Seven months today.
They say the more time you spend with someone, the more like that someone you become. I had never really given this much thought, but its the thoughts I’ve been having lately that have me believing this is most certainly true. Because do you know what thoughts I keep having, Handsome? That’s right! Thoughts of late night /early morning mountain excursions that led us to, what always seemed to be, your very own personal elk choir.
It’s September. And, if you had a favorite month, barring birthdays, our anniversary, and holidays, September would be it. You loved when the nights started getting cooler. Yes, it meant summer was headed out the back door, but these cooler temps also meant the elk would be bugling their heads off. It meant, more than ever, the nearby mountains would be calling your name. And when they did, you always answered the call to meander a lone mountain rode in the middle of the night doing some “calling” of your own. (And, if I was lucky, I was able to go along with you.) No doubt about it – elk calling was your area of expertise. I will boldly and proudly admit that, Handsome. You could call an elk in so close, sometimes, I just knew the loud beating of my heart would reveal our hiding spot!
The last few nights, I haven’t been able to sleep. I think I might have elk fever. I recognize all the classic symptoms, Handsome. Tossing and turning, knowing the elk are out in the woods doing their thing while you are stuck in bed wondering if you should throw all hope of sleep out the window, climb into the truck and head for the hills. I can almost see you smiling, and shaking your head as if to say, “C’mon, Beautiful, I wasn’t that bad, was I?” Yes – yes, you were. But, it made me love you all the more. And now, it has me tossing and turning missing your tossing and turning. It has me remembering night after night, drive after drive, elk after elk, excited look after excited look, heartbeat after heartbeat. How could I ever forget some of the most precious times we spent together?
Seven months. Forever that feels like yesterday. And, the tears keeps coming, seven months later. And the missing you, more intense than the first night without you. And this longing to be able to drive somewhere (anywhere) and call for you, knowing you would answer the cry of my heart and come – has me tossing and turning still seven months later.
I’m tired, Handsome. I’m so very tired. Tired of not being able to find you anywhere. And, if the searching for you during the awake hours wasn’t enough, most times, when sleep does happen to come, I find myself in a dream looking for you, lost in a world where not one thing is familiar, and no matter how loud I call or how many miles I walk, or how intense I look, I can never find you. It is one of the worst feelings I have ever felt in my life. It unsettles me, unnerves me, depresses me, and honestly sometimes, Handsome, it scares me.
Life without you is scary.
But, I can honestly say, Handsome. Each and every time I have been unable to find you, I have found God.
Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of deepest fear. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of pure desperation. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of suffocating mourning. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of excruciating surrender. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of intense wrestling. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of absolute fatigue.
And, sometimes, – – – sometimes this finding God has been through moments of overwhelming thankfulness. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of uncontrollable laughter. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of unexpected blessings. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of sweet memories. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of praise and worship. Sometimes this finding God has been through moments of quiet reflection.
But, always, Handsome, always I have been able to find God.
Because just like the elk, who were roaming the mountains long before your truck would ever leave tire marks on that tiny, couldn’t-really-call-it-a-road dirt road, God is already there. He is just waiting for me to hear His call, to draw close, and discover Him in the midst of it all.
It reminds me of the heart sticker you bought me back in 1991. You remember, don’t you, Handsome? We had been dating for eight months or so and I was headed to Texas for the summer. Knowing my heart was longing to know God like your heart knew Him, you bought me a Bible, and then on the inside cover placed a red heart with this scripture: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29:13.
I spent that summer seeking His heart and finding Him. And because I did, I am still finding Him in the most personal, intimate, all-I-need-I-have-in-Him way here and now. In this moment and the next.
And, I am reminded of these precious words: “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” ~Isaiah 65:24 And, more than ever, I am discovering they are true. God is true. True to His word. True to His promises. True to me.
You taught me so many things, Handsome. How to spot elk, one of the most precious. But, more than this – – – so much more than this, you taught me how to spot God.
I am so very thankful I know how to find both.
If only I could find you, Handsome. If only I could.