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Experiencing Psalm 23

Though I walk through the valley of death . . . I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

So many of my dear ones crossed to glory's side in the last eighteen months. Nate's mom charged us to be joyful when she finally crossed the Jordan River. My mom told us to continue to dance. My mentor, Miss Mary, urged me to diligent prayer. I also miss the faithful kindness of three of our church patriarchs.

My daughter and two of my dear friends moved out of state during that same time period. My dad struggled with his fourth bout of cancer and had a stroke.

Grief. None of us can escape it. It feels so strange when our world stops, but the earth keeps spinning.

There is blessing in the darkness to know that children still play and laughter will return.

Emotional healing takes time. Why is it so much easier to take care of our physical body when it is sick than it is to take care of our spirit?

Afer the waterfalls of tears and the desire to stay in bed had exhausted their supply, I still felt like a depleted balloon. I saw the Great Physician, and he wrote me a prescription for rest and worship.

For me, writing is restful and worshipful. I began scripting Bible studies for college students on self-worth and purpose. “Who Am I? Why Am I Here?” And in the process, I am remembering who I am . . . and why I am here.

Writing in my sun room, the windows are open to gentle breezes this July . . . cool temps that are unheard of during the "dog days of summer" in Illinois when corn grows so fast you can hear it.

Blue jays, cardinals, and yellow finches sing from the branches and drink at the fountain on the deck; hummingbirds hover over the zinnias. The fenced and hedged backyard, my not so secret garden, is a small forest of life. It is radiant with brilliant, floral colors due to the cool, wet summer. I ponder and reflect and write . . . and my soul rests.

Hours have wings as I worship over the Word while writing Bible studies.

Life is short . . . temporal . . . just a mere breath, a vapor that disappears almost before it is seen. All sorrow will soon disappear just as quickly. I focus on who I am . . . a beloved daughter of the Almighty God. I remember why I am here . . . to glorify God in all that I do.

Ditching the culture’s idol of hectic, chaotic busyness, I replace it with worship of the true God who says to meet him in green meadows by peaceful streams.

Breathing in grace allows me to breathe out praise. Grace is the cornerstone that allows the self-discipline to offer thanks, to notice the details, to ponder.

The gloom is beginning to rise like vapors of mist at dawn. It too is temporal and earthly. I can already look back and see God’s hand . . . leading, protecting, guiding even in the valley of the shadow of death.

And I look ahead . . . and see heaven. Now, even more awaits me there. I imagine dancing in the Jordan River with Jesus and all whom I love. Water splashing, laughter resonating, joy abounding.


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