Why do people say that my memories will bring comfort? Right now, they don’t. They bring pain and most often, tears. I suppose I should be grateful for the memories but right now I find myself trying to distract my mind in an attempt to keep memories at bay. They are just too painful. But why? Why don’t they comfort me?
I think it’s because now they are no longer just memories of what we did but also stark reminders that memories are all I have left. Every time a memory comes to mind I am also reminded that there will be no more memories made. So rather than bringing sweet comfort it leaves a bitter after taste. Is that where the term bitter-sweet comes from? Will these memories be bitter-sweet from now on? Will I ever be able to look back on memories of Grant with complete sweetness, void of the after taste? Will they bring warmth and smiles? Or will they always bring with them a little touch of sadness, bitterness?
I could never have imagined 10 years ago, that the memories we were making with Grant, would someday bring with them a form of suffering. But they do and that scares me a little bit, because there are so many memories and they are unceasing. Joni Eareckson Tada says, “ When suffering sandblasts us to the core, the true stuff of which we are made is revealed. Suffering lobs a hand-grenade into our self-centerdness, blasting our soul bare.” With soul bared, what will I see? What am I truly made of?
Os Guiness says this, “Suffering is the most acute trial that faith can face, and the questions it raises, are the sharpest, the most intense, and the most damaging that faith will meet. Can faith bear the pain and still trust God, suspending judgement and resting in the knowledge that God is there, God is good, and God knows best?” Will my faith withstand the suffering of being flooded daily with memories of Grant, and a soul saturated with the pain those memories bring with them? What will this trial of faith reveal about who I truly am?
I cannot answer these questions definitively, today. I will have to look in the rearview mirror, 10 years from now, when these questions, this trial, is in the memory bank. Today, I will think on these words from J.I. Packer, for I believe them to be true, heart soul, and mind. They help me to grieve with hope… “Your faith will not fail while God sustains it; you are not strong enough to fall away while God is resolved to hold you.” Yes, hold me dear Jesus, and sustain my faith, as the memories come and the suffering they cause reveal who I truly am.