This is a post I knew was coming for weeks and have not been able to get just the right lead in - and still as I start typing I have deleted multiple "startings".
So, without just the perfect lead in, I will start anyway.
The first of "those" days is coming soon for many of us - it looms large on the horizon - only a week away. A couple of days ago I realized that it will also be the 18 month anniversary of my beloved's Homegoing.
Yes, by some strange coincidence (actually not so strange, because I believe God has a plan!) I will find myself marking Thanksgiving and 18 months of widowhood on the same day.
God has been faithful to this sparrow these 18 months and has cared for her gently and with great love and kindness. This is a story of a Thanksgiving Dinner that could have only been orchestrated by Him.
When that day came around last year I really wasn't in much of a mood to celebrate it. I had insisted that my daughter spend the day with her "significant other" for two reasons - first I never want to be that mother that insists her children divide themselves between families and secondly - I didn't want to force myself to "be happy" when maybe I wouldn't be able to do so.
An invitation came from a dear friend (she knows who she is!) to attend a dinner prepared by her church family - I almost didn't go - but I knew my daughter would be upset if she had found out I spent the day alone - so I went.
After arriving I struggled with "blending in" and really didn't know what to do with myself and thought I would just stay a while and quietly disappear. But God had a different plan - He always does - and it's always so much better!
I was led to the appetizer table and was delighted to find exactly all the same things I would have prepared for a family Thanksgiving Dinner - in fact all the things I had prepared for my family for many years - this included chesse, crackers, two types of pickles (sweet and bread and butter) AND both black and green olives! Even the crackers were the same as I had served each Thanksgiving Dinner in the past ....... goodness. But God wasn't done yet!
After eating these delightful treats I was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to cry and made a quick retreat to the ladies room where thankfully I was alone. After composing myself it was my intention to leave quietly because I really didn't think I could make it through the meal -- but do you remember I said God had a different plan - well He did - because when I came out of the ladies room it was announced that dinner was ready and there was my friend ready and waiting to direct me to a table - so I took a deep breath and off I went.....
I shortly found myself sitting at a table set with the most beautiful dishes I had ever seen - red depression glassware - much like these.....
I felt like royalty - and in conversing with the dear people who had set this table I found that these dishes had belonged to a beloved Mother who had gone on to her own glory just two weeks previously. This was no coincidence - this was God's own special timing and provision - He blessed me and He blessed the son who shared his mother's dishes with me on that day.
After a truly delicious meal and a quiet time of fellowship it was time for me to go home because I was truly worn out. I left with a sense of awe at God's provision and love and also a sense of accomplishment that I had made it through my first serious holiday.
But......God wasn't done yet!.....On the drive home I was thanking Him for His love and care and He sent me this message - Beloved today I prepared a table for you in the presence of your enemies.
And yes He did - for my enemies that day were taunting me - the enemies of grief, loneliness and fear of the future - I sat and I ate at the table God Himself (with the help of many servants) provided for me.
So as another Thanksgiving is looming large on the horizon I remember as the Psalmist did in Psalm 77 - I remember all the works You have done and the wonderful deeds. I remember the special provision for me on that first Thanksgiving Day alone and I will rest easy knowing that He has only good things for me - this Thanksgiving and every day yet to come.
Be at peace this night dear one - for He loves you so............