the short list

Two weeks ago yesterday our family was forced to live through our last “1st.” It was the 1st year anniversary of Grant’s death.  Here it is 2 weeks later and I am still trying to come out of the fog.  1 year behind us.  Now what?

Most of the books I have read say the 2nd year is as painful as the first, but for different reasons.  The shock has worn off, everyone else’s lives have returned to normal (long ago) and yet, you’re still left with the pain, the questions, the anger, the longing.  I pray year 2 is not as hard as year 1, not sure my weary heart and soul can take it.  Lord give me strength…help me to redeem the pain and turn it into something beautiful.

As I sit here tonight and write I can’t help but think back on this last year. Truth be told, it consumes my mind and is almost always running in the background. So was it just pain? Did I learn anything? Yes, I did.

Some things I have learned this year…the short list.

When life doesn’t make sense, when everything in the world seems broken, I must hold onto the promises of God. There are over 6000 of them!

If I want to know how much God loves me, loves Grant, I must look to Jesus hanging on the cross.

What should we do when hope let’s us down, when hopes are dashed, when life doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. I’ve learned we can curse God, we can call him out, call him a liar, believe Him to be a fake and a phony. Or we can take the blame ourselves and Give God a way out.

But what I know of God prevents me from believing any of those things, doing any of those things. So what I am left with is mystery. All that I know of God and all that I don’t know of God must live together in my heart and soul. I have learned I must make room for both, I must be comfortable with the mystery of God, the mystery of His ways.

I have learned I must rebuild hope. I can’t live without hope.  I will wither and die. And I have learned I can hope because I know this isn’t the end of the story.

And I have learned, Hope and true joy, doesn’t come from thinking about happy moments on earth, but Holy moments in Heaven.

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3 Responses to the short list

  1. Beautiful words to cause my heart to posture itself to the words, “in light of eternity”. We walk through some very difficult news that broke my heart to begin with…and now slowly my “why” question is being replaced with “what”. What can I learn, what do I know to be true, what or rather WHO can I turn to, where is my trust? My WHY won’t be answered but the truth of scripture prevails. T hank you for this timely and beautiful word in the midst of your pain. I grieve with you in this moment – my mommy heart hears yours.

  2. Terri Thomas says:

    Here is a way to redeem the pain and allow God to make it into something beautiful: Here is a way that God uses our suffering and makes it redemptive: We lost our 26 year old son on October 15. One of my lifelines is the hope that my suffering is redemptive (Colossians 1:24). In addition to directly helping other people who are suffering, there are so many waves of grief each day to offer up to God as a sacrifice. Two small examples: My husband and I were out to dinner and the waiter was my son’s age. I immediately felt sad because it made me miss my son. I let that wave of grief come over me for a few minutes and then I offered it up as a sacrifice to the Lord for all the souls who would die this day and their families. And then as we were walking out of the restaurant we saw a family with three small children, one boy and two girls just like ours when we were younger, and it made me feel sad about missing my son again. I let the wave of grief come over me for a little bit and then I offered it up for all of the young adults who were very close to my son and are missing him so much. I can’t explain it except for some reason it takes the edge off my pain and I know that God is using it to bless them and somehow that brings joy in the middle of this unbearable suffering. Maybe this could help you too. We can do this because of Christ living in us. We are members of His body and He is the one uniting our suffering with His and making it redemptive – a channel of His grace for the people we offer it for. It is praying with our suffering. This is one of the ways that we share in his priesthood – 1 Peter 2:4-5 & Romans 12:1-2. Maybe this will help you too. We were taught in religious education class growing up that there are different types of spiritual warfare weapons that God gives us to use as Christians to help others. Suffering & sacrifice are the most powerful.

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