Last night I had a call from a long time friend. We met in Japan while we were both young military wives starting with our families. We went for years without conversations, and had lost touch with one another. A few years back, I discovered her on Facebook and our friendship was renewed with joy on both our parts. We talk to one another a few times a month and each conversation is animated and full of details.
Last night we talked about joy and provision and peace. It was a conversation filled with prayer and tears and friendship. Upon hanging up, I went online and started doing a word search on the topics we covered. So often, I find, that I use words daily that I have not considered what the definition of the words are. We learn vocabulary in elementary school, and that is built on during our secondary school years. As an adult, I have an interest in the definitions of commonly used words. I find it interesting to renew my mind in reading the meaning of these words, it makes the words come alive for me.
The words that come alive provoke feelings in me that surprise me. As a Christian, I have often heard that the Lord will never forsake us. I once looked up the word forsake and it’s definition is to renounce or turn away from entirely. When I read that, it filled me with such peace and comfort. To know that the Creator of the Universe would not turn away from me. I love that thought.
On waking up this morning, I still had the idea of definitions floating around my head. I went about my day, cleaning and airing out guest rooms and bathrooms in preparation for some dear friends coming to visit this week. The anticipation of having time with them filled me with excitement and joy.
Since I had just looked up the meaning of joy last night, I knew this was the correct word to the feeling I was experiencing. I once more began to think of the definitions of words and realized that they were tied together with emotions and feelings.
This was brought home when I saw a photo. Normally photos do not illicit deep responses in me. I can smile at what I see, I can love the people I see, I can wish that I was there to hug on the person. This photo affected me in ways I was not ready for. I put the photo away where I won’t see it and it will stay there until I can resolve these feelings in me. The tsunami that hit me was filled with the debris of anger and hurt and regret and sadness. It flooded over me and has tried to carry me away in its’ wake. I find my footing and then it ebbs and I find myself almost flowing with it. Like a real tsunami it has penetrated into creaks and crevices of my spirit and brought to the surface things I wanted to stay put away. The damage has been done though. The muck and mire will be removed, I know this. The emotions will be examined and defined. I know all of this because last night I looked up the words joy, provision and peace. Armed with the definitions, the wisdom that comes with age and most of all the knowledge that I serve a God who will not forsake me, I have the confidence that this tsunami that has hit me will pass, it will be cleaned and the ache and heartbreak will be healed.
Matthew 28:20b “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (New Living Translation)