Since my husband’s home-going, I haven’t left these four walls much. I have been so caught up in the daily struggles and battles for my family and for a sense of stability. It never crossed my mind to deviate from the way we have always done things, hoping that I would be able to hold on to some kind of normal, whatever that is.
But… slowly it has become evident that change was inevitable, necessary and even life-giving. It also became evident that I was in dire need of perspective and, not to mention, a change in scenery. So, this need for healthy change, started with putting up a shelf in the room I once shared with my dear husband. On this shelf, I placed a figurine of a couple embracing in dance. This reminded me of my last night with Chris. Before the cancer put him to sleep, he stood, a bit unsteadily, and when asked what he was up to, he stated, “I am dancing with you.” It didn’t realize it then, how beautiful and comforting it would be in the days and months following his death. As I stood there, in his fragile, warrior arms, warmth filled my heart and I knew the depths of our marriage vows and love beyond comprehension. On this shelf, that started the necessary changes in my life, there is the word “love.” Next to that another figurine. A woman sitting alone embracing a red heart, close to her own heart. This reminds me that the love we had, was for always, I still hold his love in the depths of my memories and he took half my heart with him to heaven. Next to that figurine, is a small blue bottle. Inside are tears, well…. shiny blue beads shaped like tears. This reminds me of God’s promise to collect every tear in His bottle. How comforting that is, to know His amazing grace. Beside this bottle if tears, is a wooden carved tree, with two small birds on it. Tied to every branch are hundreds of green satin ribbons. One for every miracle and blessing in our six month journey with cancer. There is one red ribbon tied to it, representing my beloved’s home-going. It was the last ribbon tied to our blessing tree. Above it all, on the wall, is a graphite drawing I did one evening, in the wee hours of my grief. A picture of the last dance we had. This was the first step I took to begin living without my beloved.
My steps, in that direction, were halted for a time, as I was wrapped up in caring for my girls and their grieving needs. I forgot who I was. But looked at my shelf often and sighed. Everything became survival mode. Well, as God worked on my heart, an idea (not my own) wandered into my brain. At first, I dismissed it and though I was going crazy. But, it was persistent and I finally had to address it. I needed to get away and have a time of rest. That part made sense. But I felt I was being led to step out of my comfort zone. And… that is where skyscrapers come into the picture.
My dear husband had many friends. And during the later days of his battle with cancer, I met some of them and fell in love with their Godly wisdom and tender hearts. What a comfort they became in the early days of being a widow. Wisdom, much like manna, provided at just the right time in just the right amount. Well… these lovely people live in Chicago, city of skyscrapers.
So, the wheels began to turn and I decided to take a huge step, and take a trip and see some skyscrapers.
This is what I learned from skyscrapers and big steps… they lead you out of your comfort zone, they lift you into a new perspective and they help you stand above the chaos and busyness of life.
Wow… yes… I like my comfort zone, safe and secure. Where there seems to be no threat of the unknown. But really, there is a greater threat in this comfortable place we create for ourselves, that is… a stagnant life of stunted growth. I have been known to crawl into a cave so deep joy has had a difficult time following me there. On my trip to Chicago, I took a big step. Traveling alone, without the one I loved, and stayed with people I didn’t know well and visited a city that was full to brimming with the… unknown. My new friends, took me to the top of one building. Looking over the edge made my toes curl and made me stand in awe. It was a bit scary and yet exhilarating at the same time.
Yes… I have been face down just trying to take one step at a time. Concentrating on the next step, unaware at times that I wasn’t living just existing. But… at the top of that high rise I saw the city from a new point of view. I was not below looking up, but above looking out at things I never would have seen before. I realized getting away for a time helped me see my life from a view I never had before. Where I came from paled in comparison to where God had me at that moment.
Oh… chaos… it eats away at our sanity and desire to find any order in our lives. In the midst of it all, we cannot hear, see or feel anything. On the top of that building, life seems quieted, slower and I could see where I came from. There is peace in allowing God to carry you above the hustle and bustle of the world. Life is quieter when we allow God to carry us beyond our battle field. The pace slows and we see Him working. Here we are at the level of His hands and can see where His feet were leading us.
It was peaceful there, even in the midst of a huge city. I learn so much at the top of a skyscraper. And am thankful for God’s prompting and desire to carry me and give me opportunities to see my life in a different perspective. Surely He is good all the time.