Monday, September 29, 2008

Eight Months

This is what I read on the eve of eight months without my beloved...

"The knowledge that our sufferings are taken up into Christ's is a source of joy. Indeed, the thought of His cross and what it did for me is in times of deep sorrow the only pure joy I can know. We may not feel like shaking tambourines and dancing when we are nailed to a bed in pain. Yet the pain itself may become an offering when we know that we are allowed to help to complete, in our poor human flesh, 'the full tale of Christ's afflictions still to be endured for the sake of His body which is the church' (Col. 1:24). It is Christ in us that makes this possible. Once we have opened ourselves to grace, then Christ Himself takes up His dwelling in us. If we suffer, He suffers. We are His body here on earth. This poor human flesh, yours and mine, is where Jesus now lives so pain bestows on us the incomprehensible privilege of helping to carry to completion the quota He must endure. As we accept this burden with thankfulness, we enter into an ever deepening fellowship of His sufferings - but let us never forget that it was His own perfect and complete sacrifice of Himself that opened to us this possibility. Because of that we become His dwelling place....isn't this reason enough to make our sufferings a sacrifice of praise?
~Elisabeth Elliot

Now there is a challenge. I wept as I read this. Have I been thankful for the suffering that Jesus has laid at my feet? I am telling you this is not an easy task to fulfill. It would have been much easier if Eric had lived to look back on the pain and suffering of the moment and be thankful for it as I did last November. But, I can't rightfully say that I am feeling very thankful at this moment in time. I am thankful for the fellowship of His suffering though. And, I know that He understands my suffering because of His. I trust Him.
Even now I just don't get it. I can hardly wrap my mind and heart around the fact that Eric will no longer walk through the door or lay next to me in bed. There is something so odd about it. So, there must be something about thankfulness that I am missing. I see it as an overflowing, grateful heart like when I receive a sweet, thoughtful present from someone dear. It's the grateful heart that I can't wrap myself around. I don't want to be grateful because it might be construde as being happy that Eric is gone....just as I fear that the smiles on our faces might lead some to believe that no tragedy has actually happened in our lives.
This is where grief has led us. This fear of what people will think is written in all the is just another step down the road of grief. And, I will walk into it not fully understanding but hoping to walk out of it with wisdom and a changed heart.


Anonymous said...

I feel a similar pain. it will be 11 months for us in a few days. still praying for you. love you guys.

six2love said...

A friend just directed me to your blog. My husband of 18 years died unexpectedly 2 months ago. I have six children ages 3-14 yrs. I'm encouraged by your faith. I'm overwhelmed, myself. I will be praying for you and your beautiful family.

Lazy D Ranch said...

Dear friend...I KNOW what you are going through. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or just want to talk. I will give you my phone number through the email.
I would love to help out in any way that I can. God bless you! ~Heather

GS Counselor: said...

It's ok to smile and to have moments of happiness and joy. The lord does not want you and your family to live a somber life as a badge of honor for Eric...honor him instead by living life to the fullest. Laughing, loving and enjoying every moment just like Eric would have. Your family and friends will not forget the pain you suffer, but will instead rejoice with you, celebrating life.

Barbara said...

Heather, ask Kendra if you can read the latest Keystone Magazine. It has an amazing cover story about a South African Home Schooling family who lost their Dad about 5 years ago. They have lived in New Zealand for about 10 or 12 years now. They found out that the Dad had cancer and had only a short time to live. So the youngest was induced (about 2 weeks early) so that the baby and Dad could at least spend a little time together. They had about 2 weeks together. This is a very courageous and victorious article. They have no family in New Zealand. So our Church is their family.

Lazy D Ranch said...

I will ask Kendra about the magazine...I borrow them often! Thanks for visiting our family blog. We continue to pray for your family. ~Heather

flowerpot said...

Heather, I was praying for you just this morning.

Love and hugs,

flowerpot said...

Elisa and Six2love,

My heart is broken for you. I will be praying for you and your families.

Barbara said...

Thanks for your prayers for our family Heather. We are now praying for you too. When my mother was dying over Christmas our Chemist neighbour dropped off her supply of drugs for over the Christmas break. As they talked about my mother's close death (3am 27 December) and Dad with a houseful of Grandchildren and Christmas the next day the Chemist had some words of wisdom for my Dad. He said that "life was for the living". That although we had death in the family there was also the living. That my mother would want us to celebrate Christmas for the sake of the children. So a few hours of mourning was put aside while we concentrated on the children before getting back to my Mum. That was 20 years ago and we all feel it was very good advise for us at the time. I didn't know your husband but I think he might say that "Life is for the Living" too. So please smile and laugh and have fun because it is the hardest for you not your husband. He is in a far better place where he has gained. "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain".