No matter how much time passes- one can never forget a weekend that changed life forever.
This weekend I remember that weekend- 12 years ago. She left us much sooner than we had planned - - 12 days before Christmas.

Christmas carols have never sounded the same since that Saturday morning. I still find them to bring joy to my heart. Yet, way back in my mind many carols bring back memories from that weekend.
One never forgets.

Sometimes - I wish I could forget. I wish I could forget every year when the Christmas cantata or Christmas program falls on the same weekend it fell on that weekend. Twelve years ago - the program was rescheduled; but every year since then the program has gone on as scheduled. Yes, every year since then - every Christmas program practice the night before the weekend - I wish, oh how I wish I could forget.

Sometimes - when I hear of a child who dies around the holidays I wish I could forget. Forget how much it hurt, how much it changed the flavor of the season within my heart- forever.
When I talk with a grieving parent, or when I pray in earnest for a family whose eight year old son's battle with cancer finally ended -- weeks before Christmas ... I wish I could forget.

Then,there are times that I hope I never forget.

Never forget how real God became to me in an instant. How near He was! How much His grace was present! When I think about how much the Comforter worked within my heart and gave me peace in the midst of the troubled time of the hour - I pray to God I will NEVER forget.

This trial showed me Him -more clearly than any other time in my life. When we draw nigh to God - God always draws near to us. How closely I drew that weekend; and how I knew His arms were holding me, his cheeks wet with tears - just like mine!

I never want to forget how real the presence of God was to me that weekend. Never!

When I look at other people's suffering and can not understand why - I hope I never forget. Never forget how much it hurt when people tried to reason and make sense of something to which God only knew the answer.

When I hear people try to reason through other people's suffering - I am reminded of that weekend and I vow never to forget.

To always remember -comfort does not come when we find the reason to the suffering - comfort comes when we point the suffering ones to the Comforter.
When I sit side by side with someone else who has lost a child - when my tears mix with theirs - every single time - it has never failed - I have begged God to never let me forget. Never forget the hurt - never forget the fear - the questions.

Never forget!
I always always thank God for the opportunity to walk the path with someone else. For in talking and walking and crying and praying with another person who is there - I remember - that is what it is all about! Allowing myself to be an instrument of His comfort- the comfort I became acquainted with twelve years ago - - this weekend.

So this weekend, I will participate in the Christmas program. I will cry as I sing the songs of Christmas. This weekend I will remember- and be thankful.

Emanuel came to bring us Hope and Peace - for every situation we have in life; and as we minister to those around us - those walking the same path - we find purpose.


Adrianna Gimbel said...

Praying for you as another year passes.

Sheryl Shaffer said...

I too, remember this time. God has been there for you all the way. What a blessing! Love you Martie!

Heidi said...

that was sweet to post that on your blog, precious memories, sad and sweet

Becky K. said...

Some things are just so bittersweet. Loving and losing falls right in that category.

The love so sweet and precious....the loss...terribly bitter.

I love that in your memories God's Grace remains a large part of the picture.

Praying as another season of memories goes by.

Becky K.