Its been almost a year since I lost Lenny. Most would say I have changed and I would agree. He was my ally, friend, confidant, lover and partner in ministry and life. Yuppp he is missed far more than words could express. And yes, I am different. We were Lenny & Sherry EVERYWHERE we went. Half of our team got an early reprieve and headed home. The half that remains is adjusting to whatever God’s purpose is for leaving her behind.
Some have also said, and asked, how I handled loosing him so – uhmmm for loss of a better word… well. I have told them it’s easier when you know ‘Whose’ they were and where they are. However, that did not answer their question because they also knew these things about their spouse. Soooo I am an aged believer (aka OLD), filled by the Spirit, held by the God of comfort, set on following Christ. That still wasn’t a sufficient answer, so were they. So I began sharing on Facebook when I hurt and through the things you just have to deal with as you grieve. I shared when I broke down. I shared songs that touched me. I shared about talking to him every night when I laid down before I said my prayers just like I had done the 32 years previously. I didn’t care if I sounded crazy. I felt led to be transparent: one it allowed others to see how to pray for me but also I hoped it might encourage others in their journeys as they walked through their personal seasons of mourning.
One thing I didn’t share until now with many people is that I had Lenny’s cell turned back on. Initially it was to ensure that if any of his countless friends text or called, that hadn’t heard, I would be able to visit with them and if possible connect them with another mentor. But there was a day not long after everyone had gone home that my phone gave an audible text notification and I quickly looked up from my quiet time to see what Lenny needed. It of course wasn’t Lenny but I found myself longing to tag him like we had done… so I did.
My quiet time in the past hours had been about walking in step with the Father and knowing He doesn’t expect us to match Him stride for stride. During that I had recalled myself as a child pacing behind my dad as we planted a couple of dozen pine saplings I had picked up at 4-H. Dad took one long step. I followed but it took me three. Then we’d plant. One step. Three steps. Plant. He gave me time to follow so that ‘we’ could do the task before us together. At this season, more than any other in my life, I felt God was doing the same with me. He knew the way. He knew my presence was going to slow us up but this was something I couldn’t and He wouldn’t allow me to walk through alone. He knew the steps didn’t tax Him, but He also knew the steps I was taking on the journey now after losing Lenny were leaving me emotionally and physically exhausted so He was graciously encouraging and waiting on me. I rested in the fact that God was leading and not leaving me alone. Then why did I feel like… this? I’m giving it all I have…
Reaching over I picked up my phone and text Lenny a message.
May 19, 2017 11:27 p.m.
3 of my steps
Then I broke down.
The next day as I closed out my extended study on walking with God, I reached back over and picked up my phone again…
May 20, 2017 1:13 p.m.
To equal my dad’s
Then God brought a memory sweeping across my heart. You see I am six foot and 36 inches of that is legs and let’s just say that I got my dad’s long-legged stride. Lenny was a tad shorter and NOT long-legged at all so when walking together I tried to remember to slow it up. However, he had gotten where he would tease me. He wasn’t being mean. The problem was that I had spent so many years getting groceries and running errands alone that when we arrived at a place in our lives where he could go with me I would forget to shorten my stride. AND that’s when it would happen, from the corner of my eye I’d catch him doing this animated jogging thing with his arms flailing (swinging wildly :0) and his head sliding back and forth like he was in a dead run but looking somehow like Ichabod Crane in the Disney cartoon. When he saw me finally looking over he’d throw on a goofy grin with his eyes half-crossed like Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett show or Dorf!!! It was hilarious! (I’m laughing again just recalling it. Live. Laugh. Love.) I loved it then… and now.
In that moment that God brought that to my mind I went from wrestling with my loss to counting my blessings for the beauty we shared. Laughing I picked my phone back up…
Or you babe running in place like you were trying to keep up with me lol
Then the Lord said gently, “The joy you feel now is the joy I feel in taking this walk slowly with you. He is great. You are going to be okay. I’ve got you.”
I very recently told my daughter, Skyye, to shut off Lenny’s phone.
I see him standing behind the One who leads me still.
I feel Lenny is somehow closer than ever before, with me 24/7 because to be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord. AND it has been, and is still yet, my hearts chief desire to remain in the presence of our Lord 24/7. I do not want to step to the right or the left. I don’t want to lag behind or race ahead. He is good and patient and not worried if it is taking me 3 steps to equal His one. :o)
In the next month or so I will be walking through our 11 months of texts.
In the meantime enjoy this old clip from the Carol Burnett show with Tim Conway. Watch for the run :0) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZYC3rsXawo