Have you ever found yourself unsettled because an important task was left undone, not for a day but maybe a week or even more? For me, it had been YEARS… It wasn’t a task though, it was actually a trip to the Eastern Sierras. I wanted to revisit this magnificent place ever since my late husband, Andy, passed away three years ago… It was our heaven on earth!
Recently I felt my heart proclaim:, “Now is the time get out of the city to bask in My Presence!”
My Self talk was: “Okay, you… Stop procrastinating and follow your heart. You heard what God has asked you to do. Be brave. Don’t treat this like a task to be checked off. It’s more important than that! Andy would say, “Just Do It!”
So, with Andy and God directing me to “Just Do It”, I knew without a doubt, I would take the trip to Mammoth, our favorite area in the Sierras.
God definitely knows me better than I do, so he made sure to include my son on this journey of peace and self discovery. The plan was to drive up alone from Southern California and meet him the following day.
Finally, upon arriving to Mammoth, Twin Lakes, I felt a tinge of anxiety… Maybe it was exhaustion after driving almost non stop for 6 hours. I then proceeded to walk into the historic lodge and felt a deeper feeling coming from the pit of my stomach. I realized quickly, I missed being a couple, a married couple with kids. I am an independent woman and it wasn’t my first rodeo traveling alone. But, I definitely had a difficult time moving through the check in system. I found myself asking God a very familiar question:
WHO AM I NOW?
This cannot be me standing alone in this lakeside lodge in Mammoth. Andy’s memories are embedded in every space of the resort, inside and out. Why am I here? I should have stayed home where it was comfortable and safe. This was our family retreat… It’s not a widow’s retreat!
I quieted myself down, by focusing on the magnificent lake and pine trees, as I peered outside the large window pane. I will not allow my fearful emotions or the enemy, to steal my joy! Anyways, my son was driving from Arizona to celebrate his birthday with me the next day. I was reminded by gazing at God’s paradise that life is full of blessings and nothing was going to rob me of them!
The hint of self-pity seems to come up during insecure thoughts; times when the enemy thinks he can get a foothold. However, God is my Comfort and Refuge! The enemy may know my weaknesses, but God sees me redeemed and restored! And, there is no room for feelings that are not the Fruit of the Spirit… LOVE. God dwells in this woman’s heart and He takes up All of my rooms! I ask Him again…
Who Am I Now?
I am a child of God! I am loved I am redeemed, I am restored, I am forgiven, I am a citizen of heaven and I am blessed.
So, here I am standing on the edge of the lake, after getting settled into my room. I’m surrounded by God’s awe, inspiring beauty, and I’m suddenly overwhelmed with tears of Thankfulness and Wishfulness.
I begin imagining Andy waiting for me on the other side of the lake at our favorite fishing spot. How I wish this could come true! Then a split second later, an undeniable, deep rush of gratitude imparted out of my lips, thanking God for all His blessings, seen and unseen! Sadness disappears when I allow God to be my compass… God is Love not despair.
God nudged me …
“You are still here… living in My exquisite creation, enjoy My endless blessings, breathe in the scent of My flowers and My trees, receive My glorious gifts of love; and continue your journey in loving on others.”
Who Am I Now?
“You are my beloved! A woman of the most high God, a widow, a mom, a sister, a niece, a friend, a teacher, a student, a writer, a photographer, a hiker, an overcomer, a bestower of My endless love!!”
The next day, I was completely restored and refreshed when my son arrived. We had an amazing trip fishing, laughing, and connecting with nature together! Andy was also with me in spirit because when our loved ones have passed on, they remain in our hearts forever!
And I hear God softly whispering in my ear daily:
“You are Never Alone… I am Always with You!”
Leaning into Him!
Debbie resides in Murrieta, California and is an empty nester to her two beautiful adult children. She and her husband, Andy, moved to the valley in 1990 with their six month-old son and within eight years adopted their daughter from Odessa, Ukraine, This fulfilled a dream God placed in Debbie’s heart, when she was only eight years old. Her amazing children are now in their twenties and flourishing in God’s magnificent love! Her adoring, soul mate of 25 years passed away from brain cancer: GBM – Glioblastoma Multiforme in May 2013. This changed life drastically, but Debbie does not want to be defined by her widowhood and her loss. She’s rather be defined by her gain in becoming tightly woven with Jesus, through this journey and loving others through their circumstances; joyfully or sad.
Deb embraces life by enjoying hiking, cycling, traveling, and fellowship. She is attending classes to become a life coach, where she feels God’s leading once again. She loves spending time at the ocean, watching the rhythmic movement of the waves roll in and out. Most of all, she is learning to surf over those waves; big or small like “Gidget” when life’s circumstances coming rolling toward her! Through this season of life, Debbie found a new passion to love on others and to connect with God’s community. Ultimately, so that the Kingdom of Heaven can be seen and felt here on earth.