Empty Arms Do Not Mean Empty Hearts.

Artwork by Talitha Falconero

The sun travels through the tangle of woods behind my parents house. It reaches the living room wall where I dip my hand into the passing light. Outside red clouds rejoice under a blue sky; a bookmark to our nightly routine.
I close my eyes.

I can smell Courage’s soft blonde head, my arms ache for him. The boys and I would walk through the woods before the sun slipped behind the gulf. With Courage settled in my arms, I would pray past his ear into the humid, while we padded under the swaying florida pines.

Jesus, I invite you in.
you know all things even when we do not know. 
Reveal your truth in us. 
You make beauty from ashes. 
We need your healing in our family.

I knew during those strolling prayers, that Jesus walked with us. He gave me that visual.

One of my sweetest memories from our walks was what the boys and I call the raspberry prayer. There wasn’t anything more fun than during a prayer to blow raspberries into Courage’s neck and kiss his smiling cheeks. He was too delicious to go a few feet, without kissing his face.

It brought pure joy to all of us when he threw his head back laughing. The boys would hear him and run back to deliver their own cheek kisses.

We walk the same pine-straw path tonight.

A Morning Dove coo’s in the distance. I can hear Wells telling Oscar that it’s an owl. They walk ahead of me, chattering about Heaven. It is our most discussed topic. Nothing is more exciting than what God is preparing for those who love Him.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him — 1 Corinthians 2:9

My arms are empty but I pray familiar words under my breath. 
Jesus, I invite you in.
You know all things. 
Reveal your truth in us. 
You make beauty from ashes. 
We need your healing in our family. 
Jesus draws me ever nearer to Himself. He speaks into my soul and I can see what is unseen;

nothing can separate us from the love of God.

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35–39

The breath in my lungs cannot hold my praise. “Praise Jesus.” a rounded tearful whisper spills out of me. I can praise and cry in the same breath. I praised the Lord when I held Courage, for his precious laughter that filled my soul. I praise Him right now for His eternal promises.

Courage is alive; he is with Jesus. We will pray a raspberry prayers and kiss his cheeks again.
Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8

Yesterday I ducked into my closet. Swells of heartache brought me to my knees. I asked the Lord to please give me something for that day. Something from Him to comfort and encourage our hearts.

Last night I received a package in the mail with a beautiful piece of art of Jesus holding Courage and Olivia blowing on a Dandelion. The minute I laid eyes on this picture I cried. I couldn’t stop the flow of thankful tears for this picture of them together. My friend who created this picture could not know that it is exactly what I’ve pictured these 4 weeks as the boys and I have walked through the woods in my parent’s backyard.

I pictured Jesus walking next to us holding Courage and Olivia. I saw them being apart of our walk together as a family. And here was an exact image of the visual I’ve had these heartbreaking weeks since Courage’s arrival into Heaven.

Jesus is even holding Courage’s favorite stuffie in the picture just as I did when I held Courage throughout the day and on our walks. I am so blessed by this artwork from my dear friend. God reveals His love for us through His artful sunset’s and through nature around us. And He loves on us through others, revealing the very picture He Himself puts in our minds. If we are listening we cannot miss it..

We invite Jesus into our day (He is the way the truth and the life), we are connected to the vine, the fullness of life. 
Jesus strolled with us through the woods when I held Courage in my arms.
He strolls with us now, Courage in His arms. 
I guess I’m out of words.
Thank you for praying for us. Your messages of love and prayers are lifting us up.

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