I drove a cargo van from Orange County, in Southern California,
I always knew I would have to make that trip...
My thoughts about that were changed the day that my estranged husband died suddenly.
A space that had been added to when we quickly left the rental cottage in Seattle.
A space that held the only things left from a dream and a life that had ended.
I was debating when to go -
That put three out of my four kids in the area at the same time...
So I went.
Unfortunately, the week I was there was just before Father's Day.
The first Father's Day for the kids after losing their dad....
So hard, in fact, that my son was the only one who agreed to come out to storage.
The girls said it was just too much for them to come and deal with.
I understand that. I wish it had been any other time in the year,
The kids needed to be able to take things from storage that belonged to their dad -
Did I mention that this trip was amazing?
Let me tell you HOW amazing...
it was basically ten days filled with more moments of grace than I can count.
I prayed for music
(no CD player in the cargo van) to soothe my soul and lift my spirits,
and there was only a 15 minute stretch in the Siskiyou Mountain Range
The whole way! I sang. A LOT.
I prayed for safety
the van stayed under my control
AND there's MORE:
While driving back South, I noticed a horrific vibration in the van.
So I drove the van to Les Schwab tires, and they found that
the front right tire had developed a HUGE bulge on the inner sidewall
But it did not blow while I was driving.
It did not blow at all!
[Yes, Amy Grant, there WERE Angels Watching Over Me!]
I prayed for my needs to be met
and at the moment I needed them,
there were hotel vacancies for rest,
warm weather and soft breezes for comfort,
I prayed for support and encouragement,
the lifetime friends who are family,
She sings the words of hope back to me when I have forgotten them...
the friend who has suffered a recent loss
the childhood friend whom I hadn't seen in nearly 40 years,
She lived just a few miles from my last home there...
the friend who invited me to stay in her home
she and her family welcomed me with open arms and hearts,
the friend I have known for just a few years,
who came and toiled with me over two days in the storage unit
the many friends who came and helped to lighten my load
the friends who shared their home and hearts with me,
They are a shining example of a partnership of love.
the friend who started out as my client years ago,
time, and ourselves, and love.
the family friend who opened her door with a laugh,
I prayed for restoration,
Because she changed her mind and came to the storage unit,
I will take any small step toward the healing of our family that God brings about...
My children now have all of the personal items that belonged to their dad and his parents.
I hope that helps them each to find ways to remember their dad with love.
I prayed for release,
He granted me time alone, to feel the presence of pain - and then let it go.
Time alone to look at and touch and smell the remnants of a life
It can't be fixed or replaced. The person I built the dream around is gone.
God gave me time to pack away special memories into a box, a time capsule of that part of my life.
and the final release of a damaged, broken love.
I prayed for healing,
I prayed for the ability to forgive...
But each day, He speaks to my soul and shares truth
Not the journey of opening up a storage unit that felt like 'the grave' of a former life.
The journey is one of forgiveness. And love.
And I am almost home...