Nana’s Nook: God’s Grace, Grief, & The Fab Four

Good morning, friends.

As I sit to write this morning, I have so much on my mind, I really don’t know where to begin. It occurred to me that it has been awhile since I have shared anything about where Steve and I are on this journey of unexpected grief we have been on since October 7, 2017. This may take some time, so grab that extra cup of coffee and please join me for a chat.

To lose our son, Jeremy, and Steve’s Dad within a 9 month period of time has definitely taken its toll on us. We are both finding that it requires a lot of energy to keep moving forward, to keep going with the duties and responsibilities of our daily lives. And sometimes that is just exhausting.

That is the main reason I put together the “Fab Four Tour” we embarked on last week. We spent a wonderful week in England, where for 4 of those days, we did every Beatles tour we could find in Liverpool, the place where it all began. (For those of you who don’t know this, my hubbie is a huge Beatles fan! I like much of their music, especially in their early years, but truthfully, I was more of a Beach Boys, Monkees girl way back when!).

I have to say, this trip was amazing! Steve commented more than once that it was one of the best trips he could ever remember. So, for me, it was a “Mission Accomplished”. I wanted him to enjoy himself and give him a break from the busyness of his life here and the sadness that sometimes overtakes us both.

I guess, whether we have realized it or not, there is a seriousness to our lives that may not have been there before we lost these two precious loved ones. That came to the forefront in a conversation I had with a friend at church yesterday. She was puzzled by a comment our daughter made on one of my Fab Four Tour pictures on Facebook. The comment was, “Oh, I love seeing Dad smile!” You see, Steve is able to keep emotions in check and deal with life in the real world better than I am. He keeps going and keeps up a brave face. But our children see beneath the surface. They know us so well, and they know how close to the surface the pain really is. That is the reason behind the Facebook comment. I heard a song yesterday by the group We Are Messengers that really hit home. The lyrics go like this:

“Maybe it’s okay if I’m not okay,
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me.
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right,
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life.”

There is such comfort in those words for hearts that are hurting. It is okay to not be okay. Sometimes you just have to admit that and relax into the arms of your Loving Father. He understands your deepest hurts. He knows every sorrow, he sees every tear. He loves you no matter what!

Having said that, I am so thankful for the opportunity to just get away for some R&R (relaxation and refreshment) and some just plain fun! It was very therapeutic! But, sadly, you can’t stay on vacation forever! When we got back on Saturday night, we made ourselves stay up until our normal bedtime, hoping we would sleep and not wake up on UK time. Sadly, the plan didn’t work. I woke up at 3 AM (8 AM in England) and got up before 5 to get started on the day. As I sat having my quiet time, thinking about and longing for the R&R achieved on vacation, the Lord laid another R&R in front of me that was so comforting! It came out of a quote in Susie Larson’s book, Blessings For Women. The quote went like this:

“Strengthen yourself in the Lord today. Recite His promises and rehearse His faithfulness. God’s been good, and He’ll be good again.”

Did you see the R&R there? Recite His promises. Rehearse His faithfulness. That is not a new strategy. It is presented in Psalm 92:1-2, which says, “It is good to proclaim Your love in the morning” (Recite His promises, one of which is “nothing can separate us from His love”) “and Your faithfulness at night” (Rehearse His faithfulness). We can take advantage of that R&R every day of our lives, no matter where we are, no matter how busy we are, no matter what we are experiencing in our lives. That R&R will provide the strength we need to keep going!

So, my dear friends, what do you need from the Lord today? Peace, Joy, Strength, Wisdom? Take a moment right now for a little R&R. Recite His promises, reminding yourselves that our God is a promise-keeping God. Rehearse His faithfulness, reminding yourselves that God has been good to you and He will be good to you again. Always.

Have a relaxing, refreshing day as you exercise this R&R!