Dear Amy,

     When the latest blow of pain sliced through my heart like a knife, you stood beside me with your ever-present gift of comfort and tender sensitivity to my words and hurt. But your face registered a look I'd never seen before, and it sent a wave of tremors through my insides. You looked Stunned. Shocked. Incredulous. Twenty minutes later as you moved around the room, you said, "Wow. I'm just having a hard time comprehending this.
     Two days later, my pain was still tearing at your heart. You needed answers. You wanted to know one of the most important aspects of this painful process. "What was I supposed to learn from this?" You had already figured out what the person who caused the pain should learn but it puzzled you to understand the purpose of this path in my life.
     I, too, was puzzled.
     Should I look for where I faltered as a parent? Should I analyze how I could have responded differently and apply that to the future? Should I ask ,"Lord, what are You trying to teach me?" I shuddered at the possibilities of those answers.
     Then, today, as I knelt in His presence, my ears heard words whispered from a heart seeking healing. And I searched for the melody, drawing from years ago in my walk with Him. Melody and words spiraled upward, and the song became familiar: "You Are Near." I thumbed through the hymnal and found the words. They were balm for the pain in my heart.

     "Oh, Lord, I know You are near'
     Standing always at my side.
     You guard me from the foe,
     And You lead me in ways ever-lasting."*

     "Yes, Yes," my heart sang out. That was the answer to the question. What I was to learn? What  was I to see throughout this painful journey? He--He is there with me. He is always at my side, and He is protecting me from the attacks of my spiritual enemy. If I turn to Him, He can lead me in ways everlasting.
     And what are the everlasting ways? To forgive as Jesus forgave. "Father forgive them;" he prayed from the cross, "for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34 King James
     "...Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." Luke 6:27b and 28 NIV
     "Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble--aiming to be above reproach--in the sight of every one. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone....But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink...Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good." Romans 12-17-21 The Amplified Bible (parts of verses abbreviated)

     Words written on index cards to memorize. Easy to say, but hard to live out, my dear friend. But when my heart is surrendered to them, healing and blessings will flow from springs of living water within me.

"Lord, You have searched my heart,
and You know when I sit and when I stand.
Your hand is upon me protecting me from death,
keeping me from harm."*

     To listen to the video, turn off the music on my playlist.

     (For those who are receiving this blog post by email, you will need to click over to my blog in order to see the video. I guarantee it's worth the few minutes to watch it. Music of "You Are Near;" Video by Hubby, photos by yours truly.)

     My journey has just begun, as I see it my friend. I'm sure I'll stumble and cry out in pain along the way. And I'm sure I'll feel that I've lost my way or maybe that the Faithful One is not beside me. 
     But when I do forget, Amy, will you remind me? Remind me of His love and presence and all that He desires to teach me.

     Thanking God that He put you in my life~

From My Heart to Yours,
*"You Are Near (C)1971 by Dan Schutte and New Dawn Music

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