The teacher couldn’t wait for each day to start. Every morning at eight, he would welcome each of the new members personally. It never got old seeing the joy, shock, awe and excitement in each of their faces.
For the last few years, attendance has been steadily dwindling. But he knew there would always be some that believed in his teachings, no matter what the enemy threw at them.
“Good morning Michael, how are you today?” The teacher asked his top assistant.
“I am good sir, but I am concerned. Today’s class is our smallest yet,” answered Michael.
“I understand your concern, Michael. It seems like more and more of them are falling for his lies. But, do not fear, Michael. Faith, hope and love will always persevere. Also, you will not have to worry much longer Michael.”
“Why is that, teacher?” Michael asked.
The teacher responded, “I’m about to do something that will open all their eyes to the truth.”
I watched you for what seemed like hours as you tended your rose garden. I never understood why you would want to have so many roses and why you would want to spend so much time out there. You would always say you loved the way the dirt smelled. You would spend countless summer days bent over the garden, sweat dripping from your brow, pulling the weeds and pruning the roses. You would come inside sweaty, dirty, and looking exhausted but you always had a smile on your face.
I don’t get it I would say. You would reply, what’s their to get. It’s my time to do what I love and it’s my time I spend all alone with God. You should hear the conversations we would have. I would always reply I don’t know if I want to and we would laugh.
Even in the dark cold days of winter you would get bundled up and go outside to walk the path through your garden. Talking to them, touching their dead branches. Of course, I didn’t get that either. Why on earth? You would always say that they aren’t dead. There is life inside of them. They are like a lot of people in this world. Walking dead but there is life in them. It’s up to us to bring that life out. Waiting patiently, for today they may appear dead but with tomorrow there is always hope.
You are like that. You had a natural beauty that I was instantly attracted to but it was your inner beauty that would light up my heart. You could walk into a dark room and it would be like someone turned on the lights. It is the type of person you are.
Until one day you were taken from me. A teenager was texting and driving and ran into you. Neither of you survived. God needed his angel back and I had to pay the price. At your funeral the pastor recited your favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Forget you God. If this is your plan then I don’t want any part of it. I looked out the back window and saw your rose garden. In my grief, I ran outside and I pulled and broke and cut every rose bush. I screamed and hollered your name. I screamed at God.
Out of breath, cut, scratched, and bleeding from the thorns, I dropped to my knees and let my tears water the lifeless dirt.
Summer turned to winter and, like the days , my heart grew darker and colder. I didn’t know how to live without you. I didn’t want to live without you. God should’ve taken me with you. My pain was too much to bear.
I looked out the window and saw the bare garden. I finally understood what you meant. Even if they appeared dead, at least they were still there. Now there was nothing but bare dirt. I grieved more as I recalled that day I destroyed what you loved.
As seasons go, winter turned to spring. We had an early spring this year. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. Somehow in the very back of the garden, barely visible from where I stood, a rose bush had survived and now had two roses blooming.
I ran outside as fast as I could. I had to touch them to see if they were real. As I did, I could swear I caught a faint scent of you. Then in the spring breeze I could swear I heard your laughter. I immediately dropped to my knees and grabbed a handful of dirt. It smelled so full of life.
In that moment, I felt my heart start to beat again.
I went out and bought as many rose bushes as I could find. There had to be at least a hundred of them and I was going to fix what I destroyed. I was going to fix your rose garden.
I labored for hours that first day. I went to bed exhausted, sore and smelling like dirt but I would wake up refreshed, ready to start again. I realized I could not do it on my own.
I looked at my phone, hesitant to dial their number. I dialed anyway. I called the teenagers parents and they came over to help. I think all of us healed a little bit that day.
I watched every day as your garden came back to life. I spent hours out there talking to you. I slowly learned to talk to God again.
Summer rolled around and I was still in the garden. Sweat rolling off every inch of my body but it was okay. I stood up to take a break and I swear I felt your hand touch mine. I closed my eyes remembering what your touch felt like. I looked down at my hand but yours was not there. I started to lift it up when a beautiful butterfly landed in my palm. Then a sliver of light fell right on it, giving it its own spotlight. I smiled, then the butterfly fluttered toward my face and touched my cheek, as if giving me a kiss. Then it flew to a nearby rose and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time.
I said your name out loud. Kim?
Then a summer breeze picked up and I swear I heard it carry your laughter. Tears fell down my face but I smiled.
In your rose garden I found life again. I found you again. I found God again.
I miss you every minute of every day but it was right there and then that I knew I would never be alone.
This was my dream. Leave my life and everyone I know and head to the city. This was my dream and not theirs. I packed my bags and headed out. I saw the tears fall in my rear view mirror. They weren’t my tears but theirs. I pulled out of the driveway and headed to my dream.
I stood on the corner and watched the world go by. How many people have stood right where I am? How many have walked this same street? I believed I was meant to be here. I was going to make my dreams come true.
I worked hard. Harder than most. I sung my heart out. I wrote words that touched those that heard them. I carried a smile everywhere I went. But my faith was wearing thing. My hope was fading with the sunset. I was tired. It felt like no one else believed in my dream.
My heart was turning into the concrete I walked on. My lungs were polluted with the black of darkness that consumed this town. My thoughts were flying with whatever direction the wind blew. Every no was shaking my soul to the core. Why was I here? I didn’t even know anymore. Somewhere on these dirty streets I lost who I am.
I only needed one yes. One person to believe in me. One break. One…
I stood on the corner and watched the world go by. I thought about stepping off the curb and into traffic. I just stood their with my eyes closed and my heart exposed. Everyone walked by and didn’t say a word. If they only knew how close I was. One word was all I need. One word, one touch, one….
My phone rang. Mom. She always knew. How did she always know? It was time to go home. Not to give up on my dreams but to do a restart. I needed to go back to where I was loved. I needed to find me again.
I pulled in the driveway and saw the tears fall in my rear view mirror. This time they were mine. I let them fall down my face.
He was rolling down the mountain at a break neck speed. He could not believe how fast he was going. He tried to slow down, but he couldn’t figure out how. Once a pebble gets rolling, there is only one thing to stop him. He saw them in the distance but they were getting closer and closer the faster he went. There was no way to avoid the big, bad boulders so he just closed his eyes and
“Hey pebble, what do you think you are doing??!!” shouted the boulders. “Can’t you see how close to the edge we are? We have been balancing on this ledge for a very long time. We don’t need a little pebble like you messing our situation up.”
The pebble shook with fear. He had never seen boulders that big before. “I-I-I’m ssssorry. I didn’t mean to hit you but I was going so fast I couldn’t stop. Thank you for stopping me though. Do you think I could stay here?”
The boulders answered with a stern “NO!! We don’t need you here. You are not one of us and would mess our lives up with all your little talk.”
The pebble didn’t like their answer but went on his way. He tried to take it slower but with each downward slope and each breath of wind that blew he didn’t have much choice. He was so small he went wherever the wind blew him. Most days he didn’t mind, every day was an adventure. He never knew where he would end up. Other days, he just wanted to stop and fit in somewhere. He wanted someone to like him, for him to be a part of something bigger than him.
A big gust of wind started to blow and off the pebble went again. He was going so fast he would hit the ground then bounce up in the air. He felt like he was flying. “This must be how the birds feel,” he thought to himself.
Oh crap, more boulders ahead, the pebble screamed inside. “Look out boulders, I am coming right at you. I can’t stop!!!” yelled the pebble.
Once again the pebble was met with disdain. “Get out of here pebble. We are way too powerful for you. Do you NOT realize that we can squash you if we wanted to. You are too tiny to live here. Be on your way before we change our minds and decide to hurt you.”
The pebble didn’t waste any time scurrying from that place. He thought, What is wrong with all these boulders?Don’t they realize I don’t mean to smash into them. I’m just trying to find my way. Like I could ever hurt them anyway.
It was then he heard a small voice in the wind.” Go pebble go. Go where the wind takes you. You are more powerful than you know. Everything that is and has happened to you is for a reason. I didn’t mean you any harm when you crashed into those boulders. I was using you to try to change their hearts. To learn to be more accepting. To love something other than their own pile of boulders. It is not too late for them for you have planted a seed everywhere I have sent you. The choice is theirs. You tried. Keep trying and going forward. Do not be afraid.”
The pebble looked around but did not see anyone. Strange, he thought. At that time another gust of wind picked him up and took him on his way.
Not again, seriously, the pebble thought unbelieving. Why can’t I crash into a pile of grass or a stream of water. Why another pile of boulders? He braced himself for impact.
This time the boulders didn’t yell at him. “Help us,” said the boulders. “We are about to fall off the edge.”
“How can I help you? I am just a small pebble,” the pebble asked. He was thinking this had to be some kind of trick.
“We are about to fall off the edge and we have been asking for someone like you. See this small hole in between us? We need you to jump in there and seal it so we can be strong. With you securing that hole, we don’t have to worry about falling off the ledge.”
Wow, thought the pebble. They really need me. “You can count on me,” he bravely said. “I have been wanting a place to settle down. A place that will accept me for who I am.”
He then jumped right into the hole and secured the boulders together.
“Thank you,” he humbly said. To the boulders and to that small voice he heard.
It was then they heard this rumbling coming down the mountain. All these boulders were falling all around them but , miraculously, none of the falling boulders hit them. The pebble recognized them as the same boulders who yelled at him and told him they didn’t want him.
“Thank you,” said the boulders he was with now. ” Without you, we would’ve had the same fate as those boulders. You saved us pebble.”
We were living in a two bedroom apartment at the time. We were starting to look at houses in Westerville but we were really just undecided on where to go. Plus it was a large “luxury” two bedroom and the girls had their own bathroom. We made it work.
Then Kim told me she was pregnant. We had talked about it but we weren’t exactly ready. At least I didn’t think so. I guess neither did God because we miscarried.
A short time later we were pregnant again. Again we miscarried. It hit Kim more than it did me. Both times were less than six weeks but they were lives being started in there.
All in God’s time. We found a house. We did all the moving ourselves. We packed up an apartment and a storage unit, unloaded, and had it all unpacked and set up in the house all in one day. One long day. We could not have done that if the first two pregnancies took. And lo and behold, right after we moved in we found out Kim was pregnant with Kylie.
That’s the background and I don’t know why almost eleven years later the two miscarriages have been on my mind. Were they boys or girls? What would they look like now? What kind of personality would they have had? What would they be like now? Is Kylie a combination of those two? Will we see those two in Heaven when our time comes? What was God’s plan ? Was it all for us to be able to get a house and be able to move? Was it for me to talk about eleven years later? Maybe help someone else?
I don’t know. All I know is that for some reason they have been weighing on my heart and my mind the last few weeks.
God has a plan. Sometimes that doesn’t help to hear when you are going through a loss but you will get through it. Whatever your loss may be. Loss of a child, a parent, a friend, a pet you will get through it. The memories will be there and some days will be hard. You will have good days also. You will have days when you will have a memory and cry. You will have days where you will have a memory and smile. You will never forget. Hang in there and let God walk you through it.
Lucy by Skillet – yes I know this song is about abortion but it touches me every time I hear it.