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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rest and Father's Delight

Rest and Father's Delight
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
March 2013

     What does  resting in God’s love and God’s peace look like in a world where there is little peace and constant stress? All I know is what rest and peace look like for me as I have had to navigate through some rough waters in my own life. I have learned that there is power in guarding my rest and peace so I can walk in all the changes and challenges  in my life. I cannot say I am always good at resting and walking in the peace of God but I know I function much better when I do and am personally trying to make it a lifestyle just like exercise or eating right. 
     Whenever there is a shift in our lives, how we view God in  the change, loss, or trial is critical our heart being at rest and peace in our hearts. Our stability and security cannot be rooted in our circumstances or people. Circumstances are totally unpredictable and even the best people in our lives let us down and can leave in a time that does not seem convenient to us.
   Recently I was visiting with my new husband and stated, “My life does not look anything like it did a few years ago, My job is different, the man I’m married to is different, my kids are all on their own now and both my parents are gone.”  “I’ve gone from being married 30 years,  to the death of a spouse, to adjusting to single life, and  caregiver and being on constant high alert for them.” My heart was trying to handle  the wave of grief that had washed over me with losing both of my parents in less than two months, as well as having a house fire. Cognitively I know from experience that grief does not always show up when we want it to. Those waves hit and can be exhausting and make you feel upside down but I’ve learned to just let the tears roll.
     Somehow I guess I had expected this newlywed time to be filled with total joy. Instead, grief and losing those close  have shared  this time as Stephen and I have only been married since October 27th 2012. My new husband is incredibly funny and responded with, “Yes, I know...I’ve gone from doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, to living in Kerrville and even Sara, my dog that lived in the country now has to walk on a leash!” “Poor Sara doesn’t know what has happened to her. She now has to share her master with a Kerrville girl, another dog and a cat!” “Men in Uvalde don’t have cats and now I have a cat I pet,” he informed me. Trying to add humor to our conversation I said, “yes and before you know it you will be singing the Tivy Fight Song.!”  “I don’t think so,” was his reply as he was once a star quarterback for Uvalde. There has been a long standing sports rivalry between the two schools for as long as I can remember. I am very thankful for this wonderful man that has been a real trooper with spending much of our short married life in hospitals and funeral homes. 
     Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure hardships as discipline;God is treating you as sons.” (NIV) Then in verse 11 it states,”No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Often times it is easy to look at challenges as the enemy instead of something that is making us stronger and bring out the beauty within us. We all have hardships but do we endure and learn from the experience or waste it?Submitting to where we are in life isn’t always easy or fun but we can find joy when we adjust our thinking and trust God in the journey. Why a loving God would allow me to lose my husband three years ago, find love again and seven weeks after our marriage, bury my mother and then my father is something I don’t have the answer to nor will I get stuck in the “why did this happen to me” mode. One of my prayers in this season of my life is, “God, align my thinking and  my heart with yours.” If we simply look at the hardship, we can become disheartened. We must find the good and what we gain in the trial and command our heart to rest in God’s love. 
     God is never obligated to tell us why things happen as they do. He simply says confidently, “trust me.” Proverbs 3:5 says,”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” (NIV) That is good enough for me and I am committed to trusting Him.
      God is a daddy that delights in His kids and loves helping us in the journey. In the trials I have experienced I have come to a place of learning,  to rest in His love for me. At times I can hear Him saying and shaking his head, “Yes, that is my girl and I delight in her and love her and she loves me.” Did you know God delights in his kids? Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”
   Father God delights in His kids. What a comforting thought. His love for us is constant and unconditional, keeps us steady when waves  of change and grief rock the calm waters of our lives. Sometimes, resting in His love for me is all I can hang on to, especially when letting go of those I love and miss. There is a power that comes and strengthens me when I choose to rest in God’s  constant love for me. Where do you run when life rocks your boat? Do you sink or rest in His love? 
    Whenever we have to let go of life as we knew it, change greets us. Yes, we let go of life as we knew it but we also gain new experiences and people in our lives, and that makes us rich. How we think about the change can cause stress and rob us of peace or we can find joy in our new adventures. For me, I find myself tearfully embracing the loss of the two people that have loved me the longest and adjust my thinking to look at the life that is ahead of me. As the child that has lived with them in Kerrville and has been their caregiver for nine years, it is a big change for me. I have lost but I am now free from the responsibility and frequent hospital visits. When death comes, we lose those we love but we also can make room for new relationships and new  people to love and new experiences.
    Will you join me in resting in His love and delight for you? He delights in you, delights in being with you and holding you close in the changes of life. I know He hold me and His arms are big enough to hold you too.

Holding my Daddy's hand in his last hour

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