Friday, November 5, 2010

Heavenly Skies

I don't think I had the appreciation for beautiful skies until after our wreck five years ago when I grew to love and notice them more.  I'm sure prior to that life changing event, I looked at pretty sunrises and sunsets, on occasion, but I didn't have the connection to them as I do now. 

I remember my first peek of sunshine in the hospital, after being moved to a regular room.  For well over a week, I'd been in darkness, surrounded by the lonely walls of ICU.  In addition, the scars and injuries to my face, prevented me from seeing well in those early days.  That first morning, feeling the sun's rays on my arm seemed to instantly boost my spirits.  Unfortunately, the view out of my hospital window wasn't great but I could see the evidence of the sun each day and it was enough at that time.

Several weeks later, we were finally home and thankful to be there.  Because I was still limited to a hospital bed, I'd been moved into the living room.  It wasn't the ideal location but it was our only choice, as our bedroom didn't have the space.  And although I felt a little exposed being in the center of our living room, it did allow me to stay close to family and friends when they visited. 

The sun woke me on my first morning back home, as the thin curtain over the patio doors couldn't contain the morning's light.  My family quickly worked to install blinds, hoping to provide comfort for me, but I began asking for them to remain open at night.  From my spot, I had a front row seat to the sunrise each day.  I still remember the first glorious one I witnessed from that hospital bed.  It was as if Heaven was sending me a special hello, as bursts of beautiful colors and light stretched across the sky and onto my bed.  I broke down in tears, so grateful for another day with my family.  That sunrise expressed everything I felt in being alive. 

Those amazing displays of God's beauty became my morning wake-up call.  Each morning and each sunrise was a blessed symbol of the gift of another day. They filled me with hope and led me to what began my daily morning devotions.  It just seemed natural to pray after seeing such magnificence.  I prayed with gratitude for the extra time I'd been given.  I prayed for the physical strength I knew would be required to get through the rest of the day.

From my bed, I had the luxury of not only seeing each day's exquisite sunrise, but also each evening's gorgeous sunset.  Much as it had began, I ended every day in prayer and gratitude.  As the warm colors hugged my soul in hues of orange, pink and yellow, I began to mentally list the special moments and milestones of the day.  The sunrise became a sign of promise and hope, and the sunset was a reminder of accomplishments and progress.

When I was physically able to move back to my bedroom, I promised myself not to lose my appreciation for the two most beautiful moments of each day. In sharing the beauty with Tim, he grew to love and notice them too. When I was able to wake early enough to catch a sunrise, I paused with thankfulness. Most evenings, on the drive home, I was able to witness the setting sun. Sometimes I pulled off the road so that I could soak up each of the last rays before sundown. And if either of us caught a view that was extraordinary, we'd call the other one and share in that moment.

Sadly, I was faced with breaking my promise when we lost Austin, nearly two years ago.  When our sweet boy made the journey to his heavenly home, it was at the tree line just beyond our backyard.  For months, I didn't think I could ever watch a sunrise again.  The sunny spot in my living room I once loved was now flooded with painful memories, as my eyes would catch the area where our lives forever changed.  At some point though I found the beauty again, as each beautiful sky, whether a rising sun or sunset, was visible proof of a little piece of Heaven.  Standing beneath such celestial skies, I'm reminded of the divine and majestic views Austin must see every moment.  I now feel that those glimpses of glory are God's way of showing us a sampling of what awaits us all. 


Tracy said...

What a beautiful reflection Heather!

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