May 5, 2014

Joy in the Midst of Suffering

Shortly after my husband died someone made the comment that I couldn't have been grieving my loss and be so at peace and happy. I have thought a lot about that comment since. Feeling GRATEFUL that I CAN experience such JOY in the midst of sorrow. Peace when my world as I knew it crumbled around me. A settled assurance when my future seemed so uncertain. 
The day after He died......how GREAT His grace was to me that He showed me all the "little things." I called them #gifts and listed them
one by one.
The time my husband had with his kids.
That our last days were our very best days.
The things we were believing for were answered.
Things that weren't answered now made sense.
Bills/finances/household affairs were in order and lined up almost as if he knew....getting it all ready for me.
The words spoken to me in the months before that would keep my faith anchored in the coming days.
The verses in scripture that had become burned in my spirit that would become life to me in my darkest hours.
The precious years he had with his babies rocking the stay - at - home - dad thing.
That the last I saw him was when he blew me a kiss in the foyer to go out of town.
The things Justin personally was believing for in his spirit....desires of his heart...words spoken over him by his pastors...I got to see them come to pass for him.
Appreciating the time I had WITH him not grieving over the tomorrows without him.
God was piling them up for me .... one by one. My gifts. My evidence. That God was at work.
Even in this.

So I rejoice!!!!
Not IN my grief.
But in SPITE of my grief.
That God knows and always has known the things I don't know. And He sees the things I cannot see.
Knowing such sovereignty. Knowing how MUCH He cared for me that He would see to SO many details........

In that I found peace in the middle of some my greatest heartache. His presence in my darkest days.
Knowing if He cared so much to see to THESE details....would He not already have an idea about tomorrow and how to get me there and sustain me on my way there?
You can HAVE peace smack dab in the middle of a storm!!
You can find JOY surviving tragedy!!
You CAN overcome grief and even "APPRECIATE" (yes, I said appreciate) disappointments, heartache, and trials.

****These moments are some of God's greatest opportunities!!!!****

If you're looking for the #gifts....the evidence that He has not left your side....you'll find them.

REJOICE and be at peace. not BECAUSE of the grief but for what's to come.... Because HE PROMISED HE WILL WORK ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR YOUR GOOD.
The one who can get a hold of THAT Truth in the middle of your darkest day will find JOY not grief.


No.....I am not immune to grief, frustrations, or heartache. 
I've failed miserably. Made mistakes. Sometimes spent days questioning everything I knew about God and myself. Momen
ts that Justin and I struggled. I wondered if God would EVER bring us to a better place in our marriage, in our circumstances. Moments I fought to even hang on. There are moments when I just didn't think Grace could carry me. I could believe and overcome in some of my most desperate moments and then there are moments when I would really struggle and wonder if I could ever feel whole again. Wondering if the grief I felt would be the end of me. 
I've cried hot sometimes ANGRY tears. 
It was in these moments that God held onto me.
"This is what it is when the sacred is torn from your life and you SURVIVE." - Natalie Grant
Grief has a tendency to swoop in at a moment's notice and derail us for a moment. But that's when HE swoops in and carries us, holds onto us and reminds us of His Word. 
You may be surrounded on every side but will never find yourself crushed; you may feel at a loss and unable to find an answer. But you'll never be driven to despair. You may feel pursued but never will you be deserted to stand alone! You may be struck down to the ground, but you will never be struck out and destroyed!!!!!!! (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) You may feel pressed in on every side as if the next wave is the one that's gonna take you under! But take HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...it. will. not. ever. consume. you!!!!!!!
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