In this photo, is a story…. one I hope you’ll hear in all its imperfections and ending with hope.
“Once upon a time”…. oh, I used to love those words. Every amazing story I read as a girl started with them. Fairy and castles, heroes and princesses, dragons and knights, captures and rescues… what’s not to love.
Everyone has a tale of dreams in their mind’s eye, but their heart and soul hold the true story. I have my own “fairy tale”… it’s not like anyone else’s not more significant or special than anyone else but it’s my own… and in many ways what I dreamed, came true. The parts that didn’t are better off that way and definitely rewritten better than I could have imagined.
Not all stories and journeys are filled with a “flowery bed of ease”… as a pastor friend used to say. Most stories, if truth be told, are touched with conflict and even deep pain. But the parts we dream about, the parts we want to come true, in God’s blessed will, do and are reflected in the light we take up and carry through that darkness. Out of my darkest days…. I have seen God’s promises fulfilled, in His time.
My “once upon a time”…
One day, an ordinary day… my husband and I went for a walk. We enjoyed the last of summer’s rosy glow as she ushered in autumn’s crisp chill and golden light. It was a day that our quiet hearts said enough. Along the way, my husband was drawn to a rock. No ordinary rock, it was heart shaped. He picked it up and gave it to me. I don’t remember any special words just what he looked like. His eyes bit shy, like a little boy… but his heart the heart of a knight who had found treasure and bestowed upon his princess. All that in a look, you may ask. I’d answer, “yes.” I knew he loved me, I knew he always would. And that, was the stuff I dreamed about. In that moment I knew what it must be like to be loved the way God intended and to have Jesus as your best friend.
As I held that rock, I thought of how simple and yet how precious it was. But then the rock slipped from my hands, and as it touched the pavement, it broke into two. At first I was devastated that it broke. Then I was astonished. Two hearts were laying on the pavement. When I picked them up I realized, though broken… they fit together perfectly and made a whole. I also saw they shared an almost golden vein, right through the middle. Like the cord that bound us all together.
This heart rock symbolizes so many things. The 2 becoming one… the unique way we fit together. It is a treasure now.
My husband was my Boaz, redeeming me from darkness into a place of strength and light. He was the one I prayed I’d meet. And the reason I met Jesus, face to face.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (HCSB)
Ecclesiastes 4 permeated our story. That imperfect story has become mine to share. As I carry the torch, the light that was once ours to carry. In the glow of this imperfect flame, God’s power was made perfect.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)
My “once upon a time” became my “happily ever after” until “the end.” Just the end here on earth, the hope of glory remains. I will see him again.
Though, with my husband’s passing I have lost half my heart… I still have these two hearts that fit together. I am reminded of God’s goodness. Where there are tears there is a loving God, collecting those tear, every one. And where there is such love, His tears are mingled with mine.