlin’s. The follow up to that story is that, after tending to business this past Monday, I dropped by our friends, Ron and Sandra’s home. We had a really nice visit (friends are so precious). Then Ron said, “Marcia, I bought a book for you” (people do give you books in an effort to comfort), and there in my hand I read, “We Shall See GOD, Charles Spurgeon’s classic devotional thoughts on Heaven,” by Randy Alcorn. I was so caught by once again, experiencing God’s tender care. Coincidence? Not a chance! Carlin’s Spurgeon is back in my hands with expansion on Heaven.
I feel a strange thing these days when now I am forced to use the words, “I, me, mine” in relation to everything—the car, the house, the accounts, the insurances, life. It doesn’t feel right. So many years it has been “we, us, ours.” It feels selfish, or something. How singular life has become. Where before, the way I thought (most of the time!) was for what was best for Carlin, how I could bless him, how I could do what he wanted to do.
It’s now a new way of thinking. I’ve also mused how it would be very easy as a single person to become self-absorbed, as now it is solely, what is best for Marcia, what blesses me, this is what I want to do. My one protection against that is my relationship with God as He will keep me others focused, thinking what is best for so-and-so, what would bless her/him, and what can I do to facilitate what she or he wants to do.
A friend, Marg, unbeknownst to anyone, took a home video of Carlin’s May 2nd graveside service and just a few days ago gave me three DVDs for the girls. She apologized for it being a unedited thing, but it was a special gift. People have offered yard work, dinners out, visits in, etc. continually and I am so blessed to have friends around. I continue with my Bible study girls (all close to my age, but I still call them “girls”). Precious friends.
More precious is how God ministers to my spirit. Just a few days ago I read from one of my devotional books, Progress of Another Pilgrim by Frances J. Roberts, (it is written as if Jesus is speaking directly to you), “I will minister to you as you wait upon me . . .and I know precisely what you need. . .I will give you what you need for health of soul and strength of spirit. Go your way in peace and in rejoicing. The Lord your God is with you and will be your helper.” How good is that?
Four days ago the phrase “Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him” was going through my mind. I mentioned it to some friends,
“Carlin walked with God and he was not for God took him.” Indeed, it seems like that to me. Gone from normal living in less than six weeks, and caught up to Heaven! Pure joy, inexpressible joy for Carlin. Love, as he never knew before—both his love for Jesus, and Jesus’ love for him. I can imagine Carlin in all that. When I think of Heaven, what time I have left before I join Carlin and all the hosts of Heaven is just o.k.
There’s only glory up ahead.
Thanks for your prayers (I know God is answering). Thanks for reading my rambling.
God bless you all today.