Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Note

The other day I was discussing my last blog with my mom. We were reminiscing, talking about that time in our lives, when she mentioned she was surprised I hadn't mentioned the note. "What note?" I asked. "Don't you remember?" my mom responded, "The note you found after her funeral." It hit me like a wave. How could I have forgotten?

I really struggled with her death. At the funeral, I felt the preacher was looking mostly at me, the one hysterically crying in the front row. Not too long afterwards, I was trying to grapple both with the loss as well as moving away from home to attend college. I was going through my backpack, and in one of the front pockets I found a folded piece of paper. I unfolded it, and immediately recognized her bubbly handwriting. On the paper was written a simple sentence, but it was enough to cause me to fall to my knees.

"Everything will be alright."

How is this possible? I thought. Logic told me this hadn't been recently placed there, but I couldn't recall ever seeing it before that point. The words echoed in my mind. Everything will be alright. Reassurance, when I needed it most.

Now, as I face struggles in my life I never imagined, I have to cling to this simple phrase. Everything will be alright. Have faith. Trust. I may feel like I'm free falling, but I will not hit ground. These four words, given to me as a profound gift in a dark hour of my life, hold immeasurable truth and comfort. No matter what troubles befall me, everything will be alright.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Music has an uncanny ability to reach deep down into us and pull up emotions we thought were long past laid to rest. Certain songs firmly affix themselves to memories, and have the power to place us back in that experience. For me, this song is "Shine" by Collective Soul.

In 2001, as a senior in high school, my best friend died in a car accident. My mother and I drove to the funeral together, and as we were approaching the church "Shine" came on the radio. Up to this point I had liked the song simply because I thought it was catchy. Now, with my friend on my mind, the words struck a new chord with me:

"Give me a word, give me a sign,
show me where to look and tell me what will I find
Lay me on the ground and fly me in the sky,
show me where to look and tell me what will I find

Oh, Heaven let your light shine down.....

Love is in the water, love is in the air,
show me where to look - tell me will love be there
Teach me how to speak, teach me how to share,
show me where to look - tell me will love be there

Oh, Heaven let your light shine down.....

I'm gonna let it shine, I'm gonna let it shine
Heaven let your light shine on me"

In that moment, I knew God's light was shining on me. I felt that assurance that she was in Heaven, shining brightly and surrounded by unconditional love. I thought about all she'd taught me during our time together; how to love, to speak, and to share; and prayed that I would continue in these lessons.

I do not seek out this song, and I have never bought a copy. Perhaps it is nothing but coincidence, but it always seems to find me when I least expect it, but need it the most. When this song comes on, as it did this morning on my drive to work, I pause to reflect on the promise of Heaven though God's love, how He continues to work through my life, and my friend who is shining down on me.

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever. - Daniel 12:3

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Purpose

What's the purpose, what's the point? This is the underlying question. This is my journey to make this discovery, the chronicle of my thoughts and discoveries, both significant and fleeting. Every experience in my life is an opportunity to learn, grow, or correct something. God has given each of us our own journey, our own uniquely designed path. Here is mine.

My path is not always straight, and it is not always paved. There are rough patches, steep slopes, distracting billboards and messages, and confusing intersections. Navigating this road by myself would be a nightmare. Left to travel down the road myself I would be uncertain where to go, and unsure of my destination. Thankfully, I have been given both a map and a driver! My map is the Bible, and my driver is God. He knows the road better than I do, He designed it. Is it not better to resign myself to the passenger seat?