I have written and rewritten this, as if my words bear weight to anyone but me. I know they don’t, but I write them anyway. It was 16 months ago today that we were thrust into this new life. I couldn’t have imagined 16 months ago what even breathing would feel like today. The devastation was just too huge.
In the period of little more than 2 years we had lost my mom, we had lost Matt, my daughter-in-law’s beloved brother, we had lost my dad, and then my husband of 30 years, had walked away. There was more to come, and my heart ached in a way I could not find words for. It ached from my very core. It ached for my children too, because they had also suffered the same losses. I’m sure anyone who might read this has at one time or another, felt this same, unspeakable ache.
I remember in the wee hours of the night crying out to God to change it, to rewrite the story so there wasn’t so much pain involved. My sinful heart just wanted ease, a quick fix for the brokenness.
God didn’t fix any of this the way I imagined He would, the way I begged Him to. Loved ones were with Him, of that I was sure, but life still felt shattered, and He didn’t bring my husband home. However, He took my heart in His very capable hands and He anchored Himself into my very soul. A week before this had all happened, the message at church had been, “In Storms, Anchors Don’t Move”. It struck me profoundly, because I knew we’d been in a storm for awhile. I naively believed I was seeing blue skies on the horizon, but it turned out we were just sitting in the eye of the storm, that illusion of peace before you’re tossed into the other side with all of its fury. God was preparing my heart, teaching me that He has been my anchor all along, and He would be with me through this current storm too. I needed to learn to rest in that.
He says over and over in His Word, “Trust Me, believe Me, I Am Faithful.” As I began to give Him this pain of deep loss, of feeling betrayed (and oh my, He understands betrayal better than anyone, because we have all betrayed Him!), He took the mess in my heart and replaced it with Himself, with His peace, with His joy, with His contentment, with Him alone. He healed my heart. I cannot begin to explain how He did it, I only know that He did. There is no One who will ever care for our hearts like God. There is no One who will ever sacrifice Himself for us like Jesus His Son, and there is no Spirit but His Holy Spirit Who will ever fill our heart with all that it needs or longs for.
What changed my life was coming face to face with the truth of God’s amazing Word and His gracious love in spite of my wretched sin. Yes, I knew it already. I believed it already. This is the Word and Truth I grew up with and memorized and believed since childhood. Yet, really applying it in the deep crevices of my heart came only after the deepest pain I had ever experienced. His amazing love will never disappoint.
To those who have told me that I am strong through this, I feel I must correct that. I am not strong. I am the weakest of the weak. That is the truth of it. But I know the true source of strength in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. My beloved Savior goes before me, as He does for you too, and it is to Him that I want to always remain surrendered. Each breath is a precious gift from Him, and He holds everyday of my future, and the future of my loved ones and your loved ones in His very gracious hands. We are His...and that is enough.
“Trust in the Lord In all your ways and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight”. Proverbs 3:5-6