Monday, April 30, 2012

From this day FORWARD...

For-ward (adverb): Toward or tending to the front; frontward: step forwardInto consideration: put forward...In or toward the future: looking forward to...


What would have been our 4 year wedding anniversary was last Thursday.

No plans were made. No special recognition. No hoopla. No Facebook post. No blog. Really, only a few folks knew or remembered.

And it was completely okay with me. I woke up. I got dressed. I went to work. I was supported and loved on by a few close friends and family. And then the day was over. Time moved on. It moved forward.

It's not that a big deal being made or not made was right or wrong. It was simply my choice. And I chose to spend the day in quiet reflection. I chose to let the day come and go, and to let my emotions come and go too.

It was the same a week prior when I chose to trade in Tony's car that I had been driving since his death. That's by far the biggest item of his I have had to part with. Sure, I could have held on longer, I just chose otherwise. I chose to walk away, to drive away, to drive forward.


This is a word that God has continued to impress upon me for the last several weeks. I must admit each time I hear it, I just want to balk at it. I want to push back, to step back, to protest, to make excuses, to start to feel sorry for myself, to look for attention and affirmation for my backward-moving emotions.

I don't always want to move forward.
Moving forward is hard.
Moving forward requires letting go.
Moving forward is uncomfortable and scary and unknown.

Moving forward puts me face to face with a future that's uncertain, a future I can't see.

But that's where 2 Corinthians 5 comes in. It says in verse 7:
"For we live by faith, not by sight."


The day after our anniversary, I pulled out our guest book from our wedding. My sweet friend Steph created a beautiful scrapbook amongst pages that our guests signed. I still can't bear to read all the well wishes from our loved ones, loved ones who never thought the beginning and end of our marriage would come so soon. 

Yet, I was struck by one particular page and picture.

This was one of our engagement photos. The phrase below it said "From This Day Forward."

I went digging for that very photo from group of photos our sweet friend Pon took for us after we were engaged. That's where I came across this candid shot.

It now seems like a more fitting picture for that phrase above. It's as if Tony is gently nudging me forward.

From this day forward.
By faith.

Dearly loved,

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." ~ Luke 23:42-43
I love this exchange between Jesus and one of the criminals on the cross. I love that Luke included it in his account of Jesus' death. I picture so much going on in this scene. Insults being hurled, women crying, soldiers giving orders, 3 men struggling for every breathe. Death was on the doorstep. Pain was unimaginable.

For those 2 criminals on either side of Jesus, this was it; life was on it's final countdown; justice had been served. They were getting what they deserved in the eyes of those who enforce the law.

Yet, there was hope. Though one criminal "hurled insults," the other asked Jesus to remember him.

And just like that, by placing his faith in Jesus, this criminal entered paradise when he breathed his last.

Paradise. Heaven.

Absent in his earthly body; present with the Lord.

Present with the Lord.

Glory. Glory.

Jesus died for this criminal...and Jesus died for you, and for me, and for the whole world. When our life on earth is over, we can spend forever with Him in paradise...

If only, we accept Him as our Savior.

Tony made this very decision in his early 20's. I'll forever be grateful to his best friend, John Wheat, for modeling the way, for investing so much time and energy into Tony, for telling him how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. Thank you, John, thank you.

On March 23, 2010, around 6 p.m. EST, Tony Edge breathed his last breathe; he left his earthly body; he joined Jesus in heaven.

He entered into paradise.

Because of the cross, because of the resurrection of Christ, I grieve the loss of Tony with an undeniable Hope. I know where my Tony is. He's with Jesus.

Glory. Glory.

Jesus. He is risen.

In all my years of celebrating Easter, none have been so meaningful as these 3 since Tony's death. It's as if for the first time, I truly know the full weight of the sacrifice and love Jesus poured out for us...because the one I loved most on this earth has experienced paradise first-hand.

Paradise. It's not just a trendy word on the latest Coldplay album. It's heaven. It's a real place. It's my final destination.

And I pray, I believe God, that it's the final destination for countless others too.

Dearly loved, celebrating Easter,