I wake up this morning at 3 a.m, unable to go back to sleep. Anxieties weigh on me. I had shared on my Facebook page yesterday how God had met me in each of those anxieties with Scripture coming to mind, and yesterday was a day of peace for the most part.
But at 3 a.m., I am startled with the immense sense of loss I am feeling. Scenes of happy times with friends and family over the years flash through my mind, and with each one I feel a crushing blow.
These losses have come from deaths, moves, friends leaving the church, changes in the dynamics of relationships, illness, life circumstances changing, and more. And I’m faced with the possibility of more loss in many of those same ways.
I realize I’ve had to grieve for each of those losses. In some cases, my wounds have healed. In others, they haven’t quite. As I see potential future losses, and my soul wants to scream, STOP! Stop the bleeding! Please!
And then I get angry. It isn’t supposed to be this way. Death and illness wasn’t the plan in the beginning. Friends aren’t supposed to move or leave the church. Relationships should grow stronger, not weaker, regardless of circumstances.
I shouldn’t be tempted to shut others out because the possibility of their leaving me will hurt too deeply.
In that anger, hope begins to rise. My life on this earth, in this sinful body, is only a spec in eternity. And in the place Jesus is preparing for His children, there will be no loss.
Shouldn’t every pang we feel at the disorder of things in this world bring us to a greater longing to the perfection of eternity? I think C.S. Lewis said something like that.
That sliver of hope allows me to drift back to sleep, and I awake to read Psalm 147 in my devotional today.
How good it is to sing to our God,
for praise is pleasant and lovely.
2 The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;
He gathers Israel’s exiled people.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them.
5 Our Lord is great, vast in power;
His understanding is infinite
6 The Lord helps the afflicted
but brings the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
play the lyre to our God,
8 who covers the sky with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
and causes grass to grow on the hills.
9 He provides the animals with their food,
and the young ravens, what they cry for.
10 He is not impressed by the strength of a horse;
He does not value the power of a man.
11 The Lord values those who fear Him,
those who put their hope in His faithful love. (v. 1-14)
In this passage God graciously brings my focus back to Himself. Not my past losses. Not potential future losses. But in Him.
He will never leave me. I never have to fear losing Him, no matter what changes around me.
I will choose to trust Him. And I may have to make that choice over and over and over, dozens of times in a day perhaps.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
I awake to notice my husband isn’t home yet. I worry. He calls to let me know he’ll be home late after a hard night. I worry more.
Slivers of light escape the horizon. I pull the fragrant cinnamon rolls out of the oven and prepare for today. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Later today is THE doctor appointment for my mom. The one every cancer patient and family dreads. Where we find out the results of her latest scans.
She has been weak after her latest radiation. I brace for the news and choose, again, to trust Him.
I mop the floor and try to get my mind off the “what ifs,” but the enormity of my emotions make me shake inside. Words bubble in my heart and I can’t help but type. And in raw vulnerability of the day, I press, “publish.”
12/15/15 update on my mom: The cancer has not spread, and the tumors in her lungs haven’t enlarged significantly. However, the radiation did not eradicate the tumor in her bladder. Additional radiation to that location isn’t an option, and neither is surgery. A concern is also for her brain, where she had two tumors radiated earlier this year. She will return to the doctor for an MRI to check her brain on December 23rd. Thank you for praying for us as you think of us.