It’s the first day of September. So many things are changing. All good at the moment. I can see God leading and orchestrating the next season of our lives. I am at peace even though there are still many unknowns.
But my heart hurts again. The tears want to come and for a few seconds at a time they have their way before I turn them back off. I don’t know why memories come. There was probably some sort of trigger unrecognized. The heartache of not raising Jen, of missing her first 40 years of life. The heartache of the hurt I experienced that year-hurt, trauma and loss that I had to keep inside then and every year that followed. Memories of the past, along with a past without memories made, sometimes over shadow the new memories in the making.
Is grief a shadow, a cloud? Sometimes the sun seems so bright, directly overhead, where shadows flee and clouds evaporate. Then suddenly without warning the shadow appears or the clouds surround me.
When my grief is like a shadow, it is just on the fringes of my thoughts, but following me everywhere. I can still see God in His sovereignty. His love for me is still clearly visible and I rejoice in His care for me. I can see His grace and mercy and how He has blessed me so abundantly.
On the days or even just hours when this grief is a cloud, the heaviness of it causes me to pause. I find I need to rest. I try to continue my day ignoring the cloud but it wears me out. I see my emotions becoming sullen. Usually, there will be some break in the clouds throughout the day, giving me a clear view of the sun, lifting my spirits. I can see His face. I know He is with me and my smile returns.
Today, the break in the clouds seems like it’s taking a long time to come, yet as I spend time in His word I know His promises are true. He is still here with me. He will never leave me. He is working all things for my good and for His glory. Any pain I suffer on this earth is nothing compared to the glory I will someday see. It is not in vain. I can learn from this grief. I can see it and not be afraid of the darkness, because God is here. Where can I go that He can not find me? If I go to the depths of Sheol, He is there.
So I will choose today, this hour, to praise Him. Maybe I will wipe away the tears as I press on with my day. They may return and that’s okay. God will give me the strength I need to do what He is calling me to do. He has promised. He is trustworthy and faithful. Through endurance and perseverance, He is growing my faith. He gives me joy and hope even in the cloud of grief. Grief is for yesterday-joy is for today-hope is for tomorrow-they can all coexist with a heart of thankfulness. I call on His high and exalted name and He hears me.
“In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me. Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God.”
Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness.
How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!
Blessed be the LORD, For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city. As for me, I said in my alarm, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried to You. O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.”Psalms 31:1-3, 7-9, 14, 16, 19, 21-24
KP Sept 2020