Because He Loves Me, I Press On!

from my journal. . .2/23/15

Today has been a hard day! I should have expected it to be. I have felt the emotions of grief buried deep inside my soul for the last week or so.  But there has been no time to process it all again. . .and simply give in to the sadness!

Two days ago marked another “grief” milestone.  It’s been two years since Mom’s tragic death.  I find it so weird still how my mind and body seem to sense certain dates that draw out deep feelings.

I was so busy last week with prepping our house to sell and hosting an engagement party that as each memory or trigger popped into mind, I quickly suppressed it and pushed it under the surface of my soul.

But I’ve learned that grief eventually comes up and must come out! I am learning to be okay with the “hard” and “really sad” days.

I am now at the point in my journey that I often beg God in prayer to give my soul and body release from the grief.  And He never ceases to amaze me with His generous ways of answering my prayers.

Today is just a routine, normal day for me.

My older two kids are in school, and the little three munchkins are happily buzzing around the house. My Monday routine consists of laundry, dishes, meal-planning, potty-trips with the twins, housework, and more dishes. Just a normal day. . but the rush of the weekend is over.

I actually find time to think. My soul finds room to breathe in the simple, normal routine.

And so now come the tears. . . quietly and gently streaming down my cheeks as I wash dishes and gaze out my window at the redbirds munching seed at the feeder. Oh, how my mom loved birds!

I open my recipe book to begin meal planning. . .and her handwritten recipe reminds me of the awesome cook she was. Every meal was a delicious treat served by an amazing cook and loving Mom. The tears erupt again!

As I dust the furniture, I pick up the last family picture we took at her house in November 2012.  My gaze lingers on her sweet and joyful face, and my fingers gently caress her smile.  How I long to see her face, watch her smile, and hear her infectious laugh once more!

The tears come and go in quiet spurts of memories and longings. But the deep sadness in my soul feels unbearable!

The heavy ache inside begins to draw out doubts, questions, and anger that threaten to “suck me in” to the dark hole of grief.  I’ve been to that dark and torturous place. . .and refuse to return!

In my Bible reading this morning, I was studying Psalm 34.  The truths from that Scripture resonated deep within me.

So I began to meditate on His truth.  The only way to counter the lies that Satan whispers in my mind is to claim His truth and preach it to myself over and over again!

Philippians 4:8 reminds me to “think on things that are true.”

Tim Keller says, “Doubts in the mind can grow along with pain in the heart.” (from his book Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering)

I find this statement to be completely accurate with my own life.  Doubts about God’s existence, His love, His sovereignty, His grace, and His care have threatened to dissolve my faith in Christ.  The intense pain of heart easily clouds the truths of my Saviour!

But God’s Word remains true! My pain and doubts do not change the absolutes of Scripture!

“When pain and suffering come upon us, we finally see not only that we are not in control of our lives, but that we never were.” (Keller, pg. 5)

I Timothy 6:15 reminds me that “Jesus is the blessed and only Sovereign (Controller) of my life. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.”

And so. . .on this heavy Monday, I run to Jesus for rest in my soul, rest in my mind, rest in the memories.  I beg the Lord for a deep soul cry–one that is gut-wrenching but so freeing.  I need that physical release of a deep cry.

Tears are a gift of grace from God. . .they heal us.

I turn up the praise and worship music in the house. . .filling my mind and heart with truths of His deep love and sovereignty in my life.

I write down Scripture truths from Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near the brokenhearted: He saves those crushed in spirit.”

I post 4 x 6 notecards of Scripture on my kitchen windowsill to rehearse truth as I wash dishes.

I fall to my knees asking God to lighten my heavy heart and to find true joy in the suffering of my soul.

Every prayer is answered. . .and Jesus meets me in the dark night of soul and brings the “peace that passes all understanding”.

He whispers His grace to me in the soft hug of a little girl, in the gentle spirit of my pre-teen son, in the email from Ann Voskamp that reads, “Grief is what cultivates the soul for the seeds of joy,” and in the deep cry that drives me to my knees before God in my bedroom closet.

I think of Psalm 34:6-8. “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles.  The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.  Taste and see that the LORD is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

Grief and suffering continue to drive me to the One who understands and heals my hurts.  As Ann says, “I love him because His love is the only things that can literally save me.”

Dwelling on His love and goodness sustain me in these grief days where the waves roll in heavily! Because He loves me, I press on!

Jeremiah 31:3 “…I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (ESV)

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ” (ESV)

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