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Shattered, but restored–a Thanksgiving-day story from Nairobi.

Turbulent waters from every direction on a day set apart for thankfulness can only be stilled through the Living Water of the Holy Spirit.  Powerful and honest reflections from Kelli Compean, who serves with her husband Ed in Nairobi, Kenya.

I shattered this morning. Just like the Pyrex dish that my turkey was cooking in.

— I awoke to the sadness of no children in the house, or coming to visit.

— I awoke to the reality of knowing my Dad wasn’t celebrating the day with Mom in the kitchen and he watching a football game.

— I awoke to the knowledge that my nephew was in recovery from his second surgery on his thumb, in an attempt to save it from the dastardly MRSA infection he has.

I made my way to the kitchen in a black mood. Forget Black Friday, today was black Thanksgiving.

I stomped around and washed, dried, stuffed and herb rubbed the turkey I was preparing for our “Empty Nest” Thanksgiving with friends. I added the broth to the bottom of my Pyrex and popped it all into my new oven with no temperature settings. It has low and high only.

I took a cup of tea and the pancakes I had made and sat out on the balcony to spend some time with the Lord.

That is when and where I shattered.

Ed and I talked about my black mood, my sadness and my depression. I sobbed. Ed watched. I blew my nose a half dozen times and he quietly talked me out of my darkness.

I realized that I have been avoiding my sadness. I walk past pictures of my parents and look only at Dad. It has only been the past two days that I could look at Mom in the photos. I miss her so.

After some time, I smelled the turkey.

I got up to attend to it and got frustrated as the oven would not get high enough to sear the turkey and all the broth had dried up. Ed pulled the turkey half-way out and let me pour more broth over the turkey and into the dried out pan.

When that broth, hit the glass, it shattered–In Ed’s hands. It shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces. Glass was all over the oven, the floor and what little broth had gotten into the pan now dripped onto the floor.

That pan shattering gave me a purpose for the moment.

We put the turkey up on top of the stove, picked out one large piece of glass from the tail and proceeded to sweep up the glass, wipe up the oven, and tiptoe across the butter slick floor.

Finally, the oven was clean. We got a new pan, this one metal–and began again.

Turkey back in the oven, I tried to mop the floor.

The water trickled out of the sink. I tried the sink in the hallway bath. It too trickled. I made my way to the guest bath and there I found a bit more than a trickle.

With two cups of water in a bucket and a washcloth I wiped up the messy floor. When I tried the sink again, the water flowed.

All this to say, that poor Ed has had a rough start to his holiday:

— His wife shattered and the Pyrex shattered.

Both in his hands.

The good news is that the water that flowed from the sink cleaned up the mess in my kitchen and the turkey is cooking well.

Like that water flowing from the sink, I know that the Living Water of God’s Holy Spirit will get me through this “shadow of the valley of death”.

When I have spent my devotional time asking Him for direction for what to do with myself, all I get back is “Be Still”.

Somehow, the Lord wants me to go through this painful, thorny valley:

— He wants me to experience all the pain and sorrow that is in this place.

— He is making me to lie down but the pasture is not yet green.

The waters are turbulent but I know that He is restoring my soul. I do not fear evil, but this pain.

Yet the Lord is with me and is my comfort, my only solace.

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