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Archive for December, 2014

The Ghost of Christmas Past?

It was two Sundays before Christmas:  I was sitting in a back row pew at the church, singing a Christmas song.   I don’t remember which one.  I was alone, as my husband was in the sound booth, and my son was in children’s church.  There was one other family on the other side of the pew, at least fifteen feet away.  As one song ended, and the next began, I smiled:  Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel.   Not a favorite, but I liked it.  I remember my spirits were in good form that day, with no major crisis distracting me from the holiday season.

Suddenly, I felt this presence next to me.  I didn’t see anything, but I “felt” this light and this warmth next to me.  I remember thinking that Grandpa was next to me.  He told me everything would be fine.  I was filled with a sense of peace and warmth.  It lasted just a moment.  I surreptitiously looked around, to see if anyone else had noticed this. Everyone was singing along, oblivious to whatever had just happened.  My eyes filled with tears, and I silently offered up a prayer to whoever was listening.

I would like to say I have never had anything like that happen before, but I can’t.  There was something very familiar about the entire experience, but I cannot list a time and date that something like that has happened before.  It was very surreal.  Was it my Grandfather?  He had passed away on December 29th of the previous year.  We were headed home in a few days to see Grandma, who was in failing health (and who would pass away on December 27th, 2 days short of the first anniversary of Grandpa’s death).   I believe my Grandfather is in Heaven, but I do not believe he is allowed to come down and visit.  Was it an angel, letting me know Grandpa was OK? Or that Grandma would be with him soon?   Maybe it didn’t have anything to do with my grandfather, but for some reason I felt his presence.  To the best of my knowledge, this was not a favorite song.  I don’t know what happened that day in church or why, but I’m OK with that.  It was something good, and while I’m not entirely sure of the message, the peace it gave me was indescribable.

When Life Turns Out Different Than What You Expected

Natasha Metzler

when life turns out different than what you expected
Some stories don’t turn out like we expect them to.

I’m sure Mary would agree with me. She said yes to God’s plan, despite her limited understanding. She put her hand right in His and followed the path laid down for her.

But I somehow doubt she ever expected where all it would lead her.

When my husband and I were first contacted about adopting a little unborn baby, we went right to our knees. We were Gideon with all his doubts. We weren’t strong enough, wealthy enough.

Four times I stretched out a fleece. Not just the twice that Gideon did. Four times.

Are you sure, God?

Every time He laid my fears to rest. This was His battle, His decision, His plan.

As we followed the road, prophecies and words of wisdom came. Annas and Simeons and humble shepherds full of confirmation. The verse came to me, right…

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Don’t tell me I don’t understand love

Don’t tell me I don’t understand love at your age. I realize over two decades separate us in age, but I remember my first love like it was yesterday. I
remember what it felt like when he first whispered those words, and I knew with every fiber of my being that he meant it. I remember what it felt like to be with him, and it seemed like the rest of the world just vanished. I remember looking into his eyes, as he looked into mine, and our souls touched. Don’t you dare tell me I don’t understand.

I know how you view me: crazy woman, always talking on the phone or on her laptop, dealing with work issues. You step into the door, I pause briefly, say hello, then continue on my maddening pace. I’m cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, dealing with your little half-brother. I’m asking you “mom” questions like if you need new socks or if you are hungry. You see me for 48 hours and then you are gone.

You know I love your dad, but I’m old. Old people don’t “get” love. We don’t “get” all the struggles you face. We don’t “get” how difficult life is. I hate to break it to you, but I’m a child of the eighties. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, baby. More than half of my friends’ parents were divorced. Drugs were more available than alcohol. EVERYBODY was “doing it.” Fast Times of Ridgemont High showed how easy it was to get an abortion. We didn’t worry about sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS didn’t impact us (or so we thought). It was one big party.

In the middle of all of that, my friends were getting high, getting drunk, and cheating on their significant others. Classmates died from drug overdoses and suicides. I was trying to get out of high school without getting pregnant or getting arrested – and I was one of the good kids, little miss goody-goody.

So, sorry to burst your little bubble, but yeah, I do “get” it. It’s been a long time ago, true. My issues now are perhaps more complex, but I would say that infidelity, arrests, pregnancy and death are way bigger than some of my problems now. So cut me some slack. Listen to me when I give you a little advice. I don’t do it often, and I never say, “Oh this isn’t a big deal.” I know it is. I know what it feels like to love and to lose that love, especially the first time. It feels like you’ve lost your entire world. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be love.

Don’t tell me I don’t understand. I do.

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