Deep, Contented Joy

Deep, contented joy comes from a place of complete security and confidence in God -- even in the midst of trial.  Charles Swindoll

God speaks through the timing of things -- loud and clear!  This past Saturday, I attended my nephew's graduation from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. It was a cool, overcast day with 0% chance of rain -- perfect for the outdoor ceremony held on the central lawn.

After the ceremony, we wound our way along back roads to a hunting lodge not far from Chestertown, where Stuart's parents, my cousin Debbie and her husband Ed, were hosting a luncheon for family and friends. I say nothing happens by random chance. God makes Himself known to us through every detail of life. He speaks through the timing of things!

The road we took out of Chestertown was very familiar to me. At 3:00pm on the afternoon of December 15, 2001, I was struck from behind by a drunk driver on that road while riding bikes with my daughter Margie. I emerged from a 10 day, medically induced coma on Christmas Eve.  Where was I?  I couldn't move!  My face felt funny and I was in a lot of pain. We were supposed to be going to Vermont to spend Christmas with Lee's brother. I had no memory of the accident.Talk about being completely turned upside-down.

I was told the impact of my body had shattered the windshield of the car that had hit me, and that the driver had left the scene, leaving me to die. But God intervened in an amazing way, and I was flown by helicopter to the Shock Trauma center in Baltimore, in critical condition. I had many broken bones, and Lee brought in a photo of me so the doctors would know how to reconstruct my face. I spent  a year in recovery, a year dotted with periodic follow up surgeries. Through this horrific experience, we came to know God as the miracle working God He is. We heard about it over and over from the doctors and nurses who tended to me and I knew it for myself.  To look at me now you would never know I had once been a broken, bloody mess left to die on the side of a country road.

So there I was, driving by the site of that accident after attending a graduation ceremony. Many people refer to death as graduating to higher glory. Against all odds, I didn't graduate on December 15, 2001, just two months after 9/11. I lived to declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17)

On April 24, 2016, Lee graduated. I know he is enjoying all of the wonders of heaven. Jesus showed us that resurrection is real -- After his crucifixion, He rose from the dead and walked the earth for another 40 days. He had a new supernatural body. With scars still on His hands and feet, he was able to walk through walls. Lee has a new supernatural body outfitted for heaven. and is probably walking through walls.  

And I am still here, continuing to declare the works of the Lord. God has put a fresh urgency on my heart. We will all be graduating. We never know when. Our graduation could come suddenly, without warning, as it did for the 3000+ people trapped in the twin towers on that clear September morning back in 2001, or in any of the shooting sprees and other acts of terror happening with an ever increasing regularity. Or we can be made very aware of our mortality through the slow grind of cancer. I ask myself these question: is my life preparing me to graduate, whenever that day may come. Am I living in complete security and confidence in God, even in the midst of trial. Am I fully alive in the present?

From now on, I will be making daily blog posts, sharing how God makes Himself very real to me in and through the details of my life as a widow. (I never liked that word - it reminds me of the black widow spider.  But I am not a black widow, I am a deeply contented widow full of the light of Christ). 

Building and encouraging faith in others was the thrust of my 36 year marriage to Lee. This is the legacy I will be upholding through this blog. It was the foundation upon which everything else in our life was and continues to be built.

I just now checked the time on my computer.  It's 9:11.  Thank you Lord for underscoring the urgency with which I write this morning.