Sweet Sorrow

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The human psyche is a wonder. Just when a perfectly grown-up lady who is a seasoned traveler thinks she has it all together, she encounters a snapshot of life that is all too familiar, and she weeps. Although grateful for the tender sweetness of the memory, it is just so close. She could reach out and touch a vivid shadow of her past, but she knows it’s not hers to touch, it would be an illusion that faded into oblivion.

It’s not that I haven’t seen middle-aged daughters with their elderly mothers since Mom passed. There have been many that brought a melancholy smile to my face. But, seated next to me on my short ride to Detroit was a diminutive 80-something lady with a recognizable, tired smile. With her was her very doting daughter tending to her every need as a mother would a child. The daughter was cheerful-a cheerful I recognized too-a brave, settled kind of cheerful in the face of inevitable eventualities, just never knowing when.

We exchanged a few air flight pleasantries and then settled into our private worlds. I felt a gentle bump and thought I heard something, so I opened my eyes. Looking into my eyes was this little grandma, smiling and offering me one of her crackers. It was such a precious child-like gesture, and it was just the kind of thing Mama would have done.

I politely smiled, thanked her and had to say “No,” but I wanted to squeeze her. I know it sounds silly but besides it being such a sweet offering, she became my mother reincarnate for a fleeting second. Demurely, I turned my head and silently wept into my napkin.

That one moment brought back the memory of my mother’s final days on earth and my seat of gate-tending beside her.

Sorrow is a strange beast. Just when you think you have it tamed, it rears its ugly head to rip your heart open again.

The Only sweetness I have found in sorrow is the presence of dear Holy Spirit. He is the reality of Heaven living in our hearts and our promise of sweet reunion with loved ones who know Jesus. He is the healing balm rubbed into these broken human hearts and psyches; and He is the Divine Lullaby who puts our hearts to rest.

Thank You, Father, for sweet reminders of your amazing gift–my Mama; and thank You for walking me through the lingering pain, healing me along the way.

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Nobody would have known…

We had been in a powerful crusade in the heart of Kenya, guests of another ministry. We witnessed great miracles and saw scores of people give their hearts to Jesus. We had opportunities to pour hope and spiritual wisdom into thousands of area pastors and saw God do a work of uniting their hearts with each other.

It was an amazing week, but our job was not over until the last day of the meeting. Standing on the sidelines as part of the crowd, we saw 5 young boys with aerosol paint cans, huffing the fumes. We talked with them and practically begged them to give us the cans, warning them of the danger of those fumes.

That is the day of the week-long crusade that is permanently etched in my spirit. I don’t think I will ever forget the words of one little boy: “You give us food; and we will give you the cans. We are very hungry, and the fumes keep us from feeling it.”

My friend and I knew what we had to do. We found our driver and asked the boys to go with us to the center of town. We went directly to the market and bought them each something to drink and a large loaf of bread.

Words cannot describe the look of excited relief on their faces when they saw that bread. They devoured it in minutes, so thankful that we took time for them that day. 

They were not part of a mass altar-call; they didn’t boast of miracles. But, because God connected us with a need on the ground…we were able to meet it and introduce those boys to the Bread of Life. We also were able to connect them with a local pastor.

We preached no masterpiece sermon to them. There was no crowd; in fact, no one would have ever known. But Jesus knew, because inasmuch as we did it to these starving children, we did it unto Him.

Perhaps you would like to connect with real, tangible needs of children like these. If so, please go to our new page on FB and like People Trips. And, let us know you want our newsletter to keep abreast of how you can be involved. http://www.schambach.org

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The Voice with No Voice-Box

“. . .Once the ivory box is broken, beats the golden bird no more.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

When we truly love someone, it seems as though so much of the identity we come to know and appreciate is embedded in his or her voice. It is as though the tone, richness and expression become the auditory DNA of the one we hold so dear.

30121_1484905411060_4647751_nMy mother had a child’s voice. It was soft, lilting and filled with pleasant expression. She would giggle quietly, comfort soothingly and ever-so-rarely reprimand, but always very kindly. When she was passionate about something, her soft voice had a little more boldness. When she picked up an infant, her voice became that of a cherub who had stumbled upon a playmate. In her last days on earth she was unable to speak. While her expressive eyes told me everything I needed to know, for days before she breathed her last, labored sigh, I had been missing the whole, the persona, the friend, whose voice could no longer reach me.

I never had any children, but I have had many nieces and nephews, each one with an instantly recognizable voice. In one family I have come to know by the composite of sounds emanating from their little mouths, a maternal deep-thinker; a serious planner; a care-free people-lover; a shy giant; an artistic life-searcher; a kind-hearted social butterfly; a restless-minded artist; a loving, passionate leader; and a saint-souled scholar.  IMG_7854Although they are related with some very similar traits, each one owns a distinct voice personality. I remember with tender humor, how when each was an infant, I could tell from the sound of their unique little voices, when they were happy, sad, hungry, tired or faking a cry. If I had by some misfortune come to lose the use of my eyes, I would know my cherished ones, just by the sound of their voices.

And then, there was my father’s voice. Oh, what color of personality was in that one voice. His was a voice of power: power to incite; power to calm down; power to cheer up; power to impart faith; power to heal. His was a human voice with a supernatural amplifier.IMG_0003 His voice shattered the dark glass of the enemy’s fortress; and trumpeted a militant onrush against the enemy. That very same voice of power could be expertly used to calm a daughter’s raging seas with one question, “How’s my little girl?” Oh, to hear that living, healing voice once more and sense the nearness of Papa.

In Millay’s poem “Elegy,” she mourns the loss of a loved one, but mostly for the characteristic voice that was the life and joy of her cherished friend. The throat that was the human vessel for her beloved’s voice she called an “ivory box,” which, when broken, would keep the “golden bird,” (perhaps referring to a canary) from ever singing or speaking again. She was attempting to describe a part of the sting of death, when life turns dark, silent and empty.

With all the world’s sadness and loss, there remains yet another Voice, one which will never grow silent because it emanates from The One who conquered death. ‘Tis the One Voice without which I could not continue living. This voice doesn’t come washing over the eardrum. His is a softer voice with a louder presence. The gentleness, love and directness that distinguish that voice, bring His entire person near and He is instantly recognizable. The voice of my Great Shepherd leads me in pastures green and by waters calm. No stranger or villain could dissuade me, because there is no masking the pureness of life emanating from His loving voice.

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I have heard it said scientists believe that every sound ever uttered is traveling very quickly through the remote regions of the galaxies. Words and sounds are eternal, it seems.  But, until there is some type of retrieval system discovered, or until the day when we are reunited with our loved ones and their cherished voices, we must learn to live with the reality that here on earth, at least, we will never again hear the voices of those we had for a lifetime.

For me, at this stage in my life, I have come to value that One Voice far above anything or anyone else’s. No ivory box could contain it; and a golden bird, though pretty in sound, cannot come close to describing its beauty. His voice rings with the authority of the universe. His voice brings worlds into existence and runs evil out of town. His is the voice of many waters with the power to burst apart chains of oppression and the force to deep-clean everything it contacts. That Voice is more than a collection of sounds and vibrations; that Voice is Life Itself; the One that never leaves, never dies, and is never, never silenced.

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The Mission

39887_1567699400858_1450148_nThe Mission: A Ride through Life’s Beautiful Places. . .

430256_4524497638966_9922759_nEnjoying the God-Life. . .

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There’s always a greater mission, a final destination with eternal importance. Yet, along the way God provides beauty, life and learning to round us out as observers so we can better communicate the God- kind of Life. For me, the mission within the Mission, is to explore…observe…and relish the quiet moments of splendor He has provided.

The Mission: Taking the Scenic Route

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The Road Less Traveled. . .I don’t mind driving 100 miles longer than most if it means I can capture a few more hours of beholding. Whether it’s stretching the eyes to measure a late summer sunset, or hiking a footpath to catch the last of the sparkling ripples heading downstream, the wandering is usually worth the extra time and trouble. God has always placed the best artwork on the most extravagant canvases. His beauty is almost impossible to fully capture on film or adequately describe. When in the presence of His wonders, I always am instantly quieted and find myself trying to draw in long breaths.

He leaves me wanting more. My heart leaps, bursting into song. He fills my being with rhapsodies of glory, and I catch a small glimpse of His greatness. His is the peace that settles over me and the sweetest peace that satisfies the soul. This cannot come for me in the crowd, but in the great room of nature.

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In His living rooms one will always find vivid color and carefully planned textures. Usually He provides a water feature which has its part in the cacophony of life sounds, including playful wind in the trees and happy songs from feathered friends. Motions, sounds, patterns– enchanting, invigorating and quieting–all at the same moment.

One hears a joyful invitation from the Creator to linger and soak a while, in Him. He passionately longs to be Our Friend, Whom we love to enjoy. He infuses life with His sweet fragrance. 

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And when the beauty lies closer to the crowd, He still knows how to draw us.

His delight skips over the waves like a motor boat, and reminds us He will fill our busiest days with play.

Our task is to push past the distractions and remember Him and His desire to give us the good things of the Kingdom, as we carry out His plans. It’s the greatest mission in the world, because He gives joy in the journey–joy in the living.

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He causes us to bear fruit in our seasons of life. And, He replenishes us when we are depleted. We must simply find our way back to Him and His dwelling places.

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How fertile are His fields; how lush are the lawns of His pastureland; how beckoning the call of His welcome lamp in the secret dwelling He has prepared to receive us in all our weariness. “Come away with Me and Rest,” and let Me unfold again to you your sacred mission.

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He Still Calls from the lively babbling of the waters:

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Learn of Me…You’ll Find Rest for Your Soul.

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The Substance of Things Unseen

Donna Schambach 003I couldn’t have been more enmeshed, hot in the pursuit of new students and teachers and desperately trying to find financial backing  for the operation of the Christian school I founded. My 18-hour days had me in a frenetic spin, bouncing from lesson plans, to interviews, to parent sessions, to strategy meetings, to the classroom again. The list of things to tackle grew longer every day, and my job was to come up with plans A-Z to get them done. (In NYC, Plan A seldom worked.)

Although education was my life’s work and I was passionate about the excellence of that school, there was another secret love and the slightest whisper of a voice, calling to me. I usually ignored those promptings, but multiple leaders who were hearing me speak began to tell me the same things: “The school administrator role is not the mantle you will walk in all your life. God will use you to preach the Gospel.”

Although I wanted their words to go away, the nagging in my spirit was so intense, I finally just expressed my heart to God:

Father, you know we already have one preacher in the family, and he is doing alright for himself. You don’t need another one. After all, I’m an educator; I am relatively quiet;  and, I’m a woman! Lord, if you really want me to preach the Gospel, You are going to have to tell me directly. I refuse to be “called” by a family member or a pastor.”

God definitely heard that prayer. One Saturday, my usual day for sleeping in, I was startlingly awakened at  5 o’clock by a divine hand pulling at my spirit, drawing me out of bed. The Spirit of God sent me to my living room chair to speak with me. First, He impressed me to open my Bible to Luke 1, the story of John the Baptist.

I knew something supernatural was going on, so I took my time, drinking in every word. Then, when I came to verse 17, it was as though the words were flashing neon:

He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.'”

Immediately I understood God was calling me to a forerunner ministry, trumpeting an alert to the people of God. I would see signs following the preaching of the Word; and He would use all I my experience with those precious inner-city children to frame my teaching and preaching.

In that same session God began to show me the nations of the world. He dropped 3 words into my heart: missionary-teacher-evangelist. I had never heard that three-fold descriptor used of a minister before. When I was ready for my ordination I mentioned that to my overseer. He told me what Dr. T.L. Osborn would tell me years later, “that’s the greatest need in the world today.”

It was crystal-clear. God had spoken; there was no doubt; I didn’t have to confer with anyone. A new call to ministry had been initiated.  About 3  years later, Dad asked me to join his evangelistic team, and the road to its fulfillment began.

That direct, undeniable word of the Lord, spoken that day in my humble Bronx apartment, became the “substance” of things hoped for, as referenced in Hebrews 11:1:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

The word of the Lord became the “standing order,” and “the title deed,” to all the Lord would work out in my life through ministry. Every time I questioned or wondered if it would ever really happen; every time my faith was tested and nearly shaken; I just remembered the sure, clear word of the Lord and kept moving forward.

That was over 25 years ago.

Over those years, God showed me glimpses of the call. When I first joined Schambach Ministries, Dr. Daisy Osborn invited me to go with her and Dr. T.L. on their second missionary crusade to Uganda. My father sent me with them, and my life was forever imprinted with the overwhelming needs of 3rd-world nations. In 1991 Uganda was still recovering from the war and devastation of the Amin regime. On the 40-mile trek from the airport to our hotel, what should have taken less than an hour to travel, took us 2 1/2 hours because of the crater-like potholes in the road. The people were obviously poor and their population had also been ravaged by AIDS. I learned that over 50% of the population was HIV positive.  Uganda at the time had very few citizens over the age of 50.

That trip to Kampala, Uganda, influenced me in another way. Although the need and outcry for help was great, I saw the power of God to heal and restore in operation. It was so good for me to see this in the ministry of a man and woman team. Watching them in action, I saw a different style than my Dad’s and learned God was not limited to one method of preaching.

Dr. Osborn called for an AIDS night. A quarter of a million people were in attendance, many dying. I had a front row seat, staring out on a sea of people as far as the eye could see. Dr. T.L. began to preach from Deuteronomy 28, “Behold I put before you life and death.” As he preached, it was as though every word he spoke was weighted  and dripping with the anointing. I could feel the deposit of those words in the hearts of the people. God allowed me to sense their faith, like a tidal wave, rise up out of their collective heart. The rush of faith was so strong, it almost knocked me off my seat. God was giving me a revelation of the power of the gospel preached with bold faith.

After the message, Brother Osborn prayed one mass prayer. Then, for the next 2 hours, until it was too dark to see, the people came to give testimonies of how they had come to the meeting with AIDS, but they were leaving healed, freed from pain.

God was giving me a glimpse of what my life’s work would eventually become. I felt like a freshman student entering the school of the Spirit. That glimpse which matched so dramatically the call on my life, was enough to help carry me through the challenging times as the years progressed.

There would be other glimpses and sparks of expectation from meetings in Kamchatka, Russia. I learned firsthand in that meeting what a “breaker anointing” was as we plowed open a communist military region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and saw 10,000 former-Soviets raise their hands to receive Jesus. There we planted a church which is still planting other churches, some 26 in all. That church is affecting the entire region with the power of the Gospel.

But, as Dad began approaching his 80’s and my mother was entering her last few years on earth, we didn’t do too many overseas trips. My mission was to care for my aging parents and be beside my mother, especially, until she went home.

Although I would never do it differently, those were the times that tested my faith most sorely. I could feel myself growing older with each year, and I felt I was missing ministry opportunities when I should be going full force. I felt a little like Sarah and Abraham who had been given a phenomenal promise, but they had no physical evidence until they were 100 years old. I felt like I would never see the fulfillment of that call.

When my mother passed away in 2010, I was free to evangelize again and I did some travel overseas; but, the work I was doing didn’t fit with the call in my heart. I saw my Dad missing Mother fiercely and growing weary in the battle. I wondered how long it would be until he went Home and when he did, what that would mean for the ministry. In my heart, I still felt as though I needed not to wander too far or too long away from home.

With all the unanswered questions and with nothing on the horizon, Dad breathed his last breath on earth,  January 17, 2012. What could have easily been an ending to his 65-year ministry turned out to be a brand new chapter, laden with promise. By March  2012 the call came for me to preach in Costa Rica, and miracles began to happen.

Something started to stir in my spirit. This was beginning to feel like the call I heard 25 years prior in a little apartment in the Bronx. That one trip to Costa Rica opened the door to South America and led us into Iquitos, Peru. During our Iquitos crusade, on a side trip up the Amazon, God connected me with Belen, the poorest town I’ve ever visited.

Belen seized my heart the moment I laid eyes on her. Ugly, smelly, diseased and forsaken. ..it was calling me to do something. I had carried around for 25 years the substance of things hoped for…over the next months I would begin to see the evidence of things I had only dreamed about since the Lord called me. With the encouragement, humanitarian aide, boats and shoes we provided for 6 village pastors, God began to turn the atmosphere of an entire town, infusing it with the joy and hope of the Lord Jesus Christ.

IMG_7282Yes my team and I are walking out the pages of the new chapter being written. We have become forerunners, proclaiming the Jesus story and bringing healing to families and communities. We are turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; all because faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

IMG_7187I have learned first hand that God is a covenant-keeping God. He knows exactly what He is doing, especially in the darkest hours. He uses the wait time to impress on our hearts His voice, His expectation and His unfolding plan. I’ve learned I can always move forward, even if one step at a time, one day at a time. There is a substantive aspect to this faith we walk out–it is the word of the Lord.  I’ve learned to keep walking, clinging hard to His promise and listening closely for His voice. The faith produced in the journey is the title deed to everything He has ever promised and it brings the invisible into sight.

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Branded for Life…A Year Could Never Erase Him.

182104_4186600951760_1848326285_n   For 57 years I knew him. It was the longest I had ever known any man in my life. From childhood my memories of him were etched with a broad smile, twinkling eyes and arms that held me close for as long as I wanted. He walked with an aura…well, maybe two. Whenever he entered a room it immediately lit up, and when he departed, he left behind a strong presence of cologne. He was my joy.

He didn’t always understand me, and that frustrated him, especially when I was navigating the rough waves of my teenage years. Many were the times we did not share the same appreciation for style, fashion or music. He would shake his head when he caught me dancing along with American Bandstand or Soul Train.  Then he would try to torture me by singing Charlie Pride ballads.

No he didn’t always “get” me, but he knew me. He read me well when I told the truth or when I lied; he felt my pain when I hurt and tried very hard to match my intensity when I was serious. Usually, though, he just tried to lighten me up by making me laugh.

That preacher-man Papa of mine was a man of few words at home. I don’t remember long lectures with sage advice. After listening to my ponderings and angst, he would usually just state the spiritually obvious. He wasn’t a man who entertained too much “gray area” contemplation. He took every word of the Bible at face value and lived his life accordingly. In the turbulent, questioning times of my life, his simplistic approach was often my greatest comfort, because deep inside I always knew he was right. He was my plumb line.

Like so many who knew him, when he preached I paid attention. His voice was captivating; his stories, compelling. Although I heard him tell certain ones hundreds of times and could recite them verbatim, I never grew tired of hearing them. With anticipation I would smile as he approached the climax of an extraordinary testimony, knowing when and how the audience would respond. Like clockwork, although I had heard it for the 250th time, I would be right there laughing, gasping or crying with the rest of the folks as he came to the dramatic conclusion.

Nothing was quite as thrilling as watching God work through him. No matter what message the Holy Spirit directed him to preach, whether it was about faith, fear or finances, Dad always took time to deal with the hearts of men and women. He would not close before leading lost hearts to the point of decision. He told about his own salvation story; shared about those who missed God; talked about the man who was saved from hell when he raised him from the dead. Then, he would give the call for salvation and count to 3 over the next 30 seconds: “counting down to eternity,” he called it. They would come running by the thousands. Big, burly men who looked like ex-cons; youngsters painted and pierced from head to toe; and some, swirling in semi-drunken stupors, all flocked to the altars, with tears coursing down their cheeks, kneeling in the sawdust or sand.

When I followed the call of God to the Bronx, NY, for 9 years, my mother prayed and Dad sent money. He knew my pioneer spirit, but he also knew in a place like NY, starting from scratch was hard work, and I needed encouragement. About once a week, he would call me and say, “Donna, do you have a pen?” I knew exactly what he meant. He was going to read to me from our favorite commentary, one written by Scottish theologian, Alexander Mac Claren. I would run to get a legal pad and pen and then ask him to read slowly, because I knew I was going to receive a deposit of spiritual gems over the next hour. I cherished those times like no other.

One day, he called me to say, “Donna, I need you.” He was asking me to come and work with him in ministry as his general manager and afternoon speaker. That was 21 years ago…and that is how long I have been serving alongside him.

Almost immediately I was thrust into global evangelism, visiting Uganda first, and then planning meetings in Scandanavia, Moscow and Far East Russia. We conducted training seminars for ministers and pastors, planted churches and saw miracles of healing in every crusade. My travels with him took me to 40 nations of the world and I became an eyewitness to the supernatural. Legendary stories rose out of the Kamchatka, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Mexico City and Nigeria crusades. His trust in me to help plan those meetings and learn cross-cultural gospel communication was invaluable to the work I am now doing as the ministry continues.

Dearest to our hearts were the inner-city tent crusades, particularly in the boroughs of NYC. The people were our extended family; many we knew by name. Dad’s trailer would be laden with banana pudding, pound cake, fried chicken, apple pie, and all kinds of goodies baked by our favorite cooks: Mom Harris and Sister Chandler. My brother Bob always sneaked the banana pudding away, so Mom Harris started to bring 2–1 for Bobby and the other for the rest of us.

It seemed to us, no one could worship like inner-city folks. We loved preaching in NYC, because no one ever had to preach alone. The folks just preached along with us. The services would go for 10 days, 17 services, usually in the blaring heat. They were long days, longer nights, but oh so exciting! Every night God did something outstanding–so many addicts delivered; so many cancers disappeared; so many deaf ears opened; so many healed by the power of Almighty God. As Dad often said, “Bible Days [were] here again!”

I suppose I would be writing for eternity, recounting the glorious times we shared over the past 57 years. Yet, in all the times together, I remember a regular man, who didn’t believe his own press report, loving on people, preaching his heart out and ministering until he almost passed out. He never quit. He always showed up. He kept the faith. He finished his course.

Still, with a year passed, I struggle to believe the one constant in my life who connected with me on so many  frequencies is gone. The scent, the look, the smile and the voice of my father, friend and favorite co-laborer have been taken from me. Yet, I have great comfort, that his heart lives on as the ministry he labored hard in continues to impact nations and call people to Jesus. His passion lives on, as we on an ongoing basis, disciple leaders to carry the gospel around the world.

In my heart there is an ember of his love still glowing. For the rest of my life I will be quoting him, laughing at him, and remembering the life-time of moments we shared. I am permanently branded with the brilliance and tenderness of his one-of-a-kind, kind of love.

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One Door Closes….

6771_1184546302270_836831_nShutting the door to my parents’ empty house was like coming to the end of a movie when all the vivid splendor suddenly fades to black. The story-line had finally come to a close; all voices were silent. The grand collection of objects and heirlooms were ferreted away in boxes or sorted into purposeful piles. The stuff that were the backdrop, scenery and props of a 62-year marriage, would be assigned to new duties now.

Bob and Winnie were no longer living in the house they had made home. No one would be scurrying from room to room packing the suitcases for road trips; no excited voices on “catch-up” phone calls to family and friends would carry down the hallways; there would be no more holiday gatherings for the family that spent much of their year scattered across the miles.

Yes, it was hitting me all so squarely in the face, I would no longer bring my Papa his fresh, black coffee in his favorite navy mug. Gone forever was his gentle teasing about my leaving cold coffee in the bottom of my cup. (He loved to boast his coffee never had a chance to get cold, because he didn’t waste any time drinking it!) I would never again hear his verbal reward: “AAAAAAAAH, Good to the last drop, Miss Donna!”Image

Over too were the days I would steal Mama away for a Saturday outing while Dad would stay home watching football. Her lilting voice, her love of shopping for the grandkids, and her absolute enjoyment of her daughter’s company…those times all faded like old photographs lining the now lonely hallways, scenes with familiar dialogue, never to be re-enacted.Image

Although the physical door to my parents’ house shut quite silently and without much effort, I heard the echoing crash of another ethereal door, closing permanently on life as I knew it. To me it was hauntingly deafening. With that ghost-like sound arose mental apparitions of tractor trailers, tambourines, tent meetings and television studios, circling around me like a whirlwind and finally resting behind the closed door of the past life. The surreal emotions marked the end of a glorious era, never to be re-visited.

Sadly, poignantly, it was becoming quite clear. It was okay for me to remember; I should and must mourn their deaths; but, I could not ever re-open that door and try to relive their long-shared life. A new chapter was waiting to be written; a different drama begged to be played out on an awaiting stage. In order to find my voice…my platform, I would be required to confront the fear of the unknown.

All my familiar anchors had vanished. All emotional tethers had been severed. Behind me stood the cherished, comforting, and all-too-closed door to what I knew as home. Before me, my teary eyes strained to discover the next open portal, somewhere off in the distance, slightly ajar.

My heart was asked to trust God, knowing He was already writing the next scenes and gathering the cast of characters for this freshly-produced drama, filled with His personality and purpose. i determined to trust He would somehow replace the love and fellowship so vacant from my life, and restore the lost sense of security in having nearby those who were always happy to see me.

I had to trust I would experience love behind the door yet to open,  even if differently than I had ever known. Tenderness, friendship and joy would be shared with many in the global family I had yet to encounter, in the next, unwritten chapter of my life, after one amazing, epoch door closed forever this year.

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