II Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ESV
On Easter Sunday of 2000, I was hanging out with our church band between services. All of a sudden, everyone left except the drummer and me; it was that awkward moment when you realize the room is too quite but don’t know the other person in it. I felt the need to make conversation and found myself saying, “I’m hungry.” It was all I had at the time. So that day, I went to Easter Brunch at a 5-Star restaurant with my future husband. I didn’t know his name, when he picked up the phone to book the reservation. Funny how life works out; sometimes we want to know everything and sometimes it’s okay not to know much of anything. It was an unexpected invitation, which led to a VERY unexpected marriage, and an uncommon love.
As you know, we can also be hammered by unexpected moments that are not so perfect. I HATE unexpected grief waves! They can slam us when we are feeling weak or strong, sneak up on us from behind, or hit us head-on at a hundred miles an hour. Last Saturday, before Easter, I was in a head-on collision with grief during a church service. It hit me so hard that I was afraid I would have to put down my microphone and get off the platform.
During our service, we had watched a powerful video and began transitioning into our communion song. I heard a man’s voice to my right. I turned and saw a dear friend kneeling beside his wife and daughter; praying over them, and sharing communion with them. It was a beautiful picture of a godly man loving on his girls and God. It took my breath away. In that moment, I LONGED for my husband. I longed to be prayed over and loved by his tenderness and quiet strength.
Hear my heart; our marriage was not perfect, it was dependent. We had both suffered through horrific marriages before and knew how blessed we were for grace and second chances. We counted on God every day to make it work and we prayed together each morning. Daryl would often thank God for his, “beautiful wife”, his “treasure”, or his “forever”. How I miss our prayers of thankfulness and need that we poured out to God. They, in and of themselves, were often unexpected moments; gifts of powerful words for one another and our Savior.
They are priceless memories but I had pushed aside. Somehow, I had put them in the back of my mind and hidden them away. Maybe I pushed them back because missing them was too hard or they were too lovely to remember in detail. I had not realized what I had done until that moment when I heard and saw my friend praying over his girls. Then it all came back; full-speed, head-on at a hundred miles an hour in that unexpected moment of grief. It was hard, very hard, my knees almost buckled, but I thank God for giving me some of my detailed memories of our daily-life back. In my weakness I NEEDED Christ’s power and strength. His grace was and is sufficient.
God, help us to lean in and lean on you when we face unexpected moments; be they bitter or sweet, Amen.