it was two years after gregg had passed away.
i was getting ready that afternoon to attend the funeral of an amazing woman.
carol st. clair was the type mother that i dreamed of becoming.
she was an encouraging wife, godly mentor,
& best friend to many.
she was a pastor’s wife who along with another amazing mentor in my life
had blessed me with my bridesmaids luncheon a few years earlier.
she was truly wonderful.
her husband pastored the church where i met both gregg and dan.
she had courageously fought her battle with cancer.
she was leaving behind four great kids,
the youngest was ginny.
ginny was only eleven.
it broke my heart that she had passed away.
it broke my heart for her family.
another person who i thought hung the moon. gone.
i had not attended another funeral service since i had buried gregg.
i knew i’d see many friends there, most of whom i hadn’t seen since his passing.
& to be honest, i was nervous.
i was sad and nervous and tenderhearted and well, just all around sad.
dan & i weren’t married. we weren’t even technically dating.
we had just begun to spend time together.
he offered to go with me.
he had coached their oldest son in basketball
& taught their oldest daughter in school.
he was close to them too.
i saw a side of dan that day that i had never personally witnessed before.
he was so tender with me.
he knew i was sad & tender about losing my friend.
& he knew i was sad and worried about being “seen” myself out in public as a young widow.
he was so sensitive towards me that day.
i’ll never forget standing and talking to a friend at the service. i glanced over to him
& the look in his eyes towards me….well, i knew he loved me.
i fell hopelessly in love with him on that day.
how could i not?
that feeling of being protected
of being “known”
that feeling of loyalty.
it was a feeling of love that enveloped me that day
& has kept me safe and secure every day since.
it’s the same feeling of love and security that i pray
each of my own daughters will come to know one day
through their own hearts and the man the Lord is preparing for each of them.
the last several weeks have been scary for me.
i’ve seen a couple different doctors and i’ve had some tests run.
while i was encouraged at my last appointment,
i still have a biopsy ahead before i can have some closure on this current trial.
dan has been that same loyal, protective, tender man to me.
friday he went with me to the hospital.
he sat in the waiting area while i had my tests run
& while i spoke with doctor.
we texted back & forth for the 6 hours the appointment took.
i had such peace knowing he was there.
knowing he would never leave me.
when it was time for me to check out, the discharge area was enclosed with a glass door
across the hall was the waiting area , also enclosed with a glass door.
i texted him & told him i was done.
we peeked at each other through the windows across the hall.
at that moment i recalled the story i told you above.
about how he looked at me that day so many years ago
when i was in another, albeit different, vulnerable tender place.
how i knew he loved me that day
& loves me still.
this week in advent we ponder on how much jesus loves us.
while i am blessed to have a man in my life who loves me with a tender selfless heart,
we all have a heavenly father who loves us with a constant loyalty
drawing us to him tenderly.
to experience and be covered with his protective hand.
maybe you are in a place where you are single , still waiting on “him”
or maybe you’re in a relationship where you don’t feel loved and cherished,
my prayer for you this advent season
is that you know the love of Jesus.
while the tangible love of a man is often times “easier to feel”
i promise you , you will feel His love for you too.
he will never leave you. never.
& to my dan,
your heart of love inspires me daily to love others.
you are not a clanging cymbal
for you love me well.
you show our girls and others around you
what the love of jesus looks like.
merry christmas sweet man
i love you more today than yesterday
but not as much as tomorrow.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
ginny is grown & married now.
she & her siblings each living lives i can only imagine
carol rejoicing over. i know she’s proud of her children…
she loved well
& her legacy is one of love and loyalty too