It is 11 pm on Saturday night, and as Brian and I traveled back home late this afternoon, I turned to him with tears in my eyes and said, “It’s going to be another late night.” He said, “Why? Because you have to write?” Yep. The man knows me.
You see I’ve been writing in my head most of the day today, and I’m pretty sure that by now I’ve figured out that sleep will not come until I get it out.
The tears fall when I am overcome with emotion at how God is filling me up right now, and that emotion also must be poured out in words.
Brian and I traveled this weekend to a beautiful place in the northern hills of Alabama called Gorham’s Bluff. Thanks to our class at church, who took up a collection for us soon after Anna died, we were able to get away and finally celebrate our anniversary.
Oh, yes, that’s a detail to this story that God is writing in our lives that many of you may not know. We delivered our beautiful stillborn baby girl on December 6th, our 7th wedding anniversary. Just when you thought God had made this story interesting enough, there’s another tidbit for you to take in. Here’s another good one: I was diagnosed with colon cancer on my 33rd birthday. Yep, you can’t make this stuff up. What a writer God is!
But people, what Satan attempts to make more tragic, God has redeemed. See God gave Brian and I a precious anniversary present for our 7th (how God does love that number 7!) anniversary. What we went through in that hospital in less than 24 hours with our baby girl CEMENTED our relationship in a way I never imagined possible. I cannot adequately explain how much deeper my love for my husband is now. God allowed me to witness just how unbelievably strong Brian is, how very deeply he loves his children, how very deeply connected to them he is, even from the womb, and how very deeply he loves me. Brian and I are so much closer now after that experience. Happy anniversary to us!
And as for my birthday, well, “new Sara” was born that day. That day, along with the experience with Anna of course, my vision became more clear. God rescued me from all the worries about things that just don’t matter in this world. God helped me to see more clearly His power, His PRESENCE.
So Brian and I spent the night last night in a comfortable little cottage on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. We enjoyed a delicious gourmet dinner (which tasted GOOD to me, praise God!) by a crackling fire. I had a nice, long hot bath in a big old-fashioned clawfoot tub. We woke after a long, restful night’s sleep to bright sunshine streaming in the windows that surrounded the room. We layed in bed for awhile, relishing the fact that there were no children to attend to, no job to get to, no treatments to prepare for; that we had no schedule or agenda for the day. We talked for a long time, read Psalm 91 aloud, and then I read aloud today’s devotional thought from “Jesus Calling.” Here’s what it said: “Rest in MY PRESENCE, allowing me to take charge of this day. Do not bolt into the day like a racehorse suddenly released…” Now tell me that book wasn’t written for me! We prayed together, and again, the tears flowed. But they were good tears. Tears of joy at the gift of the day that lay ahead. Tears from an overwhelming peace that filled me as a result of that prayer. Brian and I each pray so much differently now.
We had a huge breakfast that again I was actually hungry for and enjoyed. I felt so good physically that we were able to do a long bicycle ride, soaking in the sunshine and the beautiful view. We did an easy hike to a waterfall, and then sat there in stillness for at least 20 minutes, savoring the sound of the falling water. We walked another trail to a bench with a great view of the bluff and the river. We sat on that bench for over an hour, talking some, but spending a great deal of time in silence, in awe of about 5 or 6 hawks soaring through the air.
Maybe this is more detail than you care to know. But I want you to know that your prayers for our weekend were answered and answered beautifully. Our souls were refreshed by the warm bright day, God’s perfect creation, the peaceful stillness.
I have much more to say – actually very little of the above was what I chewed on most of the day today. I am going to get that out tonight on paper so that I can sleep, but wait to post it here for another day or two. Remember, I want you to be out savoring your life and not sitting at your computer getting back problems!
Thank you for praying for our weekend. God heard and answered!
“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) What beautiful ancient words!