Yesterday a widow from Florida and I were talking about the question that all of us ask when our husbands die. Why was this his time to die? In the course of our conversation we discussed how God’s ways are not our ways and how muddled God’s ways look to us.
Have you ever looked at the back side of a cross stitch picture? It looks like a jumbled mess of threads and is not something that you’d want to frame much less hang on a wall. We are standing down here on earth looking up at the picture of our lives from the back side and it just doesn’t make sense to us. Not only does it not make any sense, but there are times such as at the deaths of our husband that it looks ugly.
For awhile things looked pretty good, but then the threads start crossing or hanging loose and our life picture starts to look rough.
God created a plan for our lives before we were ever born. He’s looking down at the picture of our life from above. The messed up looking back side doesn’t worry Him or surprise Him at all because He sees how all of those threads are coming together on the top to create something beautiful.
It takes all of the colors of life to create our life story. We don’t like those dark colors because they represent times of sorrow and deep pain and if we had the opportunity to choose what colors God could use to create the picture of our lives, we would choose nothing but bright, happy colors or maybe even the softer, subdued colors. We would throw the dark colors away and never look at them. But, God knows that it’s those dark colors that define those bright colors and make them stand out. It’s in the dark places of our lives that the depths of our souls are illuminated and the person that we really are comes out.
This is where HOPE comes in – the hope that we have through our faith in Jesus Christ. Hope that all the colors that God is using to cross stitch the story of our life are working together for our good to create something more beautiful than we could ever imagine. HOPE that some day when we stand next to our Lord looking down at the story of our life, it won’t look like a jumbled mess or like mistakes had been made. HOPE that our life will finally make sense to us.
Take a look back on your life thus far. Can you see the threads that God has woven together to make you who you are at this very moment? If so, please share with us what you find.
For the last 35 months I have been completely focused on my grief journey. That journey by no means is finished, but I feel that I need to begin to branch out with this blog that I began first of all as a way of healing for me as well as a source of affirmation and encouragement to other widows.
What direction I am to move towards I am not sure, but my heart is open to whatever God shows me. It recently dawned on me that God has become my very best friend. He’s totally understanding of all of the emotions that I am feeling at any given time and is without judgment. I can just be ME with Him. There is no pretense or need to be what I might think that anyone else desires me to be. I find that to be very freeing.
I have found myself slowing down as I am trying to simply be aware of living out each and every moment seeing it as not only a gift from God, but an opportunity to be who and what He wants me to be in that given second. That’s not how I have lived the first 60 years of my life and I cannot help but wonder about all that I have missed.
Living in the moment takes a conscious effort and a serious awareness. There’s no doubt in my mind that it is something I will have to often remind myself to do. I realize that because my life so drastically changed after the deaths of my husband and both of my parents, I want this unwelcome and totally unplanned season to be even better than it was. I cannot even imagine how that is even possible, but if I am to believe that God can work all things – even the bad things – for my good, then it is a given.
Every second of my existence is an opportunity to open myself up to God., It’s an opportunity to not only let myself be filled up, but to be drawn into the limitless love of God. Any moment of the day can be a place where I can know God more intimately and see Him working in either my life or in the life of someone else.
My relationship with God has definitely changed. It’s as if I am starting all over with Him. I have never doubted my salvation and I’m even more sure that heaven is my eternal destination. But I am moving God slowly but surely into His rightful place. Like my husband Bob kept saying those last few months of his life as he prayed aloud, “It’s all about You, God. It’s ALL about YOU.”
So as I am becoming more of who God has planned for me to be and as the Holy Spirit shares things He wants me to know, I will share with you what I am learning. It may be every day. It may be every few days. Or it may be once a week. I just know that there is more to life than this grief and it’s time to move towards that “more”.
I would like to hear from you what God is showing you no matter where you are in your own grief journey because I know that I am not the only widow He is either carrying or walking beside.
Psalm 38:4 “Open your mouth and taste (use all of your senses), open your eyes and see (perceive, recognize, discern, & understand) —
how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him (who puts their trust, confidence, and hope in God.)
God called my husband to come up higher. Now, as a widow, God has called me to taste and see that He is good.
As I look back on my life, I am easily able to taste and see that the Lord has been very good to me. Perhaps this is what is meant in the saying of their being joy in the midst of sorrow. There’s the joy of all of the wonderful memories that I have, yet now there is sorrow that there will be no new memories made with my husband.
During the early years of grief, however, the goodness of God is harder to see. But this is my purpose now – to open my mouth and taste; open my eyes and see just how good God is. The only way I can do this is to put my trust, confidence and complete hope in God. Hard? Yes! But, what do I have to lose? Most importantly, what do I have to gain by doing this!
I will be offline for a little while. So, there will be no daily blog posts from Reflections From My Porch Swing.
“What I go through brings what is already within me out. There is no life story without conflict and this is so hard for us to accept.” Devon Franklin