Friday, 27 February 2015

Take Courage, I am Here!

I don’t like going to bed. When I’m totally exhausted it’s okay, but I avoid going because it’s the biggest reminder Mike’s not there. I used to love going to bed and listening to music with Mike, watching him drift off. Sometimes he was already asleep when I crawled into my cozy bed beside his. Sometimes I wrote, sometimes I read, sometimes I curled up as close to him as I could and sometimes I just stared at him until the weight of my eyelids overtook their strength. I never liked giving in to the sleep that always beckoned me because then I had to say good bye to another day with my beloved. And I knew the days were drawing to a close.

For the first few weeks after Mike passed, I would stay up until about two o’clock in the morning most of the time. I would only go to bed when I knew I was going to crash the second my head hit the pillow. I’ve slowly been able to go to bed earlier, like 12:00 or 1:00am and I usually read or something. Tonight I’m writing this blog post and listening to music (right now I’m listening to one of our favourite songs, ‘Oceans’ by the group, United). I keep thinking about Pastor Art’s gentle advice to embrace the mourning because that’s where God’s comfort is found, but I’m still struggling to fully surrender to the mourning. I keep wondering what will happen in six months or twelve months, will it hit me then? Will I drown then?

I really feel if I step out into this huge ocean of mourning, I will drown … so I just sit in the boat and patiently wait for the waves to subside. Even when the waves subside, I’ll probably stay in the boat because I’m afraid. I’m afraid if I step out, I’ll sink; I’ll drown. This ocean of mourning is huge and from the middle of it, there is no shore. 

The above is how I feel, but below is what I know:

From the book of Mathew in the Bible - “Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’ But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’ Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’ ‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. ‘You have so little faith,’ Jesus said. ‘Why did you doubt me?’ When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. ‘You really are the Son of God!’ they exclaimed.” Matthew 14:22-33 New Living Translation (NLT)

At 2:00am alone in my bed, Jesus says to me, “Take courage, I am here!” His eyes are on me like mine were on Mike, except His eyelids never grow weak—that in itself brings me so much comfort. And eventually, when I step out of my boat, if I should sink, He’ll reach out and grab me.

Here are the lyrics to "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by United. I recommend you Youtube it, it’s beautiful!

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Below are pictures from my dad's and Nathan's trip to Malawi where two wells were drilled a few weeks ago, including a memorial well in Mike’s name. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this very precious gift that will serve many people in a very special African village. Access to clean water is a matter of life and death…thanks for your gift of life! 

Nathan at Mike's well above and below

My dad chose the Bible verse and inscribed it on Mike's well,
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Matt 25:23

My dad at Mike's well

Nathan enjoying a visit with the children

Check out more pictures of the Malawi trip on my new Hold On, Let Go/ALS With Courage Facebook page. Thanks for the "Likes" friends!

Thanks for all the Amazon pre-orders! For local friends and family, I have been invited to do a book signing by my friend Shelley who is in charge of the book department at Save On Foods on 228 St and Lougheed Hwy here in Maple Ridge on April 4 from 12:00 to 4:00pm. (Amazon launch date - April 2) ... Thanks for the encouragement Shelley and everyone!
The link to my book on Amazon -

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