Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

Grief – In Progress July 24, 2009

Filed under: Books,Faith,Grief,Kids — Lori @ 1:01 am

Events like Kira’s accident in April are always eye openers, aren’t they?  Those situations always get you thinking about serious things – or at least they should!

I sat in the ER holding Kira’s hand and talking to her, trying to get her to respond to me and wondering if we might lose her.  It turned out to be just a concussion, but I had no idea at the time.  My mind went back to another day when the life drained away from one of my children and there was absolutely nothing that I could do to stop it.  Nothing that anyone could do to stop it.  I sat there that night wondering if God was going to ask me to trust Him that way again and I doubted I would be able to.  It was a scary moment.

We experienced God’s mercy that night with Kira.  But, I have to say very explicitly that we experienced God’s mercy tremendously on a Monday night in July almost three years ago (and every day since).  God’s mercy doesn’t depend on the outcome of our circumstances on earth.  Sometimes it feels that way because the outcome isn’t what we would have hoped for.  But, that doesn’t change Who God is.

I wonder what God was trying to teach me with Kira’s accident?  I have plenty to learn, unfortunately.  I learned once again that I have no control over this life.  Why do I always think that I do?  “Why do I want to have control?” should be a better question.  🙂  I have been struggling with trust.  I feel like God is stretching that part of me more and more.  I assume that He is trying to grow me in that area and, let me tell you, it isn’t comfortable.

Sitting there feeling similar feelings to when Grant died, it just brought back all those thoughts and feelings I have felt since then and that isn’t an easy place to be.

I keep waiting for life to feel like it used to.  I read a blog post today that resonated with me.  I read what she had to say and I could completely relate.  There is this realization that I am not the same person I was before Grant died.  When I look at the ocean, or a mountain, or trees, or a beautiful flower, I don’t just enjoy it for it’s own beauty like I used to.  I am not really sure how to explain this.  I feel jaded.  I feel a bit numb.  I keep wondering when it will wear off.  Will life ever look like it did before?  Will I ever feel like the same person I was before?  Will I ever smile and not feel a sadness underneath it?  Will I ever experience something and not have a painful ache in my heart that Grant isn’t there to share it with us?

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.  I don’t walk around crying all the time and it isn’t that I see creation now and it is meaningless to me.  Rather, I see creation – this present earth – and I long for the new heaven and new earth.  I have learned that this life is not what I should try to hold onto.  I want to live out the days God has appointed for me and fulfill the purpose that He has for me, but I long for heaven and eternity – an end to tears and pain.

I actually know the answer to those questions I posed before.  No, life will never look like it did before.  I am always thinking in terms of something that happened back when my life was normal as opposed to the “after” when nothing has felt normal.  No, I will never again be the same person I was.  That, quite frankly, isn’t a bad thing.  Growth is good.  But, sometimes I really wish that I could “feel” like I did before.  I was more carefree, naive, innocent.

I am almost finished reading a wonderful book entitled “Trusting God” by Jerry Bridges.  The description I read of the book made me want to buy it – I loved his comment on the back cover:  “Why is it easier to obey God than to trust Him?”  That really took me aback.  Here is a synopsis of the book:  “Do you find it easy to trust God—until adversity strikes? When life clouds over, do you suddenly begin to suspect that you only imagined his care for you? Bridges uncovers three essential truths about God: he is completely sovereign; he is infinite in wisdom; and he is perfect in love. Building on these three rocks, Bridges shows how we can learn to trust God, even when we don’t understand what he is doing.”  This is a great book I recommend for any believer!  Mr. Bridges has a wonderful fatherly/pastorly delivery that is very easy to read and it is very Biblical and very practical.

The year Grant died I had chosen Isaiah 26:3,4 as my verse for the year. 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever,  for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

I chose those verses because my daughter needed to have jaw surgery that year due to the negligence of our dentist/orthodontist and it was a burden I was carrying.  I needed to trust God for her safety, but also for the outcome of the surgery.  Little did I know that I would have an even larger reason to lean on and trust the Lord.

But, one reason I chose that verse out of a million verses on trust in the Bible is that it had something for me to do in it.  Aha!  Back to the statement about it being easier to obey than to trust.  I was still trying to be in control.  I was still thinking that I could do something to make myself trust God.

I am in no way discounting the need for us to obey.  If I am to trust God I had better keep my mind stayed on Him and I had better submit my heart and will to His purposes.  There is an aspect of my will or obedience involved.  But, what I didn’t realize at the time and I have come to know is that I can not even align my will with God’s will unless He gives me the grace or ability to do so.

I love that in “Trusting God” Mr. Bridges spends several chapters talking about what God is sovereign over.  We often quip that God is sovereign and how wonderful that attribute is, but do we really understand what it means?

God is in control of life and death.  He is in control of the weather.  He controls the hearts of kings.  Nothing touches me that is not allowed or ordained by Him.  He made me exactly the way that I am.  He allows and uses people with evil intentions to carry out His divine will and purposes.  (Remember Joseph?)

I find that comforting.  Can you imagine a world where just one single thing could happen that was not controlled by God?  I don’t want to live in that world. 

The Lord is teaching me that the way that I trust Him is to let go.  Not be inactive because that is wrong too.  But that I give – repeatedly – my will and all that I am over to His power and leading.  I shouldn’t expect to figure out what He is doing or why it is happening.  I just trust that it is His purpose and that He is in control.

I wish I could say that I have this trust thing all figured out.  It is a daily struggle.  I have to keep going back to Who God is.  Why should I trust Him?  Because He has proven Himself trustworthy.  Is He worthy of my trust?  YES!  He IS worthy!

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