Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ does not make us
exempt from life's difficulties, problems, and hurts.
We do, however, learn as we go that Jesus is our
healer, comforter, and peace through everything!
Having walked with Jesus for over twenty years I have the opportunity now of being able to look back and see how Jesus has ministered to me and guided me along the way. Each of us, walking in faith, have our own unique hills and valleys in life. But always, we eventually, are able to see the glory of Jesus in our lives, usually in what we found to be our most difficult times!
Being blessed with a wonderful husband and two wonderful children, we have experienced both of our children leaving the nest. There is no better way to put it, but the dreaded Empty Nest Syndrome. It hit our household, more drastically with the first one taking her solo flight, and then the second one taking his solo flight, was not as painful, but still very, very difficult.
The mother's heart in me, however, was completely devastated when the first child, our daughter, deemed it her time to take her flight. Perhaps it was because she was the first and our daughter, but no matter it still devastated me. We think as parents that we are prepared, and to a certain point we are. But, I was not prepared for the pain that my mother's heart endured. There was a bottomless hole and I literally ached inside. I actually became melancholy and so grieved, that I cried at the very mention of her name. I did not realize how attached I was to my daughter, spiritually, soulfully, and even naturally. Without going into extensive details, because all of our episodes are intimate within our own households; but to say the least, I now know a broken heart when I see or hear one. The literal vacancy a child leaves is in itself unseen to others, except deep within the mother/father heart it looms larger than life. They remain our children no matter what, no matter how old they may be, no matter where they may be. Thankfully, with time, we do learn to see our children as adults with their own life and choices to respect.
The mother's heart in me continued to grieve, cry, and mourn. I could not be comforted. My daughter's parting had ripped into my life and the miles that we were apart were nothing to the depth of the hole left in my heart. Thankfully, a part time job distracted my attention from my pain during the day. But in my quiet moments and prayers, I cried. And, cried. And, cried. Prayers did help for the moment, but the persistent pain continued on. I did not know a heart could endure such pain and keep on beating.
One day at work while cashiering, really just going through the motions of scanning items, bagging, accepting payments, giving back the receipt and the noncommittal thank you; an extraordinary event took place. A mother and child came up to the cashier counter and started to present their items to purchase. I looked over to the little child who was seated in the cart jump seat, only about three feet away from me. In what seemed like a still frame in a motion picture, the scenario changed instantly and what I saw amazed me. The child smiled at me and the smile shot straight into my heart! A smile of such exquisite beauty, warmth, and comfort that I actually had to pause. For that one moment all I saw was that smile. It lightened our space in time together! A smile so positive and powerful on the small face of this dear child! I knew the profoundness of the moment. It was Jesus smiling at me! My Jesus had transformed this natural earthly scene and used this dear child to smile at me!
JESUS SMILED AT ME!
As quickly as it happened the whole scene changed once again back into the natural earthly realm. The little child started fussing and the mother started talking over the volume of her child's complaining noise. She grabbed her purchases and her child and was gone. My work day for the day continued on uneventfully. But, upon reaching home at the end of my shift, I was once again alone in my thoughts and prayers and the whole scene once again flooded my entire being.
Jesus smiled at me! Oh, what comfort and love flowed into my heart and swept through my whole being again! I KNEW my heart was being healed. I KNEW I would be able to once again get into stride with my life and with my family. I KNEW we were all going to be OK! I KNEW we would all be able to go on! I KNEW deep down inside that I would always be close to my daughter no matter what! I KNEW she was going to be alright and that she would always be my daughter, and always a close part of our family! I KNEW Jesus had touched each one of of our lives and we would all be more than OK! I KNEW, I KNEW, I KNEW! The blessings of that smile have kept all of us even to this day, now that I can look back upon it once again.