This past weekend marked two years since Ashley’s death. Two years seems like a long time, but then it seems like it’s impossible she has been gone for two years. I’ve talked before about the influence she and her family had on my life, I only wished I had told her while she was still here. I was sure she knew, but I wish I could tell her in my own words. I am comforted in knowing she is with Our Father, and that she knew His love here on this earth, and now she will never be separated from Him.
This weekend for me was filled with examples of God’s personal and unique love for each of us. It started on Friday night when we gathered for Women’s Group. I have stepped down from all formal leadership for a season, and that meant stepping down from the Women’s Ministry of our church. God has already provided women to rise up and take my place which is SO awesome! But this Friday, my good friend decided to honor my service by asking the women to share some way that I have impacted their life, or a special memory. I REALLY dislike being the center of attention and I do not take compliments well, so I of course was dreading it…But I can tell you I was blown away with what was shared, I am completely blown away with what God has done through my years in ministry. Things I didn’t even know about were shared. Ways God worked when I didn’t even know I was doing anything other than living life. A woman I don’t really know even shared a dream and scripture that God gave her, which was amazingly timely. I was overcome with God’s power and willingness to use us. I felt very loved by our community but even more loved by our God. It was something I won’t soon forget and I pray I remember to reach out and verbalize to others how God has used them in my life.
The weekend culminated with worship this Sunday at church, we sang “O Praise Him” by David Crowder, its words talk about the amazing praise that is happening in heaven as the angels worship the King. I am always reminded when we sing songs like this, of those I have known that are now praising God
at His feet day and night for all of time to come, it’s hard to imagine what that will be like. Then as I snuggled with my 5 year old, we sang the song “How He Loves Us” by David Crowder. As usual with that song I am overcome by God’s love for us. The power with which He loves, how much He craves us, it overwhelming… especially when we often treat that love like it means next to nothing. But as I sat there my son’s head buried in my chest rubbing his back, I thought of again how much more than I love my son, does our heavenly Father love us? How He tells us to come to Him ALL who are weary and burdened, I see it as our GREAT GOD calling us to Him saying put your head in my chest, snuggle in and I will wrap you in my love, take away your sorrows, renew your strength. It really is awesome to think about, I am SO glad God gave me perspective to see this, this weekend. To see His work in and through me, instead of just doubting the words of others. To look at my son who refuses to go to Sunday school and then proceeds to get squirmy and ask questions all through church, and to see in him a chance to see and experience a small glimpse of the depth of God’s love for EACH one of us. We are all precious to Him, He wants us all to come to Him and receive the love that He offers. I pray that each of you reading this knows of His great love for you. It’s life changing!