Incense and Hope
As I walked into the desolate food court, a few people began their morning preparations of scraping skillets, and filling Ice bins. I knew I was early, but didn’t realize that stores wouldn’t yet be opened. I joined the few of sprinkled customers sitting in their seats, ready to embark on their mall shopping experience. Some sat in silence, some sipped their coffee, while others conversed their managerial tasks for the day. I opened my book, And the Shofar Blew, kept deep within my purse separate from all of my other items that indicate I’m a mother, you know, Kids Eat free Coupons, crafts from VBS’s and wipees for those messy faces. My feeling at the moment was this was going to be the beginning of a neat day.
Last night, I was so tired from a long week of dropping and picking up of my kids for VBS, also kid events at the library, and Karate, that by Thursday night- dinner time, I just wanted to sleep. I called my mom up, and she came to pick up the kids, feed them, and let them spend the night at their house! Praise God in Heaven.
As I sat there, I got a whiff of something that I hadn’t smelled for a while. Back when I was a teenager, I had a couple of years of being ‘that prodigal’. I was rebellious mostly at heart. It ended up pouring out into ways that I cringe to think about now, but heck, There is therefore now No Condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I feel good about it.
This scent I was speaking of, emanated of an incense I used to burn when I was caught up with the hippie lifestyle. It is what Buddhists would burn when there was a death, hence I would call it ‘death incense’. There was an older asian lady sitting next to me, silent and waiting and I was reminded of how I felt in those dark and lost days. They say that your sense of smell is the strongest sense to restore a memory. A feeling of hollowness was jolted into my mind. People are dead men walking and wow, they’re sitting and bustling amongst us.
Recently, a famous singer died at the age of 27. She falls in line of a legacy of famous 27 year old rock star deaths. These things can effect me so deeply, and I don’t even follow who they are. Dwelling upon how lost they are,but knowing God’s character of love in that first:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Ezekiel 33:11
He has given us all a chance to turn towards Him, but knowing that He is a gentleman, He will wait and not force it. But the point is, is that he Provides that opportunity.
It hits me hard to think about the fact that a person who rejects that opportunity given- that the moment a person with a Palace full of Opulence and Fame leaves this earth, is the moment they are experiencing harrowing Torment, eternally separated from God. Their legacy lives here, but their death is full agony. Everything will be understood, and recognition of who they rejected will be revealed. Satan laughs at this the moment he takes their hand. He has fooled them.
But the opposite- is not that there is a horrible end, but a HOPE, a Forever, in Eternity with the one we said YES to! We can lay down our burdens at his feet now, and KNOW Him- the Hope we cling to. We can be reassured that our end is only the beginning! Lord I can’t wait!
Death hurts so much though...I was at the Babies R’ US the other day, and as my kids are running through the toy aisle, and I slowly sauntered through to see the many things I used to want to get them before we left onto the mission field, I stood in contentment. Not knowing what I was about to experience, I picked up a toy that I thought Justice would like. When I scanned over the idea of ‘maybe’, I see a little boy, pale, washed out, skinny, picking up the toy next to mine. He was probably 6, and his mom stood behind him. She was definitely ‘stronger’ than I was for she seemed upbeat. You could tell cancer was trying to take his body, but he was strong enough to be there, fighting it. He had no hair, no eyebrows, and tried what best he could to cover it with a baseball hat. I stood there, momentarily, and pondered the situation. He probably waited a while for this trip. It was his turn. He was getting the toy that they had planned for, for a few days to come and get. It gripped my throat to see this inspiring situation. I had to walk away or else I would burst out crying. I couldn’t stand there and grieve. I walked over to my children and bent down to their level and saw the joys that they were interested in. I hugged them each, for I was holding my joys...
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Doctor’s Appointment Update
Yesterday we went in for our 30 week check-up. All is stable; we heard the things we have been hearing. We don’t want any chance of hemorrhaging, so if everything goes well, Lord Willing, we will schedule a c-section at around 35-36 weeks, after an amniocentesis checks to see how his lungs are maturing. And being that the fear of the placenta moving past the uterus into my bladder, (which they are watching very closely), they won’t even try to tug at the placenta during this surgery. They will perform a hysterectomy. The plan is to take the baby out quickly, and put 2 clamps down on the major arteries to quickly remove the uterus. I will lose a lot of blood, and need a transfusion.
This is a prayer request. I keep envisioning the day I will be walking my baby in his stroller, as I am healing, but getting past this first major milestone, I need your prayers. This surgery is a big deal. I know my God has me in His hands, but wow, I have to walk through this!
As far as “How am I feeling?” I absolutely feel great! Nothing is out of the ordinary, as far as how I feel: baby is kicking, growing above average ( I think that’s my part-cheeseburgers are great!), and moving around constantly. I’ve had no bleeding, and I am still moving around just fine. Actually,I dream of the day I will run another half marathon, but until then I gotta get in a few more weeks of keeping baby healthy... And as a side note, It's 'sad days' when you look in the cupboard and there is no more Crunchy, but only Creamy peanut butter....
Thank You for your care and love; My heart is filled with His Peace!
Till next time,
Keep ‘us’ in your prayers,