Thursday, April 3, 2008

Deep Agony

It usually happens in the afternoon and late evening. I get this deep anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. It is a feeling that makes me wish I could throw up and make it all better. But, it is not my stomach after all. It is something probably would be described as anguish, agony, distress, misery, torment. The thesaurus gives other definitions like heartbreak, hurt, and pang but they are not strong enough.
When this feeling starts to overwhelm me I feel like my world is crashing down around me. It is much like an anxiety attack and yet it is worse. Everything in my world seems to be going well and then it will hit me that no, not everything is all right. I have lost something that was incredibly dear to me and there is nothing on earth that will bring him back. I am powerless against death but really I am powerless against God's will. I want desperately to cling to what my life once was but I just can't. There is a feeling of helplessness in all of this. God is drawing me through this valley to challenge me to see a new and different life that He has for me. I would love to follow without questioning but that is much harder to live than it is to write about. God has given us relationships to develop and cherish. When He has given you a relationship that was powered by His love and then takes it away you can't help but feel crushed.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
The problem with grief is that your feelings take a front seat. It is only the Word of God that preserves your soul through the grieving. It is only His Spirit that enables your heart to be at peace with His will. In the first two months (we are on week nine) of grieving I felt a complete dependency on God. I could not see anything else.
Now the grief has changed. It is deep and profound. As I question God I have had to make a conscience choice to abandon my way of life, my hopes, my dreams. After hearing of a man who is still questioning God after losing his wife two years ago I find myself pushing my heart to accept His will because I don't want to be in perpetual grief. I don't want to be stagnant in my faith. I have spoken out loud the simple prayer "Lord give me faith. Give me faith to believe that You are doing this for my good and for Your glory."
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
I am still so attached to this world that this passage sometimes makes me cringe. I don't feel like (notice the feelings again) this is light momentary affliction but according to the scriptures, that I truly believe, this is light and is preparing me for eternity. The lesson learned through this dark valley is that the things that are seen and lived on this earth are temporary and not lasting. In my grieving I am learning to say good-bye not only to my husband of twenty years (a speck of time in light of eternity) but also the life that I had expected to live. I am also saying good-bye to a bit of love that I have for this earth and my own mortal flesh.
In the future I hope to say this lesson was well learned.
Scripture is taken from II Corinthians 4 (ESV)


sheep wanderer said...

Thank you for carrying on to share during this extremely difficult time. I got a link to your blog through another.

I lost my dear dad at the age of 24 last summer. Sadly I hardened my heart when it didn't seem like God's word matched that of my circumstances for a long time after.

Thankfully God's grace did not stop and He wooed me back. Now nearly a year later, I rejoice, because the Lord has softened my heart again and shown me how His word is always always firm.

I wish I didn't dismiss His word when I most needed it. It has been His word that has sustained me. It encourages and inspires me sooooooooooooo much to see how you are seeking refuge in His word despite the almost overwhelming hurt you are walking through. Your faith is speaking volumes to me and I know countless others. God has not left you remember that.

Psalm 71: 20-21:

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.You shall increase my greatness,And comfort me on every side.

I'm am praying for you much, all the time


godlover said...

Oh Heather, your grief is mine to bear along with you. Side by side in the Lord. I so want to reach out to you and give you comfort. But God will be your strength and your joy. Stay in the Word and stay near to the Father's heart. Remember it is the peace of Jesus that sustains us during all times of trials and affliction. It is the peace of Jesus that comforts us and allows us to rest in Him when things are most painful. I'm sorry you're walking through this difficult time but please know that you are not walking alone. My prayers and the prayers of all your readers go with you. And rest in knowing that some how and some way this was what was best for you and Eric. I know you can't possibly see how that could be but it is. God takes from us so that we will have room to take in more of Him that is so much better.

Calaveras County

The Nahid Family said...

I can sense your pain. Please know that in the Jewish custom, grieving is a year long process, so take it slow. Allow Him to carry you through this time. I cannot imagine your pain, only in my mind, but you are such a strong woman of faith, and you are blessing so many with your blogs. The questioning is there, like Job questioned, but the Lord in the end gave Him double. Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." This will be your prayer as well.

Love to you. Remember, you cannot do it all. You are not supermom. If your children need to go to doing school on computer or something, check into Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse. Seems to take a load off of the moms. I plan to use it starting in 3rd. That is when the program starts.

Just rest and sleep as much as you can. Love you!

homeskoolmom5883 said...

Oh Heather...we continue to pray for you and your dear family.

I would agree with the comment before mine--slow down. Give yourself permission to mourn. Please dearest don't think that you aren't pleasing God because it's been 2 months and you aren't "over it" yet. (that would be my tendancy anyway--to want to put it behind me and move forward and push myself to be someplace I wasn't emotionally ready to be). Don't you dare for one minute think that you aren't trusting in Him because you aren't "over it" yet. Dearest, you can trust in Him and mourn at the same time. Jesus greived when Lazarus died and he KNEW that Lazarus was going to live again as soon as he spoke it into being.

Eric was your dearest, most beloved being on this earth. He was your life partner...and now you have to go forward without him. It's understandable for you to be overwhelmed with that task. You are drawing near to Him, and your strength is in Him and through Him right now.

I'm so glad you're sharing your heart with us... I truly think this is what being brothers and sisters in Christ and bearing one anothers burdens is all about. Please continue to be transparent with us so we can pray with you and hopefully encourage you through this most difficult time.

Put your arms around yourself and give yourself a good long hug from me. Wish I could be there to do it myself :)
Love to you dear sister.

S & C & C's Gram said...

Dear, dear Heather.

I lift you up to Him now.

As One Voice said...

Oh Heather ~

Words fail me . . . my heart goes out to you and I continue to pray for you all through each day.

Love in Christ ~ Diana

Jonathan Hunt said...

A growing number in England are becoming aware of your family's story and are praying.

Mrs. Jeannie Mitchell said...

Dearest Heather,
I will continue to pray for you. My heart aches for you.

Safe Thus Far said...

I come here just about every day to listen to your music and pray for you. Thank you for continuing to bring glory to our Lord through your trial.


felmleyfam said...

praying for you!! not forgetting your misery and yet your great hope: JESUS!

Laurie said...

I will remember to lift you up to the Lord in the late afternoons and evenings down here in So. California. Asking Him to bless you with sweet peace each beautiful sunset. I think of you daily and pray for peace.

Love, Laurie in So. Ca.

sequin said...

"Blessed are those that have not seen and believe." Faith is about believing as you do even when its not easy or you don't feel like it. You are being blessed and are in Jesus arms right now leaving only one set of footprints. Linger as long as you need to, He's holding tighter than ever. We are praying for you.