The End of the Beginning

“For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

The end of the beginning. I headed off to the airport from the hotel half relieved but the other half felt…sad. I did it. One year ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but heavenly Dad knew better.

Since the shuttle from the hotel was leaving at 6 am and I hadn’t fallen into bed until nearly one, time with heavenly Dad was running late. I was excitedly anticipating quiet time in the airport and the three and a half hour flight home, as I would have plenty of time to listen and focus on whatever He had for me today. I look forward to our daily chats, just Him and me (Today? aaaand 142 other passengers).

I arrived at the airport nearly two hour early. That’s a lot different than my trip last year.

While at CHA last year, Archie had his follow up doctor’s appointment for the physical therapy in which he had been participating for well over a month. He thought he had thrown out his back but after multiple adjustments, no relief was found. Off to PT he went. Approximately 6 wks later and worsening pain, a new game plan needed to be found, thus the reason for the follow up with his physician. This was taking place while I was away, no problem, he said. It was just a follow up.

It was at that appointment they decided to take an x-ray. He called me while still in the examination room, annoyed, as they said they needed a second slide. Moments later, while on the show floor, I received the call from my best buddy that changed our lives. They had found shot gun looking spots in his lungs and he was scheduled for a CAT scan the following day.

Heartfelt Creations was amazing. They rearranged all of my flights to go home, as we were suppose to fly to FL, urging me not to finish out the day, and then when I begged them to take me to the airport to spend the night (I felt like I needed to be there to know I was on my way) they argued with me about my safety, promising they would take me the next morning. Thankfully, they graciously saw my heart, relented, and dropped me at the airport at 10:30 pm that evening. Heavenly Dad was there waiting, a special bench just for me. I wrote, I prayed, I begged heavenly Dad for healing.

In our time together He gave me a song. I listened. I played it over and over. I texted it to Archie. He cried.

I praised. I still pleaded, but I praised. Heavenly Dad loved Archie…and me. In my heart I knew that I knew that I knew that everything happens for a reason. He had a master plan and everything was going to be ok in the end.  I now know that “ok” has varying definitions.

When I did arrive home, after my plane breaking down, flights being rescheduled, and not arriving back into town until about 27 hours after my airport dropoff, I had arranged with Archie to take him to the ER (he was in too much pain to pick me up). I never even made it into the house. As he was coming out, we helped him into the van, then to the hospital and did not return home for nine days. That was January 14th. He went home February 12th.

Today with my return flight, heavenly Dad was speaking to be about doubt and my relationship with Him. A year later my head gets in the way of the peace in my heart. Heavenly Dad has never left me, keeping a roof over my head, food on the table and my bills paid, sometimes in the most amazing way: checks from prayer warriors in my mail or an envelop on my desk from,”someone who cares.” Unfortunately, I am still me and see every pot hole in my path. I imagine pot holes developing. I create my own pot holes by over focusing on my imaginary ones. I am my own worst enemy.

“For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Why am I always staring down at my feet? Because that is what we are always taught, right? Look, prepare, plan. In the last year heavenly Dad has said,”Close your eyes, hold out your hand, trust, walk with me, I’ve got you and will lead you to where you need to be.”

At the end of my time with Him there was a song attached, performed by Kari Jobes. It was the reminder that I am not alone. That is probably one of my biggest struggles. Archie was the talker, me the listener. He would give me moment by moment details of his day, every meeting, down to what people wore. That actually was rather humerus as when people came through the line at his funeral I would say,”You must be _____” and they were shocked, as we had never met.

This continued til it was time for bed. I cannot give count as to how many times his voice lulled me to sleep at night and he’d smile as he would tell me the next day. It was just they way our marriage worked.

He would ask me about my day but I am one that leaves work at work. Maybe a funny story or two, but I was comfortable with my role, the listener.  Taylor is more like her dad than me, but not nearly to his extent. My world at home has been so quiet and heavenly Dad isn’t very vocal.

That has been the biggest adjustment/hole. Archie’s voice is on our answering machine, but I still cannot bring myself to watch home videos or DVD’s. That hits me where it hurts the most, his voice, so I just can’t watch or listen. As Archie loved music, so I now listen to the words he would speak through his favorite artist, without the pain of his missing voice, if that makes any sense.

As the plane landed, wiping my eyes, I sighed deeply. No urgency to get home, as no one was waiting for me. Taylor would be happy I was safely on the ground, but it was just another day. So much different from last year…but I made it. First trip: check

As for being alone: “Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.” Exodus 29:45-46

I know some may argue that this was Old Testament, but I know God is with me. When I speak out, though I know He knows my thoughts, He also hears the words I speak, so technically, I am never alone.

Until February 5th: Blessings!

4 thoughts on “The End of the Beginning

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart Tracy, it helps me know how to pray for you. I’m grateful God led you to Heartfelt. The circumstances of you leaving the bakery were unsettling with me. It didn’t seem fair. Now I look back and see it happened for a reason. Had you not changed jobs, you would have never received the blessing Heartfelt has been to you. What others meant for evil, The Lord in his sovereignty used for good. Many blessings in the years to come.

  2. Always inspired by your blog! You can not imagine how much you and Taylor mean to me! Praying everyday, hoping we get together again soon! Keep me in your prayers also; know your Cook family is down here in VA. Thinking, Loving, and Praying for y’all.

  3. We all knew you could do it. 😉 You continue to learn and grow so much – never being trite or trivial but real with the battle. Know that every day so many pray for you – including me. Love you.

  4. Tracy…you have been in my thoughts of late. I know it was a year ago….you have got through to the other side with all intact…Although our passing was sort, it made an impact and I do look back with fond memories. It was heart rending to see you all packed up and going to the airport that night but I understood that you needed that for your self…and Archie. Beautiful to have found a song to share with him.Thank you for sharing that with us all. It is always the first year that is the hardest, keep strong, keep your faith in our heavenly father and love yourself and Taylor. Sending hugs from all the miles away…

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