Today we are blessed to welcome our NEWEST team member to our ministry. We are excited to introduce Janene Gaynor to each of you. She has been a special friend to our ministry for several years and has a wonderful prayerful heart to minister.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24 (ESV)
When my granddaughter comes for a sleepover at my home, there are some pretty routine things we do. We play cards, we make brownies, and we go over prayer requests at bedtime. The prayer request conversation may be short or span an hour, but one request remains the same. “Please ask God to tell Grandpa we love him.”
Most recently, she clarified, “We always love him and carry him in our hearts but we want him to know that.” I love her sweet heart so much, and I love that over four years has passed and she still thinks of her Grandpa, inviting remembrances of him in our prayers.
As our conversation continued, I commented that Grandpa was getting to meet his believing great, great, great, great, great grandparents and my granddaughter said, “He’s probably met Adam and Eve by now!” I had to laugh at that! I can honestly say that thought had never crossed my mind! So then we imagined what he would say when he met Adam and Eve. “What were you thinking?!,” or, “Why’d you have to mess everything up for the rest of us?!,” or, “Couldn’t you just be content with all those other fruit trees?” This was a really fun conversation but it painted Grandpa’s new universe for us a little more—just imagining his new home of heaven and those he might be meeting there.
He is in a completely new world. I am in a new world too… one without him. It may seem like a contradiction to say this, but I both hate that my beloved is gone and accept that he is gone. My life of forty years of marriage was so horribly altered, I first questioned if I was going to be okay. Now I know I will be okay and I accept my life. I still hate that we are separated by death, and I believe God is okay with that. Death came as a result of sin so it was never God’s plan. So while I will continue to hate death, I will embrace life. I will appreciate how God provides for me in my new world—in all ways. God is as fully present with me as He is with my beloved. He is the One who spans it all.
For me, grief’s pain has gradually been pulled back by the tide of time, and what remains on the shoreline are some glistening treasures—the heart connections and precious conversations that are like pearls being added to a strand by God’s own hand. He is adorning my new world. It has taken time to see this process and arrive at this good shore.
Whatever your stage along grief’s journey, please join me now in a prayer for the glistening treasures yet to be revealed.
Heavenly Father, You love us and embrace us here today in all we are and all we aren’t. You understand us, even when we are trying to figure out which way is up. Give us glimpses of the treasures yet to be found on the shoreline. Grant us those heart connections and precious conversations which will fuel our hearts, and the divine eyes of faith in the blindness of grief. Please guide us by Your sight. We thank You, dear Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen
Janene lives in the Dallas area, surrounded by her children, their sweethearts, two grandchildren, and a host of wonderful friends. Janene married her beloved Frank in 1972 and enjoyed 40 precious years with him. Four months after celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, Frank lost his rigorous battle against bladder cancer. Frank left a void so vast, it was like a black hole which threatened to swallow Janene whole. However, God’s faithfulness has been exceptional. As a retired minister at a local church, she spends her time painting, mentoring, serving in Stephen Ministry leadership, and seeks to trust Christ in this new season of life.
To learn more about our ministry team: www.awidowsmight.org
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