As I am waking up with a cup of coffee this early Wednesday morning, I’m mindlessly reading emails, checking the weather, checking my bank balance (!), and scrolling through Facebook. Memory posts will often pop up on my page and I find them bittersweet.
My mind will play with each memory, sometimes smiling, sometimes crying. This morning, however, my reaction has been amazement, amazement at the change that has occurred, especially in the last 2.5 years. I can see the finger of God as He traced a path in my wilderness and then took my hand and gently led me through the curves and valleys until I could see light. It hasn’t always seemed that way but He was there. So often I’ve felt like I was stumbling through a thick forest that was carpeted with briars, but He was there, strong when I was so weak.
The face of grief changes over time. In the beginning, other widows would tell me that but I couldn’t imagine it. I have found that it does. Even a memory feed on social media speaks to that. When one experiences the deep, deep loss of death it is hard to imagine life again. I suffered the death of my husband and the death of all I had known. It was as if I was blindfolded, kidnapped, and dropped on an island, with nothing familiar around me. The face of grief was devastating. I looked everywhere to find normal.
Today I see light. Today there is life. It’s not the life I really honestly want and the light has a different glow, but there is light and life nonetheless. I miss Bob so much but I’ve come to the settled peace that he is gone, he is with Jesus. I’ve had a head knowledge but now there is a heart knowledge. I still want to tell him things, have to stop and remind myself he isn’t here when I do. But, there is peace.
There is joy, the kind that comes in the morning. Happiness is a choice but I’m not speaking about that. This joy comes from a peace and a trust in the One who holds all things. The One who has proven Himself trustworthy. The One who is full of lovingkindness, the One who is from everlasting to everlasting.
There is purpose. It has been difficult to believe there was still purpose for me, purpose without Bob and without our ministry together. I don’t presume to know what the future holds but I do know the One who knows all things. The One who knows the plans He has for me, plans for good and not evil, plans to give me a future and a hope.
There is healing, the kind I’ve longed for, prayed for. I still get lonely, I still some days long for “home” and the life we shared. My faith knows that beauty will come from the ashes of what was. There is comfort in the cool breeze that is blowing away the intense heat from the fire.
There is blessing, even in the brokenness I’ve experienced. Blessing because I know Christ in a deeper way than ever before. Blessing because I know His promises are true. Blessing because I can trust Him with my present and my future. Blessing because His love has been poured out on me in this journey.
Yes, grief wears a different face and I lift my face to the Son and wait to see what’s next. I don’t know what that will look like but I know it will be just as He planned.