Sunday, December 16, 2012

A year later

Last December 19th started out an ordinary day and ended far from ordinary. It started out like many days before it: Me sleeping late (7:30!) thanks to my early-rising husband. He got up with the kids and let me sleep. I woke up to laughter coming from downstairs. A new house, a fresh start in my hometown. We were sore from putting the brand new trampoline together two days before. My first two steps down were so painful I yelped. He laughed.

We ate breakfast and got ready for the day. He was happy. Carefree. More carefree than he had been in a long time. I told him I was glad he was happy and joked that he finally settled into the slower pace of life in a small town. He said he'd fully settle in once he could get Uverse or Fios. Oh and an In-n-Out.

We played outside around the trampoline. The kids jumped without a care in the world while he picked up the extra springs we'd left out on the grass. It was his nature, picking up as he went. He hated leaving something unfinished and hated leaving a mess after finishing something. The kids kept laughing and jumping when I went inside to make lunch. I made grilled cheese sandwiches and cut up apples for each plate. Such a normal day.

While the kids were finishing their lunch I washed dishes and unloaded the dishwasher. He was working in the office putting things in their place. I sent the kids back outside because I knew it was supposed to start raining mid-day. They ran straight back out to the trampoline.

He came into the kitchen and said he had to go to the bank to deposit some checks. The bank was always his thing, and when I had to go to the bank he had to give me a tutorial. I handed him a check from my purse, (have no idea where all the checks were coming from now,) and kept washing dishes. Then I remembered that I'd opened the mail already and there was a check in it so I ran out the door to my car to get it. As soon as I came outside I saw him kneeling beside Ty talking to him. I yelled that I had one more check and he looked at me then said something to Ty and hugged him. I said, "Uh you're just going to the bank, right? Why are you hugging Ty?" He said Ty wanted to come with him but he'd said no so Ty was sad. "Oh well then can't you just take him?" He said it'd be a quick trip and he knew Ty would rather be jumping. At that moment Ty remembered the trampoline and ran off. I turned back around to go inside without another thought.

Twenty minutes later I got a text that started the upheaval of everything I knew. It was full of torment and pain, leading to disbelief and shock. It was a nightmare that stood still. It was the lowest hour I've ever known. The darkest day. Darkness, fear, abandonment.

By the end of that day all that I knew changed except for one very crucial thing. God was there with me when I started that day, He was with me throughout the entire day, and He was with me when the darkness in my heart finally matched the darkness of the night. He was, and is, my stronghold.

Jesus came to save the world on Christmas day. People often tell me they wish this had not happened so close to Christmas. I disagree. There is no good time to experience loss of course but in my heart I know this to be true: Christ came to redeem the mess and the anguish that this world has in it. There is no more direct reminder of this gift of hope and new life than that baby on Christmas Day. He came to save us, to give us a chance at knowing abundant life if we'll let Him in. We need a Savior and there is only One. His name is Jesus. I am here, a year later, because of Him.


Joe W said...

You & your kids are in my prayers, Mary.

Joe W (friend of Leslie & Bill)

Emmy said...

Christmas IS ALL ABOUT THIS. Thank you for remind me (and all of us). Christmas is about the baby who came to save us from ourselves and redeem the crumbling world around us.

Ginger said...

Mary, I've been praying for you. Thanks for what you shared today. I really needed to hear it.

Michelle said...

You have such an amazing spirit! You have been in my thoughts and prayers this year, and we will continue to pray for you and the family. Merry Christmas...

becky said...

god has used you and your precious family...and you my dear have helped guide me through a hard time in my life. without your strong words, wise words, tearful fearful words..i don't think i would have made it. i too am a believer...i too have children..althought grown and in their late 30s...with 8 granddaughters (yep all girls)...i too have had days that i thought i could not go another step...but God was there...and honey YOU were there too. i am forever greatful.
may peace fill every single part of your home and heart. may god's overshadowing hand cover you and your children, and your parents and his. god loves you and yours very much. HE sustained you and HE will continue that good work :)
kind regards,

Judi said...

God will get you through what He brought you to!!! You are a strong woman of God that I am proud to know!! Judi

We Three Smiths + 1 said...

Oh always say it perfectly. Love you friend...this post brings me peace.