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TITLE: Yesterday 6/2/14
By R. Jamerson

I write from the depths of my personal feelings - this particular piece originated out of my grief when I lost my spouse.
I have been writing for over 40 years but until I found Faith Writers, I never attempted to share my work. I have accumulated a lot of material over the years, I would like to know if I really have any talent.
What little girl hasn’t read the fairy tale of Cinderella and Prince Charming without secretly Imagining herself in the coveted role of Cinderella? Oh for that precious time when life was a mystery and anything seemed possible. We all have dreams; they keep us moving through life. Dreams embody our hope for the future our deepest desires, our faith in tomorrow. I once saw a poster on the wall at an elementary school that read; “Hold on to your dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

Yesterday I dreamed of tomorrow, the joy and excitement of who I would be, and how I would change my world. Yesterday I was young and vibrant, ready to claw my way through whatever might stand in my pathway. Yesterday stretched into many years of searching, hoping, and longing while still waiting for tomorrow. One day I realized my tomorrow had turned into yesterday and my hopes and dreams were hopelessly locked away inside its boundaries. Life is a journey and you are the navigator. It can take you where you want to go. But it can also crush your hopes, steal your dreams and take you places you never intended to be.

An eerie silence lingers over the landscape as snowflakes drift softly to the ground. Only the sound of my footsteps can be heard as the snow crunches beneath my feet. Trees bowed low under their heavenly mantle, seem to be weeping silently.... Their presence is strangely comforting. There was a time I loved to be outside during a snow storm, but today my heart feels as empty as the landscape.

The sky is grey, no sign of life anywhere. All the evidence of yesterday’s activity has mysteriously disappeared under a blanket of brilliant white. The broken toy gun left lying by the gate, a pile of small pieces of wood discarded from the last shop project, even the pathway - all vanished overnight. It seems as though nature itself is attempting to erase the evidence of yesterday’s pain and disappointment. ...... In such a moment the world stands still....leaving nothing between you and God.
A short distance from where I stand just over the snow filled horizon is a small family cemetery. It is situated serenely on a hill overlooking Hidden Valley. Within the enclosure stand several gnarled old oak trees, silhouetted against the darkening sky. The valley below is bordered by a bubbling mountain stream with the skeletal remains of last year’s hedgerow, marking its pathway.

Underneath one of those ancient oaks sits a fresh gravestone bearing the name of my husband of 52 years. A man who walked with me through many trials and disappointments, who suffered and struggled much in an effort to overcome his negative life influences. He loved deeply, lived life fiercely and longed for acceptance and affirmation. However he lacked the ability to communicate his innermost feelings and left this earth not knowing he was loved.

My failure to see through my own pain and recognize his will haunt me for the rest of my life. But God never wastes pain, the value of his life and presence are not lost. Many times what we are looking for is within our reach however disguised, but may be realized only at the cost of great personal sacrifice. The sovereignty and righteousness of God is revealed in that happiness is not found in having our needs met, the secret to happiness is realizing the way to have it,.... is to give it away.

Blessing and opportunity often arrive in deceptive wrappings, such as pain, difficulty, inconvenience and disappointment. (Or perhaps the face of a little boy who misses his mother). These opportunities can be discarded without recognizing their true value resulting in great loss in the lives of both parties. The most precious gifts, those with inexplicable value, are those that arrive wrapped in flesh
Life is not about you, what you want, what you need or even what you have to offer. It is about what you give away – without expectation of compensation or recompense. God places people in our lives every day that need something we have to offer. Whether or not we recognize and respond to these needs, does not just affect the future for those individuals but our own as well.

These divine appointments present with many different faces, a jealous sibling, a selfish parent, a self-centered friend, or a rebellious child. Sometimes the opportunity may present through a disappointing spouse, unkind co-worker or an unjust superior. They may also be cloaked in hatred and/or abuse. No matter the origin, how you respond greatly affects who you will become. Regardless of what happens to or around us, ultimately our lives are a product of the decisions we make. Sometimes it may be a positive response to a negative decision someone else made that affects us. And sometimes it may be decisions we make out of ignorance or selfish desires.

Character can only be developed from within ---in response to what is encountered from without. While we may not control how we are treated, we are in control of how we respond.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.