Sunday, December 13, 2015

Whispers of Fresh Dreams

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; 
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. ~Psalm 138:8 ESV

I sit in my office with the door open and a clear view through my interior window of our staff manning the back desk.  A doctor escorts a couple to check-out and I can’t help but overhear their banter.  They are sweetly ribbing each other.  He has suffered a heat stroke; she is reminding him of how she warned against being out in the heat.  He slyly states to her that they have been married for 64 years and he is accustomed to not taking direction from her by now.  She smiles and mentions next week will mark their 65th wedding anniversary.
At first, my laughter mingles with the staff as we all witness the beautiful exchanges made in humor.  Then a tear threatens to break the rim of my eyelid.  They are an adorable, elderly, sassy couple.

It is sweet,

and humorous,

full of love and tenderness.

It both melts and breaks my heart simultaneously; but mostly, it makes me smile.  I whisper a prayer for many blessings in their marriage, and my mind drifts.  Ahhh, I want this for my children.  I want them to have long, healthy, happy marriages; a dream that went unfulfilled in my own life.  I wish they could have seen their daddy and me grow old together.  I long for them to have experienced the security of witnessing our incredible love affair continue to deepen as the years added wrinkles to our hands and faces.  I am forty-four.  I am not dating.  I do not plan to remarry.  The likelihood of me ever having a 65th wedding anniversary is completely non-existent.
If I allow myself to camp out here, in the “all I’ve lost” mindset full of unfulfilled dreams, I become a victim of my own making.  I’ve had to let that sink in a bit.  I can build a cage of pity-me-crushed-dreams and lock it up with poor-futureless-Lori deadbolts.  I can sit within the bars of my misery, huddled in the corner, whining and complaining for all to hear until eventually those around me tire of hearing about it and leave.  
This is a real option.


I can acknowledge the sorrowful thought and walk through it with fresh expectations of what my God will do in my future.  Scripture tells us

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord endures forever.”

God is ever so gently teaching me through my grief about His love and His plans.  His love endures forever.  He will not allow His purpose for me to go unfulfilled.  Can His purpose for me be maximized if I am wallowing in what “should have been but never will be”?
Friends, we will not ever “get over” the loss of our husbands.  It’s not something to “put behind us” or to “move on” from as some on the outside of our journey like to think.  But, and this is a big BUT, at some point we have to stand tall, pull up our big girl britches, shake the dust off, and boldly move forward towards a new kind of beautiful.  Our dreams have to change.  That hurts; we feel cheated and rightfully so; however, God still has a purpose to fulfill in our lives.
He wants to blow the whispers of fresh dreams across our souls.  He wants to light the tinder of new ideas in our hearts and fan those flames. He wants to show us how to move forward without leaving behind the love of our spouses.  He longs for us to live victoriously and thrive again. 
Will it be new?  Yes.

Is “new” sometimes scary?  Yes.

Will it be worth it?  YES!

Father God, restore our passion for living.  Help us to take ownership of our choices to move forward.  Rain your fresh grace and love heavily upon us.  Give us new dreams.  Amen.

{This article was featured on A Widow's Might}

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