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Chery Dykes is retired and living life. Pursuing some passions she has always had, which includes writing and Road Trips”! She says ,”She is old enough to know better but still young enough for adventure.”
Her husband passed away after 45+ years of marriage, but for her, the journey continues.
Life is Always Changing Every day is a new day. I've heard that phrase for years. I've even said it. Nobody finishes the thought. Everyday is a new day full of ups and downs. There are new heartaches but also new joys. Life is not a straight path from birth to death. It is a Journey with forks in the road. Decisions to be made and responsibilities to fulfill. This journey will have an end result as all journeys do. The question, for me, to have or not have regrets or dreams un fulfilled. Desires not met. A comfort zone expanded or a space so small, because fear and uncertainty would not allow me to step over. Dreams of a last love not to replace the first great love, but a continuation of love and life. A new lasting relationship, love to carry me until I close my eyes in sweet peace. A love, not to compare, but to take me from comfort to ecstasy. Ecstasy in life and love. To live life to the fullest with expectations of an excitement that is lasting fulfilling and trusting. Life is certainly confusing at times, and always changing. Every day is a new day. It will always be full of ups and downs. There will be interesting, exciting days, as well as days of heartaches and joy. Living life to the fullest, will break the boundaries of your safe zone and open a new zest for life and love. God has already prepared the way. He knows what happened, is happening, and what will happen. Trust walking in faith. Asking for guidance of the Holy Spirit, wisdom from an awesome God, and an example of complete love by my Savior Jesus Christ. A Journey Through Grace By An Ordinary Woman- Cheryl
The way Love Goes March 1, 2016 That's the way "love goes". When others tried to tear us down, we held on more. When life threw us a curve (and this was a big one-cancer), loves simply cared more. When others-family, friends, or strangers, tried to take away what love built, it made/makes us more determined and stronger. Luke 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. God allowed cancer almost 19 years ago to become a part of our everyday life. Larry fought to live everyday. He had been at the grave several times. We were told on several occasions- 6 weeks, 6 months. Get your affairs in order. I never expected you to come back to your office visit. A most loving Heavenly Father has allowed us to share his life a little while longer. He was going through chemo when most didn't know, except the ones who loved him most. He had surgery when he chose not to tell anyone, except the ones who have always been there. He forgot things. He remembered what mattered, how he loved the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul. He loved his blessings who are his children (Beverly, Jodie and Chad) and me, and we loved him as did others. I could not have been any place else, except by the one I chose to love for all my life. We clung to one another and the love that never wavered through it all. We made a vow to one another nearly 45 years ago. We rededicated those exact vows on our 25th wedding anniversary with our children and two grandchildren (at the time), not just a commitment to one another, but to them. From that day forward, we would more than ever, honor our covenant with one another and especially to our Heavenly Father who loved/s us more than we did each other. I would not have been satisfied any other place on earth except beside the man of my dreams and God's blessing. Larry was never depressed because of cancer. He never asked (to me) why? He did wonder and had been concerned a few times about what cancer would be like, but he knew, (before cancer), where his eternal home would be. I have learned more about life and the meaning of love with him than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. I feel bad for those who did not know him as we did. We are the blessed ones for having had him and his love for us. I am especially blessed because I got to spend my days and nights with him. A Journey Through Grace By An Ordinary Woman - Cheryl
Reality Sets In There are days that seem to be harder than others. No matter what is going on in your life, it can get tough. A moment full of smiles, becomes a weight of a sudden sadness that seems to cover you. There are times when life seems to turn upside down is compounded by whatever is happening in your world at that moment. Trust being broken. What you began to think was real, became a mixed up ball of lies and uncertainty. Life can seem cruel. Days can be warm but the nights can get cold and dreary. The doubt rolls in and the dread of another night alone sets in and reality adds to the grief and pain. Questions begin to rise. Fear begins to creep in. Add to all these, loneliness that engulfs your mind and body. Your eyes close, but rest doesn't come. Peace is no where to be found. Love seems like a distant memory. Reality is all to real. The remaining years alone, with no one to share your inner most secrets and desires with. No one to make memories with. All you have are the past moments in time that you remember. The pain, betrayal and the good times. Questions still unanswered. Hugs that will go unreciprocated and kisses never given. Once grief is put into its place, reality and loneliness becomes the feelings of the day. As you come to the realization that this is your life. It is not the life you envisioned as a young newlywed, living my twilight years alone, but it is my new reality. I wondered if I would be capable or even comfortable with a male friendship. I had an uneasy feeling of cheating on my husband. (Yes the one and only that is healed and happy at his new heavenly address) it was a big mindset I had deal with, pray through and learn from. I did not want to do or say anything that would harm his memory for my kids. I didn't want to feel I abandoned our life together. I had to realize that the biggest love of my life and the most painful heartbreak I have ever gone through (in our life together and in his death) was not going to change what my future was, being alone. For the 45 years of our life, we were together. He was my existence along with our children. Then in an instance, it was over. We were no more. It was simply me, Alone and lonely. Life is definitely different. Meeting and feeling comfortable with someone is a big challenge. Which is why, I'm still alone. After 45 years and now wondering about meeting someone new is scary as hell. Trusting and believing what someone says is scary as hell. I don't know if it will ever happen, but I'm going to enjoy the Journey. There is so much more to losing a spouse, especially after a long time marriage. It involves loss, grief, loneliness, fear of the life alone, and trusting. My one constant is knowing I'm not really ever alone, I have my Savior and I am guided by the Holy Spirit (no I don' t always listen), but knowing I walk with God, even when I push boundaries, is a comfort and a strength. I am blessed! A Journey Through Grace By An Ordinary Woman-Cheryl
What Do We Teach By Our Words & Actions Sometimes, I wonder where the village went. We are not neighbors watching out for one another. Some say Marriage isn't important. So we teach our children commitment and vows (a covenant) to one another isn't important. Still others believe treating each other with respect is not important. So we teach our children disrespect and treating others in a demeaning manner is acceptable. Treating people fairly is not important. We teach our children one is better than the other. When we chose to neglect the teachings or follow what God has put into place, we teach our children. God is not important. A six year old asked her mother if she went to church. Her mom told her that she didn't believe that. The child said you need to love God, know your minister and love Jesus. The mother said that she was glad the child believed it but mom didn't believe it and didn't need it. The child finally told her mother, "I'll pray for you." Mother said she had to hang up and go to work. We are all in need of the faith of this 6yr old child. When you do what you want to do, because if it feels good, do it, without regard for the teachings of a merciful and gracious Father, the village and the children do not learn what true and everlasting love is. Be in prayer for this child's parents. (True story/phone call) Father, for the men and women who chose the worldly approach of "just do it", and not your teachings, I ask that you draw them to yourself. Surround the children with people in their lives that they will learn about your love and the village will grow stronger. I pray for the marriages that are strong to gain more strength in faith. The marriages that are struggling, they would come to you, together, as they refocus as they grow in love, commitment and strength in You. A Journey Through Grace By An Ordinary Woman- Cheryl
Living As A Follower Of Christ Now that I've looked within myself, how I deal with others. You see, it doesn't concern me how you align with Jesus, as much as it does how I measure up. Using a plum line according to the words and life of Christ, who I am a follower, is my goal. I will never completely accomplish this goal until I am in heaven with him. That does not deter my desire to become more like him daily. I first had to go to the Word that was given to me, and you, as a guide to live by. A biblical gps to direct our path in our/my daily walk. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things which are also abominations: "haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers." We also know that adultery, fornication, put to death a medium or spiritualists. We all have heard used not to lay with man as a woman, but we forget the rest of the verses. You can't marry or lay with or marry a family member. Also gluttony is considered sin, most people choose to focus on one or two, probably the sin, they think, they are not committing. Paul wrote, “You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat… So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister” (Romans 14:10, 12, 13). We are not to judge the heart of a person(as it pertains to salvation). We can not judge or look inwardly to determine the salvation of another. If you ask and they say they are saved, then who are you to say they are not. (That would be judging their salvation.) they might not show it, they could be working it out wit God. They don't have to pass your test, only his. Because one doesn't fall into your category of what a saved person looks like, doesn't mean they do not have a close relationship that includes salvation with Jesus. Be careful how you judge another. Judge not lest you be judged. (How many times have I heard that) What you can look at, is the fruit of a person. Their actions toward others. Is love their primary factor when dealing with others. You can discern the walk by the deeds. You tell a child to clean up their room, but your room is never clean. The child begins to notice what you do, while telling them something different. Be aware of your deeds. Someone is watching. Do not be a stumbling block to anyone around you. If they do not eat pork because of religious reasons, don't try to feed them pork. How are you going to love them if your first deed is antagonist. You can share the gospel through love and respect far more than hate or put downs. You do not know the path they had to walk (or chose) in their journey. You do not know the reasons behind the twists and turns. Do not judge what you do not know. Pregnancy, depression, prisoners, addict, living life differently than you. All these things are or could be more complicated than you know. The paths may not have been altogether their choice, but choices of others in their lives as well. Don't judge them into hell because of what you see. If you do, what does that say about you. They may be saved but will not go to church to be fed because of how the good Christian treats them. A follower of Christ will pray with them and for them. A follower of Christ will love them. God will take care of the rest. That is not your job. The inward transformation can be shown by your outward actions. Are you living a life as a “Good Christian” or are you loving them unto salvation. Are you inviting them to gather at a service, that tells of love and salvation or are you shoving them into a life to be lived alone and lost. I can love you and disagree with you. I don't agree with my kids always and they, in turn, do not always agree with me. They have opened my eyes, rethink a few things, and have an open heart of love for many. I have lived a life outside a bubble, in the real world. I am however, not of this world but set apart. I have a love for Christ that allows me to love all of his children. I am a woman of faith. I am a follower of Christ!! A Journey Through Grace By An Ordinary Woman- Cheryl