Today my day started with piano competition (but that is fodder for a totally different post). I got to deliver a meal to friends who had a new baby recently, I got to bop around town with my daughter which is always fun because her favorite place to be is "out and about" so she was happy. I also got to attend the "celebration of life" service for an amazing woman of God with that same daughter.
I know Marcia through her nieces Kristen and Melody mostly. I remember her fondly when we and a few other friends wanted to get together for scrapbooking. Marcia offered their house to meet in which was more centrally located for everyone. We had a wonderful Friday night and Saturday. The food was yummy and the atmosphere in the house was cozy and inviting. We also shared time together in a Bible study this past year.
What a celebration it was. She is with the Lord and she wanted everyone to know Him. There was singing and sharing of stories. There were tissues and tears. Marcia battled breast cancer twice in the last thirteen years. It was what opened the door to heaven for her. Don't think that has not sat heavy on my heart because it has. There are a couple others recently who have also gone before any human mind would think it was time. But then, it isn't our time to keep.
There were way too many reminders today of the trust and the hope and the sovereignty of our God to camp in the worried or fearful. I was thankful of those reminders. Many songs that were part of the service were songs that I have played from my playlist over and over these past few months. So yes, there were a couple of times I remember telling myself "a month ago I wouldn't be worried about my mascara running". I am thankful for eyelashes once again.
I was wondering all the while how things were sitting with my daughter who was next to me. She wanted to come because she babysits for Maricia's great-nieces, one of which is in my Sunday school class and has for the last few weeks had her aunt on her mind during prayer time. Last week she raised her hand "my aunt died". There were hugs and prayers.
On the way home, as it usually happens, we were discussing some pretty heavy things as we drove into the garage. Not getting into many details of the much postponed conversation (since that would be her story to tell), I will say that we sat in the garage in the van and talked about some of life's HUGE questions. She shared how she didn't want to tell me her troubles when she knew I wasn't feeling well (she said I could share this if I wanted to). Already starting to cry, I grabbed her and hugged her as she said through tears "I am so glad you are still here".
And there it was...I bawled, I sobbed. Ugly crying, so that the mascara that was left was all washed away. All of those yucky blue feelings of late came out in a waterfall of emotion. These are the things of life. The things of this broken and sin-filled life. These are the things until He comes back for us. I loved that Marcia's celebration today began in 1 Thessalonians 4:13...the blessed hope. There are many that I know and love who will be at the front of the line as "the dead in Christ" who will rise first.
Something that this life has taught me is that we are best to live it one day at a time. It is all that we can handle as humans. It was an "ah-ha" moment in my time with Him one day studying the Lord's prayer. Many people may have gotten this much earlier in life but I would say it has probably been no more than 15 years ago when I saw the words (of the prayer I had memorized as a small child) "give us this day our daily bread". DAILY...it is not mine to ask for tomorrow's or the next day or five years from now. Jesus gives what we need for today so why fret about tomorrow when I don't have what I need for that today? Oh so much easier said than done isn't it?
I remember my grandma used to sing along to a song when it played on the radio called "One Day at a Time" by Merle Haggard and I had no idea what a great lesson that is until years later. I thought of her today too while we were singing "I'll Fly Away". That was another she would hum along with. She'll be one of those firsts in the front of the line too.
"One day at a time, sweet Jesus. That's all I'm asking from You
Give me the strength to do everyday when I have to do
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never me mine
So for my sake, teach me to take one day at a time."
(I guess I will have to talk about chicken tetrazzini tomorrow)