Nine years ago, the Lord allowed me to be stricken with a debilitating tumor.
Six years ago, the Lord allowed me to begin to heal… still, I was not able to write again after that very much, not even in my own journals. My emotional pain arose from concern for my family, and grief over the long-term loss and struggle.
Three years ago, we underwent a most painful period of time where my family had a new set of trials, transitions and changes all at once, including tremendous loss and grief. My tears were a hot, tight band around my voice and throat. This served as a constant concrete diving tower from which to plunge into my need for God’s help and comfort.
Two years ago, the Lord allowed my kids and I to be in a car accident which caused multiple latent injuries for myself. Again, the cycle of grief and sorrow was upon me. I began to wonder if my life was going to always be like this: living in pain, living with God-sanctioned insanity; hurting too much to process things beyond the moment or the hour.
SO THANKFUL we weren’t T-boned. Could have been so much worse. As it was, Mama Bear had five herniated discs and more than a year in physical therapy. Oh, Lord, help!
As my body and my heart began the healing process afresh (afresh? anew? it didn’t feel fresh or new)… I spent a lot of time grieving over the loss to my family of a functioning mother. I grieved the loss of opportunity to grow our family or participate in ministry. To cook for others. To clean the house. To work in the garden. To be sane.
I grieved many things. I learned how to grieve deep and wide.
And I’ll tell you (if you don’t know already): The Garden Of Grief is a funny thing. It is the sort of place that needs constant tending, otherwise it can easily be overrun with roots of bitterness.
Many different morsels of help came to me along the way, from my loving Father-God. Maybe a song, maybe a verse, maybe a dream. Other times it would be a feeble step of faith and trust through all the insanity of my mind…. that there would somehow come so much good out of this. Other times I would get a word of comfort or guidance… for example:
Two days ago, I listened to the most beautiful story of a man, Andrew Klavan (international best-selling author), who learned to cope with incredible pain. He said, in a moment of truth, God showed him HOW TO KEEP GOING even though he was in so much pain.
But… It’s not like the pain stops coming. Am I right? Can I get an amen?
One day ago, our community lost a dear friend to cancer. She was a lovely powerful prayer warrior, a special sister in Christ, and a woman who dearly loved children even though she had none from her own body. She was a foster mother and mentor and placed children in homes throughout our city.
Makes me feel silly to share the following, as well… But yesterday we also lost the sweetest chicken in our flock. She was the kind of chicken who loved to be one; was proud to be one.
In the last few days, I have cried openly and more often than in the several years previous. I suppose it is finally, thankfully, a sort of “safe” time to let the fountain flow and clear itself out (what else are you going to do in Covid-19 quarantine)? Anyone else? Everything makes me cry these days:
A friend recently quoted John 3:16 in Russian (she and her family have been learning it during quarantine) and I wept tears of joy.
Click on the video above to listen!
I read sections of a novel to our kids every night, and anything that spotlights the growing pains or beautiful life moments of the characters will instantly choke me up!
In reading the daily passages on Bible Gateway, I drip, drip, drip from my eyes AND my nose. It is good.
Yesterday, even as I felt the fresh sadness of loss in little waves, it struck me that despite all the tears, I am still overjoyed that our departed friend (and our chicken) are both in a much, much better place, with brand new bodies and hearts full of joy.
In the end, I blew my nose (again) and wiped my weyes (again) and said to Scott, “I would never, ever, EVER, ask God to give them back to us… yanno, in fact, why did Jesus raise Lazurus from the dead, if he was happier in heaven?”
Scott said, “It is because it would bring glory to God.” So that is the main thing. Not what we will but what He wills.
So…. Ok, Lord, I surrender. Again. Because we know You are truly good, we can submit to You as truly God. We love you, Lord. Help us who remain to “play in pain.” Don’t bench us Lord. Let us keep doing the next thing that brings you Glory.
Sending prayers of comfort, and virtual hugs, and lots of love to any of my friends who find themselves at this place today.