I think I struggle the most on the 9th...of each month. As many of you already know, the 9th was the day Chris and I were married (in August a few years back), but we celebrated our anniversary in little ways on the 9th of EVERY month.
While our August 9th anniversary was always the "big one", allowing for a little more celebrating, we wanted to take time every month to remember the beautiful marriage God had given us. We would watch our wedding video on the 9th, Chris would bring me flowers on the 9th, I would give him a card or two, he would bake my favorite cookies (snickerdoodles), and occasionally...we might even go out for dinner and/or a movie if the 9th fell on the weekend.
And so...I'm finding the 9th of every month is a harder day for me than even the 4th (the day of his death). As I've thought about that, I think it boils down to one thing...I'm the only one that really cherishes and remembers the depth of meaning that day contains. I'm finding family and several friends still remember the 4th, so that day doesn't seem to get swept under the rug as easily. But, the 9th...it's all mine to grieve. Simply put, it's difficult.
As I traveled home yesterday from a weekend in New Jersey...I remembered that it was, yet again, another 9th...for me to remember all alone. My heart quickly wanted to revert to a place of aching, as it so often does on this day. But, something different happened this time. I had another one of those quiet, heart-piercing "conversations" with the Lord that went a little like this...
God: Daughter, you spend a lot time remembering your special day each month.
Me: Yes, Lord. It's very special to me.
God: Leah, you are very special to Me too. How often do you remember what I gave you over 2000 years ago?
Me: Lord, how could I forget?
God: I'm not saying you ever forget, but I'm asking...how often do you allow your heart to really go there? Really REMEMBER the anniversary of my time spent on the cross for you?
Me: Not enough Lord. Not enough.
God: I'm not asking you to forget the 9th, precious daughter. On the contrary, maybe on the 9th - reflect on the marriage I gave you and Chris that you intentionally centered on Me and the gift I gave both of you on the cross. As a result, you'll both spend a lifetime with Me...the One that will never stop loving you.
Me: I'm sorry Lord. Please forgive me.
God: I already have.