I was sorting around some old files on my computer and came across something I wrote back in April 2007… just about 1 year after I lost my husband to cancer.
Joy comes in the mourning
How do you turn around the worst memories of your life into God’s Glory Story? Can devastating and incomprehensible loss ever work for good? Yes they can, and here is the story to prove it.
Mourning is an inexplicable grief over the loss of someone you love so much that your heart begins to go numb. And that numbness becomes so welcome. Another minute – another second of sorrow and sadness – another tear shed. Numbness becomes your friend. To be numb, without feeling and emotion is so much easier than feeling anything at all.
The news hits you as the word cancer is spoken out loud. Every ugly story you’ve ever heard about it. You remember the old aunt that had cancer and you heard all the sordid details about her struggle and eventual death. Well meaning friends think that sharing these stories will somehow bring comfort. At least you’ll know what to expect they say. I heard the diagnosis and the prognosis. Trust me, I already know.
And then the welcome hand of death comes, and all you are left with is the cold side of the bed. Only one towel hanging in the bathroom. No need to buy a gallon of milk anymore. I wonder if they will split that package of pork chops, so I can buy just one. It’s time to finally throw out 12 boxes of lime jello. I really detest green jello. Setup the morning coffee for only a half a pot now. Do they make smaller loaves of bread?
Wandering aimlessly through the house, nothing to do and no one to care for. Wondering how to fill your days now. No dressings to change. No medicines to monitor. No temperature to take. No doctors to call. No bed baths. No lying awake all night watching him breathe fearing that each one might be his last… but somehow wishing that it were.
It’s over. He’s gone. The arrangements are made, the family has come and are now gone. And for the first time in 8 weeks you are alone… alone with the deafening silence and the aloneness. More alone than you have ever been in your entire life. Your life was ripped from you and in its place is this black vacuum.
Is that what mourning is? The tears that well up in your eyes when you inhale the faintest whiff of his cologne. When you reach out in the night only to feel his cold pillow and the weeping that comes as you realize that you are now worshipping… alone. Yes I supposed that is exactly what mourning is.
So where does joy come in? The joy comes in the mourning. It comes the knowing that God hasn’t forgotten about you and there is nothing that you did to cause any of this pain.
But what do you pray about at that time. God bring him back… please? But you know that’s just stupid. So what do you pray? The same thing you prayed during the 8 weeks he was sick. “God just help me for the next 5 minutes and we’ll see how I’m doing then. Maybe next week I’ll be able to ask for Your help for the next 10 minutes. Maybe next month I’ll only need to ask for an hour.
So where does my joy come from?
My joy comes from His grace. His patience with my stupid mistakes. His un-ending grace on my life. His continued provisions and blessings. The lessons that He is teaching me daily. That in the quietness of my day I hear Him speaking to me… just to me. His guidance, giving me the ability to share these experiences that He has allowed me to go through. I will forever praise in for these last months.
The alone time. All alone while he was dying, yet never alone as He walked with me, no He carried me, daily – hour by hour – minute by minute.
For His provisions when my resources ran out. My business has collapsed. Finances are gone. The bills are mounting. My car has been repossessed. I am forced to house bound. Praise God for the alone time with Him. For bringing my Godly friends along to pray for me – mentor me – correct me.
For the gentle guidance He sends when I start to do things by my own will. For His confirmation about leaving certain situations. For the prophesy’s given me for my future.
For giving me the quite knowing that He is in total control of it all. In control of my money, my job, my skills, my future,
I am His and He is mine. My life – all that I am is His. I will go where He tells me to go. Do what He tells me to do. Say what He tells me to say.