It is so crazy to me how God loves us so much and knows us so well that He gives us just what we need when we need to be taken care of.
Today marks a year for when my sweet grandpa left us as he was called home to be with the Lord. Coming up to this day, I wasn't quite sure how I would feel. Being at his bedside, watching him breathe his last was not an easy moment - and yet it was one that was so beautifully orchestrated, so God-breathed and glory-filled that it is one that will forever mark my heart. [If you're new here and have yet to read that story, please check it out- it is a story that deserves to be heard.]
Dealing with grief and figuring out what life looks like without a loved one here on earth with us, is not an easy task and one that takes much more than a year to come to terms with. I've had my ups and downs throughout this year, my fair share of tears and many moments missing his presence. But today, I am determined to choose joy and focus on not only his life on earth, but be absorbed by the peace that passes all understanding knowing that he is indeed in Paradise with our heavenly father.
Waking up this morning, fearing a heavy heart- I drew back my shades to find the brightest sun shining in my window. It immediately brought joy to my heart and gave me an assurance that this day is not for grieving but for rejoicing. For it is as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, "do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who do not have hope." But I have to backtrack a little bit and tell you why it was simply the sun shining in my window that made this instant connection to joy.
My grandpa was quite the sun-bather. Many of my memories involve gramps soaking up the sun on his face, whether it be in the dead of summer or perched in a chair at the top of the ski hill with his head leaned back and a beer in his hand. Even into his 80's he would take his sun chair, walk down the 18 steps it takes to get to the pier (sometimes wearing a turtle neck and long pants and hiking boots haha) and allow himself one full hour of sun on his face before he required himself to go back up. Often when we would come to visit his face would be burnt, we'd scold him, and he'd say- "I was only out for an hour yesterday." He crraaaved the sun.
So in the moment when Grandpa went to be with the Lord, and there appeared outside the window the most beautiful sunset with the brightest and most radiant sun I have ever seen, we knew this had to be from the Lord. (No joke, it was spectacular). The nurse who came to care for us even pointed out the window and said, "do you see this?" This sunset was so fitting and so encouraging- it was like the Lord knew just what we needed to see, to yet again be reminded that He was in control and He had in fact come to call my grandpa home.
For the next three days, I kid you not, it felt like the sun was brighter. Being September in Wisconsin you never know what you're going to get, but those few days as we planned gramps' service and dealt with the initial waves of grief, it felt as if the Lord made the sun brighter- like He was saying, "it's okay- he's here with me!" This brought such great peace and joy to my heart- that I don't think I'll look at a bright bright sun the same ever again.
This is why I say, it's so crazy how God loves us so much and knows us so well, that he provides just what we need to be taken care of. Waking up this morning, seeing the bright bright shining sun, is exactly what I needed to be reminded of the glorious moments of Grandpa's homecoming and the blessing of knowing that he is truly with the Lord. I again felt like the Lord was saying to me, "it's okay Mindy, he's here with me!"
It is because of these encouragements and this promise that God really does follow through when He says He will come back for us and bring us to the place He has prepared for us, that I can choose joy today even when my heart is sad.
God is so good. I am SO thankful for the way He cares for me. And I cannot wait to someday meet Him in heaven, when my time comes to be called home.