John 16

21A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

I received a text early this morning from a friend in Nashville who heard the song “99 Red Balloons” on the radio while on her way to work……………..

This was one of Nick’s favorite songs.

We played it at the end of his funeral outside the church on loud speakers as all the children who attended gathered outside with 99 red balloons…………….

And as we counted down from 10 to 1, they released the balloons into the air.

I heard later from several different people who were in the crowd that evening that 98 balloons went east and one balloon went west towards our house! In one picture you can see the balloon drifting away on its own……….Nick never was a follower.

As I received the text this morning, my eyes filled with tears……..happy and sad…………

Nick’s birthday is coming up this Friday. It’s a bittersweet week for us.

So I replied to the text by saying, “They must be getting ready for Nick’s birthday party in Heaven!”

Life is different here. We are busier than ever in many ways…………………….and yet our hearts our heavier than ever at the exact same time.

I find myself planting flowers in the yard, trying to clean off the back porch, attempting to decorate a window on Main Street for the Memory Days Parade to display the work of Nick’s Foundation, helping at Olivia’s field day at school, helping friends from church with different little tasks, meeting with friends to plan this summer’s Christian concert for Nick’s foundation…..and the list goes on and on and on…………………………..

Yet in the stillness of my heart there is a constant ache, a never-ending awareness that Nick is not here, a grief so deep I rarely talk about it……….

Partly because I don’t want to bring people down or make people feel uncomfortable and partly because I know without a shadow of a doubt that NICK IS GOOD!! ADRIENNE IS GOOD!

They are in the Presence of Him!

They are walking the streets of gold!

It’s hard to comprehend. Hard to get my mind around sometimes.

But I believe John 16. There will be a day when grief is NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A time when NOONE will be able to take away my joy! Or yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So my prayer today is that I can hold fast to these words….not growing sad as Friday approaches. It’s a mind game, a constant spiritual battle, to stay on top of my emotions and continually tell satan to “get behind me.”

But it’s a battle I’m willing to fight! Why?

Because I know the Victor! Oh death, where is thy sting?

Clinging to God’s Promises in Spite of My Grief,