When I thought of the word “forward” and a picture to go with it, I thought of one that I took of my husband on a beautiful fall day last year.


This photo evokes many thoughts and feelings within me.  It’s interesting how you can look at a photo just after you take it and be reminded of something personal, of a day, of a feeling, of what you were doing at the time.  Give yourself a few months or years and that same photo can elicit something deeper within yourself, a sadness, a desire, a cherished memory that brings you hope and strength to carry on.

When I took this picture, I thought “this is cute”.  He is carrying a mug that was once filled with sarsaparilla and a bag of apples that we purchased at a fair.  I love the rich colors of the field and the sky that was touched by the golden hue of the setting sun.  Earlier that day, my husband had visited with his siblings to discuss care for his mother who was just diagnosed with a serious illness, but the beauty of the day erased all fear and we were enjoying nature’s glory.

My mother-in-law passed away three weeks ago.  She died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family.  We know she is with our Lord and suffers no longer. But we are still here.

Now when I see this photo and think of the word, Forward, it takes on a different meaning for me.  I see my husband missing his mom. I see my father-in-law alone in a big house.  I see my children who sometimes are overcome with emotion feeling the loss of their grandma.  I see the wide  sky and the emptiness and uncertainty of it.  How can we go forward?  How can we look  forward to another day without her?   The grief is deep within our souls.

But then I see the warmth of the golden land.  I see the road urging me to go forward.  I see my husband willing to take another step.  I see his bag of apples as they represent God’s provisions for our future.  I see the empty mug that will be filled again, filled with hope, filled with laughter, filled with love.  And the sky, what a glorious big blue sky!  We do not know where the road leads us but just over that hill, we shall encounter endless possibilities, yet another wonderful adventure.  I know my dear mother-in-law is also urging us on to go forward, living life to the full just like she did.

How can I not go forward?  How can I not take another step?  I shall step onto that road called life and truly live.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

This post is in response to Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

In a new post specifically created for this challenge, share a picture that says FORWARD to you.