Pristine Grace

Five Months a Birthday and Tulips!
by Eileen Beckett
Five Months a Birthday and Tulips!

     It has been five months since my husband died and this month has had many reminders of him. It was his birthday on the 14th of the month and it was a very bitter sweet day because I wanted to wish him another happy birthday and fix him a gooey chocolate cake. Last year one day after his birthday we had to evacuate the town because of the fire. He was my main concern that day because I didn’t have any oxygen for him and along with me he was kind of scared. We were cared for by dear friends who even boarded out their own dogs so that they wouldn’t disturb my dog and they took such good care of my Chugi because they knew his limitations! There was Easter Sunday too and I always loved to cook for him on any holiday that I could. My family was here this year and we again missed having the men with their wondering….’how soon is dinner going to be ready’ and missed sitting down with them at the table and enjoying the bounty the Lord provided! 

     Certainly the pain of loss has lessened in intensity on a daily basis and the longing too yet they remain and they surface often in my mind. That is one reason I’ve been writing about this journey so as to remember, to look back and to understand how the Lord has worked and what He has taught. Little things still simply come and go in my thoughts, for instance the thought that it was always Chug and Eileen and now it’s just Eileen. That makes for somewhat of an identity crisis because the first part of that equation is missing and so realizing how far reaching a death is stuns me sometimes in even just the little things. It’s like……….’Oh I never thought of that” and so it is added to my grieving experience. 

     I have realized once again how our mind (called our heart interchangeable in scripture) is where all things begin and I’m really being taught through this grief process that we truly are at peace when our mind is stayed on Christ, hence my perfect peace post. If I dwell continually in my mind on the loss and let the longing over power me I could easily spend my days totally depressed and in a funk, I am after all very human. But………..the Lord has been truly merciful in giving the understanding and application of that one verse in Scripture amongst so many and so He moves my thoughts to Him and His Faithfulness and I’m so thankful that He does.

     The tulips are blooming again but more abundantly this year. Last year after the fire we had one tulip blooming; this year we have quite a few. I’ve been reminded of the frailty of life even in the flowers and I think of 1 Peter 1:24-25:

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

     Life is frail and perishing, just as the flower which fades and falls away. We look upon one another and we see the outward temporal things that are fading away, the glory of man. Perhaps it is the vigor of youth or the years that the body is strong and hardworking, the prime years or the childbearing years and the raising of families. These glories of man are all fading and wither away to finally be cut down by death. BUT… (see there is that wonderful word but which generally points us to that which we cling to in the Lord), as believers we have the Gospel which endures forever. We haven’t been redeemed by any perishable things, by silver or gold or by corruptible man. We have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ and through His blood we have obtained an inheritance that will never fade away like the flower. (1 Peter 1:4

Keeping my mind stayed on Christ,
Grace and Peace!