Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"a new relationship"

In Catherine Marshall's book, To Live Again, she recalls a man who spoke at her husband's funeral saying,

(I've replaced her husband's name, Peter Marshall, with Lynn's name):
Let me say in a few words, and in very simple words, try to express what we are trying to do this morning. We are endeavoring to establish a new relationship.  We have known [Lynn Robert Erskine] in the flesh.  From now on we are to endeavor to know him in the spirit, and to know him in the spirit just as we have really known him in the flesh...

In these last several months, I felt violently stripped of my old wineskin.  A snowball of loss just continued to roll into seas of sorrow upon sorrow.  In brief synopsis, I lost my husband, all that he was in my life, all that he was to our daughters, I lost our ministry together, all that we were in the community around us, I no longer belonged in couple activities, lost co-parenting roles, and now I am losing our home, the place where we welcomed our babies into the world, where we took them across the threshold, the home where his scent still lingers, rooms that contain memories upon memories of our biggest fights, our sweetest victories, our everyday normal that no longer exists... I lost my husband, my daughters' father, I lost our ministry, and I lost my home...

But there is something that our culture is not typically comfortable admitting, and that is the fact that God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecc 3:11).  My husband died, but lives.  Lynn has joined the great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) that gathers around us, cheering us on.  He knows and sees fully, as we are fully known (1 Cor 13:12).  He lost his natural body, but gained a spiritual body (1 Cor 15:44).  My husband lives, but how?  What does that mean in the process of grief?  In moving on and letting go?

The journey for many of us in losing a loved one is often this: learning what to let go of and what to hold on to.  What are those things that remain after the bomb has gone off, the damage is done, and the dust has settled... We are endeavoring to establish a new relationship...  

I love my husband.  Present tense.  I long for him as such.  But our relationship is different now...  In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in heaven (Matt 22:30).

And God makes all things new... (Rev 21:5)

So what does this new relationship look like?  As I wait on God for a new wineskin, a new life, a new season, a new home... How will I see Lynn reflected in it?  What will remain when all else has been washed away?  How will this new relationship change and shape me, be evident in my life?

Lynn,  I know you're there, even though I'm still here.  I know you're as close as a breath, and worlds away at the same time... I know you are a part of my life wherever I go, whatever I do.  

I know you're smiling.  I hear you telling me what you've told me before... Go for it, Babe.  I believe you can do anything.  You and the Holy Spirit are always a majority.  Get up out of the depths!!  Today is the best day of your life!!!!!  :)

Lynn is my brother in Christ and will be the first to hold my hand when my time comes to walk through the veil from death into life everlasting.  And that is a gift.  Not all who grieve receive that gift.  Not all deaths are painted with glory.  For that, I can only cry, and weep with you dear one who grieves in darkness...  But somehow, no matter how thick the darkness lies, no matter how heavily it smothers your heart... God always has the final word.  And life is the only thing that lasts forever.  Not death.  Death is temporary.  But life... Life is eternal. 


  1. "God always has the final word. And life is the only thing that lasts forever. Not death. Death is temporary. But life... Life is eternal. "

    Beautifully put! beautiful.

  2. Natasha - Precious saint of the most High God. I have gone through many strippings from old wineskins in my lifetime, and as you say the hardest one to bear was being stripped of a husband who truly was part of my life and heartbeat and thoughts and plans. Even as Lynn saw - there are dark spirits roaming around Truro to steal the light from this town that is called for endtime harvest. The Lord gave me a verse for you tonight that is about darkness - but it the opposite of the Kingdom of Satan - it is the darkness that is in the secret place of the Most High God. Isaiah 45:3 (KJV)"And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by name...Natasha... am the God of Israel." Just like a baby who grows in a dark womb for nine months from conception to birthing, so are we as widows being formed by God's hands birth the Kingdom of God. Isaiah 49:2 "And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand has He hid me, and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me". Love always....Diana hugs and blessings...

  3. "The Most Amazing Song of All" - The Passion Translation...
    Chapter One:8
    "Listen, My beautiful one-
    If you ever lose sight of Me
    Just follow My footsteps
    Where I have led My beloved ones.
    Come with all your burdens and cares.
    Come to the place near
    The sanctuary of My shepherds-
    There you will find Me."

    Chapter Eight: 5-7
    "Who is this one?
    Look at her now!
    She arises from her desert of difficulty
    Loving and leaning into her beloved!
    When I awakened you
    As you were feasting upon Me
    under the apple tree;
    I awakened your innermost being
    With the travail of birth
    As you longed for more of Me.
    Place me now as a seal of fire
    Over your heart for evermore.
    This living, consuming flame of fire
    Will seal you to be mine
    as a prisoner of love! (ancient Heb for seal can be prison cell)
    My love for you will be stronger
    than the chains
    of death and the grave.
    My love for you will be consuming
    As the very flashes of fire
    From the burning heart of God.
    Place this fierce, unrelenting fire
    Over all your being
    Until you are consumed!
    Rivers of persecution and pain
    Will never extinguish this flame.
    Even floods will be unable
    To quench this raging fire
    Burning within you.
    Everything will be consumed,
    It will stop at nothing
    as you yield everything
    To this furious fire-
    Until it won't even seem to you
    Like a sacrifice anymore!"

    Chapter Eight: 14
    (The Bridegroom & Bride in Divine duet)
    "Arise, My darling!
    Come quickly my Beloved.
    Come and be the graceful gazelle with Me
    Come be like a dancing deer with me.
    We will dance in the high place of the sky
    Yes, on the mountains of fragrant spice!
    Forever we shall be
    United as one!"

    Praise the Lord that our Maker marries widows Isa 54:5 and we are not forgotten or forsaken... rather... the opposite... He fights injustice on our behalf. Psalm 82. Yea God! Perfect love casts out all fear and we do not have a spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind!