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  • Renée Coventry

I Died Today...

I died today and caught a glimpse of God. It wasn't an ordinary death. I died to myself and my desires; the glance I had of my Lord was in the actions of my husband, Walter. You see, about a month ago, the Lord spoke very clearly to us that we were to relocate. Anxious to obey and with a sense of adventure, we jumped right into the deep end, not knowing what the Lord had in store for us. We began repairing, cleaning, and got the house on the market. Little did we know at the beginning that he would be driving off in the dark of early morning, leaving our boys and me behind. It wasn't in our script, nor was it in our hearts. For the first time in over twenty years, I am separated from my love for an undisclosed amount of time. As he held me, he whispered, "I love you, Renée Coventry," reminding me that I was his. I bear his name. As he drove off, my heart broke. Already I grieve the loss of his physical presence, though I know he would move mountains for me. But he left, and his leaving had a singular purpose – to prepare a place for us.

At that moment, when all I could see was the red of his taillights as he drove away, I had an epiphany into the heart of Christ when He was taken up into heaven. He, too, had (and continues to have) but one goal – our reunion. He was willing to do the hard thing – leave behind those most precious and beloved to prepare a place. As I cried through my loss, I could only be ashamed that I haven't always felt so grievous regarding my Lord's absence. The little cares of life overtake the pricelessness of time spent with Him. Yet even in my sorrow over wasted time, I hear the Lord echoing Walter (or perhaps more precisely, it was Walter echoing the Lord), saying, "You are Mine." I belong to Him. I bear His Name, and it is for me that He is preparing and returning.

This day, I hold within me a sacred promise. Walter will return for us – his family. I know it as sure as the sun rises over the vast oceans, where we are moving, and sets in the majestic mountains where we anxiously await his return, and I know the same is true of my Lord. I long for them both. The truth is that while Walter's heart is with me, he is in another place, sojourning to another local. However, what was impossible for Walter to do, Christ did. He left me with a Comforter, who is not mine alone, but Walter's, too. This Person causes the hallowed words of both my husband and my Lord to reverberate within me. "You are Mine. I will return." It is the rhythm of that promise to which my life conforms – nothing else matters.

I have two loves who have both gone to prepare a place for me; one on earth, another in heaven, and, in the meantime, I have work to do. As they are preparing for me, so, I too, am preparing myself for them. While I keep the fire of my love burning, I am getting rid of all the excess baggage of life so that I am ready to move at a moment's notice. I am making sure our boys are, too. Both Walter and the Lord left because they trusted me to put things in order through the Spirit's power. While I love it here, nothing compares to the desire and joy I have at the prospect of our reunions. My script and what I desire at this moment pales compared to the promise of their presence and the reality that as assuredly as they hold my heart, I have theirs. And my Comforter reminds me once more of the question so poignantly penned by the Apostle Paul – "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?" I can only echo Paul's conclusion, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord," Rom. 8:35, 38-39.

Yes, I died today to myself and my script – to Renée's perfect plan. Yet, the glimpse into the heart of God is worth it all. I am at peace. If for a while His plan separates me from the man who so wonderfully reflects His image to me, well, right now, I see through a glass darkly. Soon I shall see both face to face, and that loving promise holds me in their absence. But for now, while I am waiting, there is work to be done that only I can do, and I must be about it.

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