I did have some tidbits that I wanted to share at the open mic time, but I really couldn't hold my thoughts together very well. I figured I'd just write about it later when I got home.
I wanted to revisit the thoughts I had a few months ago about Anderson being God's gift to me.
On May 19 (before finding out about Anderson's spinal tumors), I wrote:
The past few days, I've had this verse in my mind... every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17)... and another one from 1 Corinthians that says "what do you have that you did not receive?". Our life, our love, our marriage, our friends and family... are all gifts. We did nothing to earn it and we're not going to hang on so tightly as if we did earn it. We mourn some things that didn't turn out the way we would have liked but we're both trying, by God's grace, to keep things in an eternal perspective and still try to honor God in all that we do.And on May 25 (right after his spine surgery), I wrote:
I am comforted by God at this time and I'm trying to live minute to minute, day by day. I know He's crying with me and I know He's guarding and protecting me as well as Anderson. Whatever happens next is all part of the masterpiece of our lives.I don't think I could say it better now than I did back then. What I said during those tumultuous days of uncertainty in the hospital... still ring true today.
I'm tempted to shout out that it's not fair, that we don't deserve this, that we're so young, and that we're good people who deserve to be happy... but all of those phrases get cut off before I even finish thinking them. They are replaced by phrases like: he is not mine to keep, this is all part of His plan, we've been happy, these 6 years have been the best gift I've ever received, and the Lord feels and He knows the pain of loss. I really don't think that all of these phrases come out of human rationalization, they are of God and are the fruit of your prayers for us. Thank you.
Anderson was my gift from God. He was the most incredible blessing... to me especially. Well, I can only speak for myself. God showed me joy through Anderson. God used Anderson to mold my character. God used Anderson to make the Bible come to life for me in a way I had never allowed it to in the past. God used Anderson to teach me the meaning of surrender... of sacrifice... of love. I am forever changed and there's no going back.
When someone gives you a gift, receive it. It was prepared specifically for you by the giver. When so much thought and personalization goes into a gift, when it is so masterfully prepared and presented... it's still your choice to accept it, but I feel like it's almost offensive to the giver if you refuse it. I know it's so Chinese-y to refuse gifts, reluctantly accept it, and then give one back out of "gratitude" but more like obligation so that things are equalized and you don't owe anyone anything. Nope. God gave me Anderson for this time in my life and there's absolutely nothing I did to deserve it and nothing I can do to repay Him. I love and appreciate my gift. I marvel at how much thought and care was put into my gift. He was so perfect for me and so precious. I know that these things are not easy to come by. In fact, I may only have one in my lifetime. I know the worth of the gift, and that makes the the impact of the loss so much more heart-wrenching.
Anderson is my gift from God, but he never really belonged to me. He is God's. I am God's. We were allowed these years together here on earth, but we are also promised an eternity together in heaven. Our love... the happiness we shared... the joy behind the smiles exchanged... were just a glimpse... a taste... of what is to come.
So Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
So how am I doing? I'm doing OK. Some of you came up to me and told me to hang in there... to stay strong, to take care of myself... honestly, sometimes it seemed like I needed to say it to you more than you needed to say it to me. The deepest depths of my mourning... I feel like they are in the past. I will still cry. When I see his picture, my heart will still churn and ache. I may still bite my lip to keep the tears from falling in public places. But today, I'm OK.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21b)