Disclaimer: This post is going to fall into the "written more for me than you" category because I need the reminder of where I was, where I am, and where I'm going.
|my all-time favorite picture, taken just a few months before|
we went back into the hospital for the last time
It's been four years today since Joel went to be with Jesus. I can remember the pain I felt the day Joel died. It's indescribable. On a day when I felt like my world was collapsing on me, I reached for God and He was quiet. I waited in the weeks after for a sense of peace, of relief, of hope, of love... and I felt nothing. So I did something that quite possibly goes against every Christian doctrine: I asked God to leave me alone. Don't pursue me, don't talk to me, don't touch me. And while I know full-well He never left, He did what I asked.
In the video I posted yesterday, John talks about God's
willingness desire to love us through mess, through difficulty and through resentment, and how He's not offended by our anger and frustration. Oh my.
About a month ago, while in one of my many moments of why these past four years, I finally heard an answer: Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed. I couldn't remember what verse it was or the context of it, but I couldn't get it out of my mind my entire work day. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed. We are not consumed.
When I got home that night I found the verse (thanks, Google): Lamentations 3:22. Now the whole book of Lamentations is all whining, a skill I have fine-tuned my 27 years on this earth. But the writer quits whining for a solid five verses (21-26) to focus on the goodness of God. Then these jumped out at me: 28 Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust- there may yet be hope.... For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
But there's more.
But there's more.
When I looked up the verse in my little bible, the one that carry with me every day, the bookmark in my bible was on Lamentations 3:22. So there it was, sitting waiting for me for who knows how long.
I was so broken when Joel died. So broken. But I was not consumed. My family was not consumed. We are here on the other side. Not without pain, not without scars, but we have not been consumed. Because of His great love for us.
My prayer for you today (and for myself, continuously) is that whatever situation you find yourself in, whether it be grief or pain or anger or waiting, that you come to understand 'how wide and long and high and deep is the love of God.'
Joel, my little bug- I love you so much but I know it's nothing compared to how He loves us. I miss you and can't wait to see you again.