Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Press On

Wow... it has been a long week. One week ago right now I got a call from my aunt AmyJo sharing with me the news of dad's passing on to glory and we started letting the kids know and getting them ready to head to Waterloo. It was a good week, hard but good. It was good to see old friends and relatives I hadn't seen in a while and meet other people whom I had never met who's lives my dad's life had had an impact on. It was amazing to me the number of people who came up to me that said that they hadn't really seen or talked to my dad in years but in the last two weeks of his life they saw him at church, or at the parade, or at dialysis or somewhere out and about and had a brief conversation with him that had impacted them. I'm glad that he was so 'healthy' during his last two weeks of life. It was also good to have a few good conversations with my dad's widow. I'm sorry she never really knew my dad because he was so sick for all of their relationship. It was also good to see my half sisters from Texas. They are so precious to me. Also, besides my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who were such a blessing, my Seneca Community Church family was also. All the emails and wall posts, especially the prayers. I ache but I know that I made it through this week because of the prayers of those who love me.

But still... I struggle. Now that it is 'all over,' now what? Before heading to church on Sunday I was really needing help from the Lord and He gave me Psalm 46. I think that Glenn read it at mom's funeral 5 years ago. It was one of her favorites:
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

God is my refuge, the place I can run to and be safe, and He is my strength. He has been faithful and He will remain. I have slept through the night the last couple of nights which has been good. Yesterday morning after reading my Bible I was still struggling so I got out a hymn book. Singing through a hymn book is always faith bolstering to me. So many songs, reminding me of God's faithfulness, His provision, His comfort, His love. I'm struggling, not just with losing my dad but the uncertainty of things like, where we'll be living in 50 days when our lease is up and what we'll be doing in the fall and things like that. One song that God really used in my heart yesterday morning was "I'd Rather Have Jesus." God really asked me, "Would you?" "Would you rather have Jesus than anything 'this world affords today?'" As I was sharing it with Glenn we came up with a new version of the first verse of the song, "I'd rather have Jesus than acceptance to U of R; I'd rather have Jesus than a new car; I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands; I'd rather be lead by His nail-pierced hands." He truly is "all that my hungering spirit needs" and I can trust Him and let Him lead.

We took Kendra to the train station last night for her to head back home. It was nice to have my sisters-in-law visit but I am looking forward to getting back into some kind of a routine. I'm overwhelmed with our apartment which is a mess and the idea of packing again not knowing where we are going. God knows though and He only asks me to be faithful today... so today I will find my house and start packing relying on His strength and help to get me through. A song that Sue Schrader and Brenda Eastman sang at both of my parents' memorial services is "Press On" by Selah. This song always made my dad cry. God is using this song to help me today so I needed to look at the lyrics once again:

When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred
When we've spent our resources
When we've given our all

In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on

I'm keeping my eyes on the prize, with His strength and in His name I press on.

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