On January 22nd, 2018 my father-in-law, Phil Byars, and I are leading a 9-day tour in Israel. This will be my second trip to Israel. My first was with NewSpring Church and was led by Perry Noble and Brad Cooper. They invited me to go April of 2016, five months after Amanda passed. It was so amazing I decided I had to go back and lead a trip! I’d love to invite you to come with us, but let me first tell you why I’m going back:
You see I truly believe The Lord does something powerful through relationship and connectivity. I believe it’s one of the main ways he shows us He’s in our situation with us. I believe it’s one of the best ways to show us He’s walking through the valley of the shadow of death with us. Although we can’t tangibly see God and not many of us have actually heard his audible voice, He places His representatives—His ambassadors—other Christians with similar stories in our paths to remind us he sees us and knows our situation. He wants us to know He hasn’t left us alone but that he’s working it all out for our good in His master plan.
This morning I dropped Weston off for his first day of preschool.
Let me tell you what may have just happened to every school-aged mom who read that sentence. Immediately your senses flooded with the gamut of emotions you felt the first day you dropped your kid/s off at school. How is it in one moment you can simultaneously beam with pride, lament how fast he’s growing up and how time seems to be slipping away from you, and grimace in pain as nervous knots tie up your stomach while you wonder how he’s going to do?
When we got back to the hotel that afternoon I began thinking more about it. I felt like I had just experienced a little taste of what heaven will be like. I believe that every moment of awe we experience on earth is just the appetizer for heaven. You and I could spend every waking moment of our lifetime seeking new adventure and discovering new places and never tap into the full creative expanse of God. He is a master creator, and I believe both science and scripture point us to the fact that God’s creativity is limitless.
I peered over the horizon and thought about the significance of the sunset in front of me, a symbol of the closing of a perfect day. I silently begged the sun to stand still right where it was. If I just stared straight at the sunset I could almost imagine being there 10 years earlier with Amanda. I wanted to freeze that feeling, but as the sun continued to fade that feeling fled from me.