As though a door had flung open from another world, the morning’s light burst upon my waking thoughts, carrying a songbird’s winged secret.
“I know my plans for you,” chirped the songbird’s song. “Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Heaven’s promise ... woven in sweetest melody.
As I stretched lazily in bed, the summer morning allowed for listening in leisure to the song outside my window. Thoughts carried me across the years as, one by one, remembrances re-played their own melodies of promise.
A smile I couldn’t contain spread joyously through my being. A tingling, starting in my heart, weaving effervescently, until its own bubbling melody burst forth in full voice.
“Yes, Lord! Such glorious plans! And such blessed, blessed future! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you!”
Only two days! Unbelievably, it had been nearly a year since God had brought us this ‘hope and future.’ One we’d never even dared to dream. But knowing the desires of hearts trapped within a world of pavement, asphalt and noise, He’d planted my two younger children and me here. Morning songs awakened us. His whispered voice heard in the trees. The touch of His love enveloped us daily within the breeze.
So here I lay, drinking all the wonder of it in, planning ways to celebrate this special anniversary just two days away, when the jangling of the phone broke through my reverie.
“Hi! Mom! I know, we said I’d come home first thing this morning, but the guys are headed to Enchanted Rock. Enchanted Rock, Mom! Can I go with them?”
Enchanted Rock, a remaining promise calling my fifteen year-old son since we’d moved here. He longed to hike its trails and climb its granite dome. And he’d waited, so patiently. With only three weeks left of summer, and our ‘anniversary’ only two days away, how could I say no to this unexpected gift?
“Ok! Have a great time, and hurry home!”
While my mind busily played with plans and celebration ideas, the Lord’s own plans were at work, behind the scenes. Plans that carried my son, in perfect obedience to my words, home.
Those plans unfolded before my heart at a steady knocking on my door.
“Ma’am,” spoke the officer, hat in hand. “There’s been an accident. A fatality’s involved.”
As he stood there, gently speaking words no mother’s heart ever expects to hear, other words kept echoing through my head. Words declared our family verse, our special promise, well before this son’s birth. Words awakening me this very morning.
“I know my plans for you ... plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
Throughout the hours that followed the freak car accident, grace became my portion. Later that evening, standing upon the spot Justin died, I recalled the sense earlier that morning of a door flung open from another realm. I realized I now stood upon its threshold, the threshold through which my son met Jesus face-to-face. Now the sweetest fragrance of that meeting wafted through the breeze, drew its arms of love about me, and poured out new hope.
Hope and loved remained, throughout the night, throughout every step of new unexpected plans, throughout the funeral – overflowing with people, most of whom I didn’t even know. But God knew, knew their need, their need for hope. The physical presence of the Spirit of God filled the sanctuary...tangible...goose-bump real. And we experienced His unsearchable love...our hope...our future.
Later at the graveside, the final prayer coming to a close, something compelled me to look at my watch. Such an odd compulsion, but a whisper Heaven-borne nudged my heart. Then, looking, I understood.
One year! To the minute! And an anniversary never planned by earthly hearts, unfolded. A reminder from God of His love, of His faithful presence, of His timeless mercy - of grace! And again, at that very moment, I heard the words, whispered and real, from God’s heart to my very own
“I know my plans for you...plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.”
Every year, as the anniversary of this day rolls around, it’s hope that I celebrate. Hope, and the unfathomable reality of His love. I celebrate God’s plans for me. Plans I can’t always clearly see, or understand. But this day always stands a remembrance of His love, and in the remembrance, I embrace Him.
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