Thursday, September 11, 2008

Unrecognizable

"I understand a bit how life can seem unrecognizable...almost as if it should belong to someone else, and yet it's all yours and God seems to have something in mind that defies understanding." ~Kevin F.

This was written in an email from a friend who understands grief, albeit a different sort of grief. My plans for the future included Eric. We had made such lofty plans of adopting more children, paying off our home, going to Europe a couple more times, being married for another forty years. Then, there were the plans that were just expected - walking your daughters down the aisle, holding our grandbabies in our arms, holidays spent together as a family.

At this point my life is very much unrecognizable. It must belong to someone else because this is not the life I had dreamed of. To be a widow at such a young age and to raise six children by myself is really not what anyone dreams of.
Maybe I am pulling out of the fog and realizing all the more the tragedy that has struck our family. Don't get me wrong...I never will forsake the One who loved me first. His plans are not always in accordance with our dreams. He works out His will to His glory...and I say blessed be His holy name. But, He also knows the valley that I am walking through. He has walked it and is walking it with me. It is just hard to wrap my mind, heart, soul, and strength around the idea that the dreams I held for so long are now not going to be reality. His reality is much different for me. I trust Him and continue on because He compells me to.

There is a part of me that wants there to be more of a reason why than just for His glory and my sanctification. Why is it that I can't see this as enough? Why is it that we can't see this as enough on a daily basis?
If there isn't a brighter future ahead or no light ever appears at the end of the tunnel would I still be satisfied with the affliction that God has laid at my feet? I say yes but only hope that what has compelled me thus far would work in all circumstances.
Why so thought provoking? I am struck by the unbelievability of my situation. In the strangest moments I will be shocked that this is happening to me. Eric was a strong man...even in his weakest moments I didn't really think he would die. I was scared I might not be able to help him if he had an attack at home but I never thought he would die. It is just plain and simple...I am in shock. I can keep life going only so long before I turn the corner and realize that he is not there and will never be there again.
Here is to another day where another step into mourning means another step closer to dancing.

10"Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me;
O LORD, be my helper."
11You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Psalm 30:10-12


7 comments:

Karen said...

I think this is another face of grief. Realizing that life doesn't look the way you thought it would. It is often easy for me to say that God's will is sovereign and perfect and nothing ever surprises Him but that doesn't negate the pain that surrounds the event. You are in my prayers as you walk this road.

Erik Wait said...

Making plans… making contingencies for every possible change in my plans…. trying to anticipate every possible variable that might alter my plans… it keeps me awake at night.

“The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

I have found that while it is foolish to wander through life aimlessly with no goals in sight, I also continue to learn how I must hold on to all my plans and ideas with an open hand and be willing to accept and submit to the providence of God.

More often than not, while my ideas do not turn out the way I had planned or hoped, when I look back and consider the course of events that have taken place, I find that things have turned out for my better.

There is a great mystery to His providence, which makes life exciting.

“Man's steps are ordained by the LORD,
How then can man understand his way?” (Proverbs 20:24)

But it is also a bit scary because He reminds me that I am not the Master of my destiny and I have no choice but to trust Him, that He is good, and that His thoughts and intentions towards me are loving and kind.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Sometimes I think I’d like to have crystal ball or a time machine so that I could peek into the future so that it would hold no surprises, but if I KNEW what was going to happen I would probably be too frightened NOW in anticipation of what was going to come in the FUTURE.

On the other hand, it might also be like taking a peek at the presents hidden under my parent’s bed and in the closet and ruin the surprise that waits on Christmas morning.

But the truth is I am not ready NOW for the FUTURE but He will make me ready for it when the time comes. I am no more ready for the future NOW than an eight year old is ready for college. But when the time comes, when His timing comes, then I will be ready for what He has in store whether it be another wave of trials and tribulations or a shower of blessings.

godlover said...

I think Erik wait said it all beautifully. The valley is deep and the walk is long but we never make the trek alone. Small comfort sometimes but comfort nonetheless. Thinking of you daily and longing to read of your joy. For there is joy out there for you; it just has to come to you yet. Until then cling tightly to the Master's hand. Never, never let go of the Father's hand. Everything in life changes except our God. He is the one constant we can depend upon and He is on our side 100% of the time. God is good. He reveals Himself to us even in the midst of our sorrows and struggles. He is always for us; never against us. And we are blessed. We are the chosen. I don't know why your plans were so far from the reality of your life. I don't know why your future was disrupted and changed so permanently. The humanness in me wants to cry out about how unfair it all is. And then I remind myself that it only feels unfair. God is good and just and fair at all times. It's just that God doesn't have to make an account for us; He does not have to explain Himself to us; and He does not have to satisfy us or answer our questions. He simply says we are to trust Him in all things. It doesn't ease the burden much, if at all, but it gives us something to orient ourselves with, something to uphold us and aid our sense of balance. God is always good, but in the midst of our sorrows He is even better. If we cling to Him in our trials, He will never disappoint us. What an amazing God we have. Yes, you have to walk the valley, but you don't have to walk alone. God allows struggles because they cause us to lean ever harder on Him and He longs to be our only support. He is faithful. He will never abandon us and will always uphold us. Lean on Him and fully understand that He never leaves us on our own. We are never alone. Even when our plans don't turn out the way we wanted or expected or hoped He is ever with us, step after step. He is our great and holy God and He is enough. Continuing to pray for you and your family. In God's love...
Marj

Jill said...

I'm not sure how I came about your blog - but so glad I did - what a testimony you are to me. In the midst of such sadness and uncertainty your faith in the Lord is amazing! I struggle so much with my own faith as I see my 3 year old daughter struggle with constant health problems and worry for her future. I know the Lord has a perfect plan for each of us and I thank you for that reminder. Tears fall right now as I imagine just a peice of your grief...I will lift you up in prayer.

The Lord has used you and your words on this blog to witness to me and I'm sure to many others.

Love your sister in Christ,
Jill in AZ

Tanya said...

My heart goes out to you. Your willingness to be vulnerable and real about your grief touches me. I am so sorry that you have to go through this trial but am so encouraged by you that in the face of trials you can still see Him first. You remind me of my blessings and what I have to put first.

katiebeth527 said...

All I have to say is:

= (

I am sooo very sad for you!! Every time I think of you I get all choked up & teary eyed!!

I never know when I may be in your very shoes, as I wait each week for Chris to return home to us safely. My heart aches for you all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And am so thankful for your faithfulness too.....

flowerpot said...

Heather, your question "Why is it that I can't see this as enough?" has haunted me (in a good way) since I first read this post. (long pause) I am challenged to look at my life through the lense of my expectations of God. What do I expect of Him? What does He expect of me? Am I content in any and every circumstance?

Thanks for your authenticity. Your journey draws me closer to Christ and reveals walls that I have built to keep pain away.