October 28, 2022
I read a book recently which describes our life with Jesus as an adventure through a familiar forest with our old, trusted walking stick. Sometimes we journey on the well-worn, well-known path. Other times we strike out to find a new adventure. And still other times we sit by the stream and remember treasured moments from past trips. Through it all, the walking stick points out things of interest, holds our hand, and catches us when we nearly fall.
Now, the image is etched in my mind. I think it was God’s gift to my soul this season.
It’s November. I’ve walked this part of the journey 18 times now. I dread it every time. But it’s a familiar, well-worn path. It leads down into the valley of the shadow of death, but it also leads me beside still waters. His staff comforts me and holds me up. Sometimes I stay awhile and remember. Other times I try to go through the darkness of the forest too quickly and miss the comfort of his hand in mine.
The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4
I’ve been on many adventures with the Lord during these last 18 years, and I treasure each one. I’ve seen God do amazing things.
But I will always return to this well-worn path of grief for as long as I live on this earth. Why? Because of my deep love for J., Janessa and Jayden. I long to touch their faces, hear their voices, see life through their eyes.
Though tears stream down my face, my grief is not without hope.
These paths through the forest lead me home. All of them – the adventures, the memories, the grief. They are all part of the life God carved out for me. He will always hold my hand. I will not lay down his walking stick. I’ll follow him another 18, or 28 or 38 years or more.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Lora you are not alone on this journey. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Love you dear friend
Thank you, Lora. The bravery and courage you show to continue to embrace the grief is inspiring. I know walking thru grief is super important. We just lost my brother unexpectedly and our hearts are reeling. I will remember that you have walked a difficult path, year after year, and seen Jesus afresh and anew, giving you life in the midst of deep heartache.
Mrs.Lora Jones you are one the strongest women I know. You have helped me numerous times just by listening. I Love You and we will see your babies ahainin HEAVEN!!!!
Melanie Ramsey sendingLOVE
Amen to the paths God has chosen for each of us! He never promised they would be easy but He is always there with us on our journey! Prayers for you and your family during this season of difficulty remembering the past but always longing for the future when we can see our loved ones again and say hello to Jesus in person. 🤗
The love you have for our Lord is absolutely beautiful. Love you my sweet dear friend.
Lora dearest. Your faithfulness to share your love and God’s gospel continues to touch hearts throughout the many paths your Lord has lead you. May the comfort only Jesus provides hold you closer than ever each day. ml
That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing…at some point in our lives, grief is something we have to walk through. Seeing it in the way you described will help many who are struggling. It is such a great reminder that no matter how strong our grief, fear, fill-in-the-blank is, God is our strength, is always with us, and will walk with us always.
I know this must be a tough time of year for you Lora having lost your husband and children as you were on your way to Thanksgiving. I want you to know I’m always here for you my friend, and I love how you have handled this throughout the years. I sometimes feel guilty about complaining about some of the problems I have knowing what you and others have gone through, but God has turned a tragedy for you into a blessing for others. Thank you for your friendship and showing us no matter what, we can overcome. Happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas my awesome friend.
Lora, praying for you especially during the holidays. You are inspiring to me, I pray God continues to lead and bless
your life and work. I remember part of your testimony that God said “this is for my glory”, I pray He holds and comforts you in obvious ways. 💕💕
Remembering you as you remember them. Sending big, gentle hugs.