Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hard Places

Today is our 31st wedding anniversary. We are going to do something tonight we have never, ever done on our anniversary before. My husband is officiating a funeral.

For a man who was murdered.

His 14 year old son has been charged and sits in an adult jail cell today.

We did not know the man. But we do know the son because he has been a part of our church family for several years. Z, as I shall call him, was in my children's quizzing group for two years and he was our top children's quizzer. I found him to be extremely bright with a sweet and quiet way about him. Oh, that doesn't mean he didn't like to pester the other kids - he liked to do that quite a bit. But he was always polite, always kind, and as obedient as any other boy.

We don't know what happened or if Z is really responsible. As expected, rumors abound and the media is having the time of their lives with the whole story. We are praying that the truth will prevail and that no matter what that truth is, that Z's spirit and heart will be protected. At the moment he is going to be tried as an adult but that may change as new details are coming out regarding possible abuse of this boy and his younger siblings at the hand of their father.

All I know is that when I look into this young boy's eyes on my television every evening, I see a scared and frightened little boy that is carrying a burden far greater than I could ever know or imagine. My husband and our youth pastor have visited him in jail several times in the last few days and they are struck by his physical fraility.

My life has seemed so full of hard places in the last few weeks. I took a blogging break because circumstances completely wiped words from my heart and mind. I knew that I needed to take time to focus on Someone else's words - not mine. I have spent more time than usual in the Word and soaked in the wisdom and love of my Jesus. The hard places are still there - but I have been comforted, loved, and fed as I spend time with Jesus. He is not annoyed nor does He tire of my tears. In fact, He cries with me.

The Creator of the universe cries with me. That thought nearly takes my breath away.

There are good things that come out of being in a hard place. God is faithful to do what He calls making beauty from ashes. One of those beauties is that you are given the opportunity to draw closer to Him. Other things that used to seem so important and necessary fall behind and priorities are re-organized. I find that I just want to be with Him.

Another beauty is that when you are in the hard place with other people you tend to bond tightly together with them. A sweetness develops as you pray together, spend time together, and take care of each other.

I was singing Jesus Loves Me to my little granddaughter last evening. The words to that simple song are so meaningful and deep to me right now. I hope Z remembers those words too. Jesus loves you Z - the Bible tells you so. Little ones to Him belong, we are weak but He is strong.

So, although this is not the way I would have chosen to spend my 31st wedding anniversary, thirty one years married to a man in ministry has taught me that we will always deal with the unexpected. It's okay. We aren't in much of a celebratory mood anyway. God is taking care of us.

And ministry or not, we will often have to experience hard places. As I walk through the journey of the days that are given to me, some will be full of happiness and others will be full of tears. Neither one lasts.

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. You are the greatest thing God has ever given me. I find it a deep privilege to walk our days together - rain or shine - I am with you all the way.


Dawn said...

Oh, my goodness. It has indeed been a difficult year for you. I can't imagine the pain this is causing so many people.

Typing with this thing on my arm has been difficult. It really gets in the way. Friday I will get the stitches off.

Happy Anniversary anyway!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post in the middle of a very hard time. I am so sorry for the pain that all this causes you ... but so thankful that the pain takes you closer to Him.

And a happy anniversary to you both. To me, wedding anniversaries are not as much about celebrating as they are about remembering where your committment came from and where it has taken you. Clearly, your marriage and ministry are firmly connected.

Willow said...

A very difficult situation. I pray Z will know God's love, comfort, and protection. I also pray that TRUTH will prevail!

Happy Anniversary!

Jackie said...

Whatever "Z" is going through right now, I'm so glad he's had you and your husband in his life. I pray that God will wrap His arms around you, and that He'll be with you and Chuck as you minister to this family in the midst of their tragedy. 2 Cor. 1:3-4

Happy anniversary. :o)

nanajobx said...

When I first started reading your post before you even mentioned abuse I thought "This kid has been abused." I don't know if that is the case. I do know that is an honor that God has given you to be there for him.
"Abba, I lift up Z to you. I ask that you will minister to him no matter what the truth is. I pray for his family who are confused and hurting. Lord help them to turn to you and not away. Bless those who seek to comfort and give Robin's husband everything he needs to be an affective witness.And may you reign even in this."

Donnetta said...

WOW! Z is blessed to have you and your family in his life. As the Lord brings this situation to mind I will be praying... for all of you!

Congrats on 31 years...!

julie french said...

As I have seen this story unfold on the news, I have prayed that this young boy would have someone in his life to remind him of God's love, grace and forgiveness. I am SOOO thankful for you sharing this and for you and your husband being there for him. Blessings to you...we will pray for you.

Happy Anniversary...you have together raised a lovely family. I know God has been honored in your lives.

Mrs. Julie Fink said...

happy anniversary! may God bless you all in a special way in the days ahead.

Glenda said...

Robin, it's good to read your blog again. Z's story is so sad, but I pray that God will continue to use your husband to bring him hope. Thanks once again for your honest heart and your willingness to share it. I wish you and your husband many more happy, fruitful years ahead.

Kathy Schwanke said...

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His light shine upon you and give you His peace.

Robin, Happy Anniversary. In the midst of bitter trials, there is happiness (such as your anniversary) It seems so ironic to have both at the same time, but there is. I remember laughing with my siblings when we were going through family photos for my brother's funeral. In the bittersweet times in life, I am so thankful for the sweet. May the Lord use your husband to minister the Love of Jesus to Z and may the truth come to light, and may there be healing.


gail@more than a song said...

Oh my goodness, that is hard indeed. I'm glad he's had y'all in his life to help him and influence him.

Happy anniversary...congrats on many years of marriage and ministry together.

Michelle said...

oh my, what a sad situation to be in, I'm sorry your anniversary was spent that way. Many prayers go out to this young boy and his family who is obviously hurting.

and congrats on your anniversary - 31 years! wow! I hope you were able to have a belated celebration.