October 28, 2006

Jeff and I are ten years apart. When I was little, I made Jeff a home made card for his birthday. I can remember trying so carefully to make it perfect. I would impress my big brother with a creative card just from me! I began to write in it, as neatly as I could with a crayon or pencil. I intended to write "To the best brother" but unintentionally left out the r in brother, so it read "to the best bother" instead. I remember him reading the card and everyone thinking it was so funny, but I felt so awful that I had tried to make it perfect and sweet but forgot one crucial letter! That story came up often as we were growing up. Another one that I can think of is Thanksgiving one year. I came to the dinner table in a blue dress with a list in hand of everything I was thankful for. Sitting around me were my brothers dressed in their long johns, and teasing me for my girliness. Their intention was never to be mean to me, it just demonstrated a little girl growing up with three boys. Our family has always been so close and we've always had stories to tell. Sometimes it is the hardest thing for me to not know how long it will be before we are all together again. Heaven is the only hope we have for that, and I am thankful for that assurance.

It has been almost a month since Jeff claimed his new address in Heaven. God continues to give me strength; without it, I don't know what I would do. Over the last year, I have prayed for God to renew my joy when I felt like it was slipping. I ask him to fill in the spaces that are so empty inside of me. Tonight, I went to an online Bible site that I have book marked in my computer and just searched the word "joy". I wanted to share what it led me to in my Bible, just in case anyone else was feeling like I am today.

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Revelation 21:3-4 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying " Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

It continues to remain my comfort that God cares how I feel. It is okay to be sad, and to mourn for my brother. It does not mean that God has left me, it only means He is that much closer.

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