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Friday, April 17, 2009

Sometimes angels are those you love the most!

Since I was 16, my sweetheart has been a constant angel in my life. Whether sending me a note or making sure I had flowers to brighten my day.

But see, that is just the kind of guy he is.

He is the oldest of 7 children and is always looking out for his younger siblings. I find out about secret acts of kindness he does for those he knows are struggling. His heart is always tender towards the one that is suffering. That is one thing I love so much about him...

Here is a post of his. (I am taking spousal liberty here, he has no idea I am posting this :-))

In it is a song he wrote for those who struggle. At the time, I believed it really lifted the spirits of those who needed it. He has been an angel to many people. And my hope is, that by posting this, he will again, be an angel to someone else.

When I was a young father, I worked overnight shifts at a group home for
adults that had schizophrenia. They each lived in their own apartment, but
needed someone living close by to help them when they started feeling afraid,
alone, or needed some other type of support. Each had a story, although some
could barely remember it. They each had a family somewhere, but few ever
visited. One lady in particular really had a painful life. She had some
beautiful young children who were removed by CPS because she was deemed to be an unfit parent. Her parental rights were severed, they were adopted, and she never
saw them again. Their pictures in hand, she cried herself to sleep most nights.
Many of of the men and women who lived there kept the television on day and
night, because it left too lonely of a feeling to turn it off.

I had challenges of my own, or so I thought. My body didn't respond well to working overnights, and I was always exhausted. I missed my wife and young son, who I got to spend little time with. I made about $1200 per month, and my family's health insurance premiums cost about $850. That obviously didn't leave much for anything else, so we had to find other ways to bring in some money. I wondered how long this would continue, and I didn't see any end in sight.

My sister had challenges. She thought she had found the man of her dreams, but she had just found out that he was moving on and the relationship wasn't heading where she hoped it had been heading. This was her first real boyfriend, although she was now an adult, and she worried she'd never find someone again.

My mom had challenges. One night she called me while I was working in the middle of the night and was crying so hard she could barely talk. I don't remember what was wrong, I just remember the pain in her voice and thinking for the first two minutes of the call that it was one of the adults at the group home calling for support.

All these things weighed on my mind. Why do people suffer? How do you endure even one more day when it feels unbearable? How do you find a ray of hope in complete darkness? A thought came to my mind that my mom told me often growing up -- "sometimes all you can pray is that you can make it through the night."

The thoughts of my mother, my young family at home, my sister, and especially the woman living in the group home who had lost her children stayed on my thoughts throughout the remainder of that night. I pulled out a pen and paper and wrote this song:

Joy Cometh in the Morning
copyright 2000 Tim Penrod

Over, finally through
Don't remember ever feeling so truly
Finished, such despair
Life is ruined, and I don't even care
Hour upon hour lying here
Trying to hold back each crushing tear
I'm weeping for a night
There's nothing left to do
No sleeping this night
Forget that there's a morning
Following my mourning
And crying from my soul
Emptiness has taken control
Weeping shall endure this night so hard
This night, life broke my heart

Behold, I knock upon your door
As one who's been through weeping before
I carry a healing salve
Some rescue from your world that seems bad
Hour upon hour waiting here
Let me wipe away your painful tears
By healing you this night
Have faith that this is true
And cheering your heart tonight
Forget that awful sorrow
By choosing now to borrow
Some Balm of Gilead
To soothe your soul from everything sad
Weeping may endure this night of mourning
But joy cometh in the morning

Sometimes all we can do is pray to make it through the night. Thanks, mom, for
those words of wisdom.

This Easter season, I am grateful for He that has been through weeping before...He that can heal. We sometimes bear burdens so great that no person on earth could ever understand. Only the one who suffered for the burdens of all can truly understand. He knows heartache, loneliness, rejection, betrayal, grief. He knows you and I.

I am a Marriage and Family Counselor, and I love the field of psychology. But one thing I know for certain is that theories of behavior are man's ideas of how to help
one another. They can help, but nothing heals like the healing of the Savior of
Mankind. And the funny thing is we don't always even realize that we are in the
process of being healed in the very moment we think we've been abandoned.

I am grateful that there was one who loved us enough to make this sentence true:"The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed."For those who find themselves in the middle of a dark night: Believe and hope that joy, and healing, cometh in the morning.


Beth said...

Kathy..I took your hint and came on over... I have to go to work but I will be back with a real comment!

Fiauna said...

What a beautifully moving post. I've known those unbearable nights of anguish. I've heard the whisper of The Comforter. Thank you for sharing this well-said post.

heather said...

You know, there are tears in my eyes. Thanks.

Diane said...

I did read this on Tim's blog and don't truthfully remember if I commented on it or not. It touched my heart so deeply because it is so 'on spot' with what I am currently facing. Tim has an incredible gift with words and with an encouraging spirit. It's much more than what he was taught in class, but an indwelling presence that makes him so preceptive. Though I have never met either of you in person, you develop a sense of who someone is by reading their words. I KNOW he is incredibly perceptive and you are increibly supportive. What a perfect compiment you are for each other! Thank you for sharing Tim's post again. It was, once again, just what I needed to hear! Enjoy your weekend!

Much love and many hugs.......


Erin said...

Oh, that was so nice! Thank you for sharing this with us.