This is a woman who I've watched since I was in junior high, go through difficulties in life victoriously. I've watched her go through betrayal of a husband which resulted in divorce and becoming a single mom. I watched her raise her kids with very little financially. She learned to trust again and remarried once when her kids were young, and learned what it felt like to be abused by a husband. He had a heart attack and passed on making her a widow for many years. She learned to trust yet again, a man she was married to for 15 years. He became her best friend until he passed away, leaving her a widow once again in her senior years. This is a woman who has a rich history of walking the broken road with Jesus by her side. She carries the marks of suffering with dignity and beauty. I admire her and love her.
As we worked in the garden, she pointed out every flower I have in my new garden and told me its name; she reminded me that we all are known by our maker. I listened intently to the story of her life as a gardening master and how it paralleled her own brokenness and redemption. I watched her laugh through the pain of the memories with a tear in her eye. And I marveled at the faithfulness of The Lord that has brought this beautiful human to my home to share her life with me.
As she climbed into her car to leave she gave me one last piece of herself, while looking on my mound of flowers in the front yard. "Tammy, just like those flowers that have filled that space, multiplied and over crowded it, some times our lives are like that. You get in that flower bed and pull all the flowers up so you can get to the dirt. Amend the dirt and make it rich. Then, replant only the flowers needed to make the space organized and beautiful. The lord does that with our lives. He is the master designer and he knows that not everything that's in us and around us is good for us. So sometimes he uproots it all so He can make our lives more beautiful. He gets to the foundation and amends us and makes us rich so that He is more glorified by our lives. Accept this as part of life."
With that word, my sweet friend drove away into the dusk of the late evening. I stood a long time breathing in the cool air of the evening and trying to absorb the beauty that she left behind. The beauty of one life that has lived through much pain and struggle leaning on her Jesus. The Love that would come and share her life and her gifts with another, revealing His glory to a hurting world one person at a time. And I am encouraged to push through my own pain to love with his love and to share the gifts He's given me.