Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Shall Not be Moved - Part 1

 “On these things, I shall not be moved.”

I spoke these words to my children one Sunday afternoon after Michael died. They gathered on my king size bed and comfortably sat in their own spots waiting for some kind of encouragement to come forth from my mouth as I attempted to help steady their world. In spite of the circumstances, the moment, and the raw grief that filled the air, the room felt peaceful and safe as we tuned out the world while the afternoon light softly glowed and reflected off of the white wooden floors, the white linens,  and then filled the space up to the vaulted ceiling. Our home had been filled with people and nonstop activity since the news of their father’s death. Three weeks had quickly passed and yet the four of us had not been able to slip away alone together to absorb the trauma as a family unit, which had left us feeling as if we were drifting in a vast sea without an anchor after a destructive storm.  

The kids were feeling as if their firm foundation had been yanked right out from under them.  I could see the uncertainty and insecurity in their eyes as they sat motionless and speechless on my king size bed.   I wanted them to know that, in spite of losing their father, there were certain foundational aspects to our lives that would not be moved; some things would remain constant. Our faith would remain constant.  Our priorities would remain constant.  Our family unit would remain constant.  Our values would remain constant.  

I felt as if everyone’s opinions and suggestions for our lives were trying to chip away at the rock on which Michael and I had built our lives 24 years before.  Every decision we had made was in relation to the rock on which we stood. Well meaning friends and family continually gave me advice of things to change in different areas of my life, preceding their statements with, “You need to….”, but the last thing I or my children needed was another change in our lives those first several months after having lost their father.  With so many opinions coming at me, I needed this time with my kids to shut off the noise and slightly recalibrate our new family unit. 

I desired (and needed) to verbalize to the kids that the rock was still there and we could not let all of the well-intended advice confuse where we stood. We needed time to steady ourselves in a world that was still rocking us like a small boat in a big storm but they also needed to know that in reality, and in spite of how bad the storm was raging around us, we were securely anchored to something bigger… and are still anchored.

I began to keep a detailed prayer journal around 1992.  It is not simply a list of what and whom I pray for each day.  I record scriptures or guidance I feel God is showing me at the moment, dreams, visions, and specific prayers for other people, prayers for the children, and prayers for me.  In the early years of writing in my prayer journal, I began to notice that often times a pattern of scriptures or thoughts will arise over and over again…as if God is trying to get something through to me. This usually means that I am struggling in a particular area and God is reaffirming me with His truth or I am affirming my faith with the scriptures.

In October of 1997, the words “I shall not be moved” from different scriptures kept resurfacing weekly for about a month.  I cannot recall what was going on in my life at the time for those words to resonate with me but now, looking back; maybe they were firmly planted in my heart for such a time as this. 

Psalm 62:1&2, 5-7 and Psalm 16:8 are written in my journal with big circles around the words “rock” and “I shall not be moved.”

“Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.  He only is my rock and my salvation.  He is my defense (strong tower).  I shall not be greatly moved. (shaken)…. My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation (hope)is from Him. He is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation & my glory, the rock of my salvation and my glory, the rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. “ 

“I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

These verses spoke to me 17 years ago. Their roots have deepened inside of me.  They have been engraved on my heart.   Now, almost 4 years after my husband’s death, I still cling to that rock like never before.  I live and move and survive daily because of the rock on which I stand. My God is my rock.  He is my strong tower.  He defends me in the storms that try to take me off course.   My world may still rage all around me, but I keep my eyes straight ahead and remind myself as the boldness rises up in my spirit…I shall not be moved.

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