Monday, March 17, 2014

God Gives Power (Isaiah 40:29)

When one of these anniversaries of Tim’s passing rolls around, I want to be in the state of mind that I am celebrating the number of months he has been with Jesus more than I am grieving the number of months I've been without him.

Honestly, I'm not there yet, but I am asking God to bring me to that place; I long to be obedient to His command to be joyful.  He can and will get me there. I am looking forward to it.

My responsibility is to surrender my weaknesses to God.  I am to bring Him my brokenness.  The difficulties of continuing my life without the one I made a marriage covenant with before God are too numerous to count.  God gets that.

Thankfully, I am not living this life by my own might or power.  I am living it by the Spirit of God; and in Him, there is strength!

"'Til death do us part" really happened.  The 19 years went by too quickly; we weren't finished loving each other.  We hadn't seen our children into high school, or through first loves; we don't get to be side-by-side as they select their career choices, or marry their mates; we won't hold hands while we attend those adorable grandchildren's births.  (And trust me, they will be adorable!)

My heartache is being a widow.  Your grief might also be from the loss of a spouse, or it might be from the loss of a parent, a sibling, a close friend, or a precious child.  Broken dreams hurt.  God heals.  He loves.  Our God loves us enough to catch every tear.  He loves us enough to give us the ability to move forward.

He loves us enough to increase our strength.

Sometimes it's tempting to want to stay stuck in one phase of grief or another.  We long to wrap ourselves up warmly in the embrace of denial or depression.  Another anniversary rolls around and we don't have the strength or desire to get out of bed or to make one more decision by ourselves.  Friends, God promises to increase our strength!

If that doesn't put a smile on our faces, what will?  We have a God who cares about us and each stage of grief we endure.  He doesn't tell us to "Suck it up, Buttercup".  He doesn't expect us to find our own way to "get over it".  He understands.

He gives power!

God provides us with the power to process our grief.  His healing comes to each of us in His timing and within His individual will for each one of His children.  He is a personal God!

Whether we like it or not, in God's Word, He repeatedly commands us to be thankful and joyful.  Those commands are not circumstantial.  There are no exceptions listed.

I don't read in 1 Thessalonians
5:16 and 18 to "Be joyful always (unless you've lost someone) and to "give thanks in everything (except grief)".  In the trenches of freshly broken hearts, we are incapable of joy and thanksgiving on our own. (And I use "freshly" as a relative, non-time-sensitive term, as each journey is so unique.)

Herein lays the beauty of our marvelous God.  Let's crawl to God daily until He fills us with the strength and power to stand again.

, "You will fill me with joy in your presence".  He fills us with joy.  Praise God, He fills the emptiness with beauty when we bring it to Him.

Want to know what else we find in the presence of our Savior?  Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us we receive sympathy with our weakness, along with mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.

Thank You Lord, for not leaving us to do this alone.  Thank You that You increase our strength with Your mighty power.  We may not like our circumstances, but we love You.  Your provisions are perfect and You are always good.  Take the ragged edges of our ripped apart hearts and bind them with Your loving kindness.  Fill us with more of You.  May the joy of our Savior penetrate the darkest places and radiate from within us.  Amen.


  1. You know I am one who followed your journey, but do not know you personally. I've posted a couple of times. Proverbs 25:20. Like vinegar on a wound is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. Like a moth in clothing or a worm in wood, sorrow gnaws at the human heart. Ecc. 3 There is a time for everything. When we read "Jesus wept", I do wish it had been written as it is with the original meaning. Jesus wailed, bawled, sobbed his heart out. I encourage you as gently - as I went through this when I was so young - grieve and mourn and wail and sob and God's grace and tender mercies will surround you. You will still get up and be a woman and mother. Give yourself grace to be where you are. With apologies if I am too bold. Blessings fill your life.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Kathryn. No apology necessary, it is never "too bold" to quote the Word of God. There is absolute grace where I am, both from God and from myself. It is beautiful to have Him pouring out His sympathy, mercy and grace onto my children and myself. Our Tim had a magnetic personality, full of humor and joy. As a family, we laughed (hysterically) on a daily basis. God is healing our hearts through joyous laughter....a little more each day. We give ourselves permission to grieve fully. We also give ourselves permission to seek out joy. We know this isn't done through our own strength and we are so very grateful God empowers us and increases our strength. There is no way of knowing when the anniversary will roll around that my heart can be more joyful for Tim than it is sad for us, but I long for God to get me there. It may take months, or years, or decades. I am certainly ecstatic for Tim that he is free from pain and worry and cancer; that he is in the presence of God! I am also still incredibly grieved that he isn't here with me. I wouldn't want him to return to this earth of sin and illness. I simply miss him. And that's okay. God gets it! He isn't rushing me. That is what this post was about. That God isn't telling me to rush through my grief; but at the same time He is giving me power to process it and is increasing my strength to face each new day. He is so very good to us!