What a Glorious Weekend!

I had been dreading Friday, March 11, 2016 for months. That marked the first anniversary of my husband’s home going to heaven.  In my experience, the dreading of something is usually much worse than the event itself.

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In The Message, a Bible paraphrase in contemporary language, Matthew 6:34 reads, Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

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Nathan and Anna, Wesley and Bethany 3-12-16

Wesley and Bethany had told me weeks earlier that they were coming from NC for a visit on this day and we had also invited Grandmother from GA to come so I was looking forward to seeing them. We met at Chick-fil-A for lunch because Nathan was working and they wanted to see him too. What I didn’t know was that Wesley and Bethany had swung by the airport to pick up Anna, our oldest daughter from Oklahoma! What a pleasant surprise and happy reunion we had at Chick-fil-A!

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Bethany, me, and Hannah Holt at the relay. 3-12-16

Bethany and I had planned to run in a half-marathon relay race with three other ladies on Saturday.  Since the race started at 7:00am, we were up early and quietly getting ready to leave in the dark house. I noticed someone was sleeping on the sofa and I was trying to figure out who it was,  Abigail, our youngest daughter from SC popped up and cheerfully said, “Good morning!” It has been almost a year since all four of my children have been in our home together.  Although we were disappointed Anna’s husband, Danilo, couldn’t join us, we were so happy to be together again.

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I have concluded that I can’t ever get enough time with my children.  It is never enough. They are funny, silly and crazy so there’s lots of laughing. They frequently burst out in song or quote movie lines at random times.

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We also enjoy sharing memories and having serious discussions.  I love having to pull up chairs around the dining room table to make room for them and their friends who come to visit. This quiet house turns into a happy gathering place with lots of chatter and laughter.  We love being together and making new memories.

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Wesley, Abigail, Nathan, Bethany, Gaye, Anna 3-13-16

Sunday morning, the day most of them would have to leave to go back to work and college, came all too quickly.  As we were getting ready for church, we started discussing singing a song for the worship service. (David and I taught our children lots of songs over the years and we often sang together in church.  But it is really rare now that we can all be together to sing.)

One suggested a song and another said they thought it would be more meaningful to sing something most of the congregation would not know. We only had thirty minutes to prepare a song and get three cars loaded up to leave because they were leaving right after church and lunch to go back to their homes.  They started practicing one song, but another one felt it couldn’t be learned in the few fading minutes that were left.

I began to see the loving bond that had been building all weekend begin to evaporate before my eyes as it was replaced with anger, offenses, and resentment. By the time we needed to leave for church, everyone was either mad, sad, indifferent or all the above. At this point, the song didn’t matter.  I knew somehow we had to get our relationships back in good standing before everyone went their separate ways.

I thought about Proverbs 6:16-19.  Again, I’ll quote from The Message…

Here are six things GOD hates, and one more he loathes with a passion:

  • eyes that are arrogant,
  • a tongue that lies,
  • hands that murder the innocent,
  • a heart that hatches evil plots,
  • feet that race down a wicked track,
  • a mouth that lies under oath,
  • a troublemaker in the family.

God hates division among the brethren.  There we were wanting to be a blessing to others and glorify God in song and what a mess we were in! How did it go so wrong in a mere 30 minutes? That’s when I think I began to realize what was really happening.

There is an invisible but very real spiritual warfare going on around us. Good is fighting evil all the time. That’s why it is important we obey the command in Ephesians 6:11.

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We are in a fight and we need to recognize our enemy.  It isn’t each other, it is the devil.  I Peter 5:8 says, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Jesus told Peter that the devil wished to sift him like wheat. (Luke 22:31)

It is so easy to get angry with others and think they and their attitudes are the problem, but we have an unseen enemy at work that plants bad thoughts in our minds.  If we don’t recognize where this is coming from, we will act on those thoughts and lash out at others when our real enemy is the devil trying to divide us.

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Did they sing a song? No, they did not, but they did something much more important than that. They extended necessary apologies along with grace and forgiveness. I warned my children that they have a heart for serving God and loaded with potential to do great things for God and the devil knows it and will fight them every step of the way.

May we keep in mind who our real enemy is…the devil and not each other. May we guard ourselves with the armor God has provided for us, for we are defenseless without it.  Keep fighting the good fight! And keep making those precious memories with the ones you love!

Keep looking up,

Gaye

 

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14 thoughts on “What a Glorious Weekend!

  1. Gaye,
    Thank you for sharing your weekend with us. You are right, the anxiety of the anniversary day of our husband’s passing is actually worse. The anniversary of mine is March 21, but has been 18 years, so it’s easier. Still miss him, though.
    You are so blessed your children came on that day so everyone could be together.
    Thankful we have God and His Word to make it through the hard times. James 4:7 also helps with dealing with the devil.
    Keep up your positive thoughts and focus on God.
    Love, Julie

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  2. God Bless You Sister Gaye, Yes, the Enemy is at work every minute to seek and to kill Relationships, Families, and even trying to Discourage us from doing anything for God. I am Thrilled that You had a Blessed Week end with your Children, and to see You doing Praiseyouinmystorm again. I am so glad that our whole Armour of God didn’t give any Provision for the back side, if it had, we might have been too busy trying to run so,our Armour Protects us for going Forward only, we are not to be backing up, not ever running. God’s Word tells us to resist the devil and he will have to flee, so, Today let us go Forward Claiming the Victory through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in 1Corinthians 15:57-have a very Blessed Day, and as always,God Bless You. Clay.

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  3. My dear friend, I am so happy you found a way to walk through that long day (May 11) with blessings from the Lord and with your children at your side. You’re one strong special lady. I am so happy to have you as a friend.
    Margaret

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  4. That was a wonderful story with a lot of good scriptures.It reminded me of me and my siblings our parents are dead my Mothers last wish before she became very ill after a brief illness after years of recovery from strokes,She passed at age 92 in 2005 but she wanted us 4 to stick together and love one another there has been many adversities between us but now we are on the pathway to being civil to each other I am the youngest age 61 only girl .Just keep us in your prayers because Satan wants a block in families but I have on my amor God Bless all Wanda Winston Salem N.C.

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    • Thank you, Wanda for sharing. I’m so glad you and your brothers are making good progress in your relationships. Keep praying, forgiving, and trying to understand each other. It is so precious to have family! Have a blessed day!

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  5. Gaye, what a beautiful rememberence to have to cherish on the anniversary of David’s home going. The Lord has truly blessed you with a loving family. I’m so thankful you had a good weekend. Some of my family was home also, and you are right- Satan steps right in- uninvited!!! Wish I could have locked the door!! You are a blessing!

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  6. The time I am dreading is May 14th, which will be a year.I know God will give me the strength but it will be very hard. You just do not get over the missing and wanting to talk to them like you use to do. Howard and I got up talking each morning and we were together the rest of the day. He use to say what do people do without their companion. I was the first to find out. It is not easy. I enjoy your writings and hope you enjoy them also. Rachel

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    • Bless you Mrs. Crews. This widow club sure isn’t one anyone ever wants to join! I look at is as a gift I can give my husband. Our sweet spouses never had to experience this pain of losing their wife. We will be together one day. That is our blessed hope! Love you sweet lady!

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  7. Good Morning Gaye, Sadly I can recall a weekend similar to yours….a call came from my best friends wife telling me her husband had just died and wanted us to come as soon as possible. About the time we started out the door my oldest daughter called ( it was her birthday), I told her I really didn’t have time to talk and would call her back. When I did I got her answering machine so I left a message. She didn’t return my call or calls after that, she lives out of state so I couldn’t just jump in the car to check on her. It was almost Christmas so we sent her a card and a check for the grandkids presents. In a few days we received mail back from her along with the check we had sent but no note. A few days later a Christmas card with a picture of her and the kids but no husband. Finally after a few more calls she finally answered and broke down and told me she and her husband had separated on her birthday and she was so upset when I didn’t have time to talk to her. After talking with her minister she decided maybe she should talk to her dad and explain what had happened and I in turn explained why I couldn’t talk at that time…..Even though she still lives out of state that episode has brought us closer together. We now talk at least once a week and thru Facebook stay in contact almost daily. Your story brought all the sad memories back for me…..Glad they are just that, memories. Thank you for your touching story. May God Bless and keep you strong.

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    • Thank you so much for taking time to share your story, Richard! I’m SO glad you and your daughter were able to work out your situation and come out on top. Life can be so tricky at times. We try to serve God and others and still things can get messy. But with lots of good communication, listening, understanding, forgiveness and love, we can overcome the obstacles with Jesus’ help. Take care and have a blessed day!

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