Monday, June 26, 2006


One can stand on the top side of Niagara Falls and watch as the water smoothly falls over the edge like water out of a pitcher. As one continues to watch, the difference is almost overwhelming to one’s insides. The water goes across quite a distance and it keeps pouring over. The magnitude is breathtaking. The water just keeps coming and coming and coming. (It reminds me of a magic trick that Michael would that got him into a car accident...isn't it funny the events that remind us of other times and places...)

Along the way down, the water becomes the classic “falls” crashing on the rocks from such a height above…creating a mist which extends far out from the water itself.

I remember like yesterday when my big boys, Michael, and his dad went on the Maid of the Mist tour at Niagara Falls. The boys were on the boat with their yellow rain slickers. As they got closer, my father-in-law said my 2nd son grabbed the rail, ducked his head and never let go until they finished the ride. He thought they were going THROUGH the falls!

Something strange has been happening with me lately.
I’m not so much ducking, but I often feel as though I am wearing that yellow rain slicker because there is such an imposing mist around. I continue to find things at work and home dated between May 15th and some time in middle of July of last year that I didn’t do or don’t remember doing. Most of these things were done for me. I am grateful but confused. Who did these things and why am I just now discovering them? Life DID go on then. I don’t want to think about that.

It becomes easy to compare those times with the Maid of the Mist tour. The fog/mist was so thick after losing Michael that I ducked my head and didn’t look up for a while. When I did look up, I realized /learned I could and should go through things and I had the right equipment. I didn’t even think about those first 2 months and here I am a year later—living them over in a (different) way. There are people to whom I owe so much gratitude—people I “feel” I have overlooked—ones who didn’t take care of these life things because they wanted a pat on the back, they just walked the call they got in my particular grief journey. They are all part of the family, the team, the “grief circle” I often mention. Some are part of that early ‘triage’ team and have since settled into a powerful, but more backseat, role. They are gifted at triage and I’ve seen them go right on to another triage need many times since my need for them. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

Mist seemed to symbolize the reality of the powerful waterfall overflowing my heart and life—changing everything—it really happened, but the reality was such a mist that I couldn’t see. Much of it will still remain…a MYSTery.

And the times, those early months, they were times that were missed. I’m not angry about it, just lacking….composure?... I feel like I’m living the current year but it is overlaid with the same days from last year, making the picture appear fuzzy.

There will continue to be things in our lives which we don’t understand and maybe never will—timing on different events, having no clear/positive answers to prayers we pray, sometimes for years on end…the list can be quite long. It reinforces why we need to stay in God’s Word—keep reading and studying, reflecting and journaling. Certain passages will impact us differently depending on our current circumstances. The powerful thing is that God's Word doesn’t change from being the truth. Take for example my life verse, Proverbs, chapter 3, verses 5 and 6. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Do not lean on your own understandings. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”

We just can’t lean on what we “understand” or even that we will ever have an understanding. He simply wants us to Trust Him with ALL of our heart…and in ALL our ways to make Him known (to acknowledge Him,) and, what’s His promise to us? To make our paths straight! This doesn’t even mean we’ll be able to see far down the road, but perhaps just the next step because it is straight in front of us.

I’m thankful for other kinds of mist. I was out watering my garden yesterday, a place that is so therapeutic for me. If I blasted some of my plants it may damage them, but if I put the nozzle on a light ‘shower’ or mist, the water goes on in gentle layers. Yes, sometimes life blasts us, but the healing rain of the mist puts the layers of healing back into our lives…so we can be the revealer of the MYSTery of Christ into the lives of those that we now are learning how to comfort…because we have endured the suffering they are now just beginning.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” II Corinthians 1:3-5

What a plan. What an amazing, tender, merciful God.

And, I haven’t missed the fact that you are there…walking with me in this journey.
Thank you.

Annie B
p.s. Want to know why I've not been blogging? Graduation week: Wednesday my daughter graduates from Middle school--a big thing here. Thursday another son has an emergency apendectomy at midnight. Mom spent all day with me at the ER. Get to sleep at 3:30a.m. at the hospital. Up at 5:30 then 7:30. Early afternoon shopping for high school graduation Friday night. Will recooperates amazingly quickly and they release him to friends. He arrives home and stays with a friend while the rest of us go to my first son's graduation. Saturday: have a big party... 28 people get baptized... didn't want to miss a installment: The Contemplation


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