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”This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24 NKJV
I’ll be honest, the past few months it has been a struggle to make it through the day without losing my temper, crying, or both. I’ve gone inward in my grief, and tried to shut out the world.
So far, in my darkened room this month, I’ve watched the first 4 seasons of Criminal Minds on Netflix.
When you are sad and depressed, Criminal Minds is probably not the show to binge watch, FYI.
I had just begun to process life without my Dad, when my Nana was diagnosed with lung cancer in January. Then I lost both her and my Papa in March. It sucks.
I love them. I enjoyed spending time with them. They were my people.
On top of that my grandparents were my security blanket in a lot of ways. Their home was always a safety zone for me. I lived there when I was a baby, spent summers there as a child, and lived there when I was unemployed.
It was my home base. I was there with my cousins for every holiday beginning with Papa Day (St. Patrick’s Day), ending with Christmas, and every random one in between. If life sucked I could go there and be safe. I went there on sunny summer days to play Scrabble with Nana on the Deck. I went there before blizzards to make sure they had what they needed. I went there just to hug them.
I not only lost my people, I lost my home.
Normally their house was where I went when life belted me, and now in the hardest loss I’ve ever faced, I can’t go where I’ve always gone for comfort.
I know I’m supposed to be comforted by Holy Spirit, and I am. If I didnt have Him, I wouldn’t have been capable of being there for them in their last days. I would have been weeping constantly and been of zero use to anyone. He is amazing. I still feel His presence and have the peace Jesus brings. But I still feel blah about life right now.
I don’t know how to move forward.
I don’t want to accept the new normal.
I want to sit in my darkened room and watch Criminal Minds.
I don’t want to miss them every day.
I don’t want to feel how much this hurts.
I don’t want to think about them not being at future events.
I don’t want my heart to hurt because it’s 4th of July weekend and there will be no cookout. There will not be hide and seek with my cousin’s kiddos in the back yard. The back yard is blooming with her flowers but she is not there. His yard has been mowed but not by him.
Death sucks. I’m so glad Jesus beat the crap out of death and was resurrected. I’m so glad Jesus is alive! Because it means I will see my people again…and they will be happy and healthy and free.
But it doesn’t change that I need to feel the feelings and deal with the waves of grief that are drowning me in sadness. Even though I don’t really know how to move forward, and I’m not sure I want to…I know I need to.
They loved me and would hate that I’m so sad that I’m wasting their favorite sunshine filled days in a darkened room.
I have no regrets. I was there with them when they left this world. That was a gift. I spent consistent time with them when I had them here. That was also a gift.
I could go on here about how sad I am right now and how many times I broke down crying while typing this…but that isn’t the point I want to make.
The point is that I will miss them forever at every event. That will not change.
I need to choose to feel those feelings and choose to deal with them. I need to choose continue to live my life, instead of choosing to hide out. I need to choose joy. Because the joy of the Lord is my strength. And I need that strength to get through this time.
Point to ponder while you wander…
“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24
I believe that each day is a gift. Living this belief is a choice. Being determined to declare that no matter what this day brings I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. #joyisstrength
“Listen Your watchmen lift their voices; together they shout for joy! When the Lord returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.” Isaiah 52:8
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
Waiting for something from the Lord is not like waiting for a doctor appointment or even for the weekend to get here.
Isaiah 52 says that the watchmen were shouting for joy while they were waiting and watching. That’s how we should be waiting.
“But Jill, it’s been a month. A week. A year. A decade.” I hear you, believe me! But think about this: Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for Isaac. Caleb and Joshua waited 40 years in the desert to enter the Promised Land. I received a promise from God 10 years ago. I’m still waiting too.
We can choose to cross our arms and pout OR we can do what the Word says and rejoice while we wait! Hope is a confident and joyful expectation of good. Are you expecting good? What are you speaking? Choose to speak the Word over your situation. Pray scripture over your situation and believe God.
Then use your faith and start praising and thanking Him for the victory BEFORE you actually see it. Seeing it happen is actually the reward of your active faith. See Hebrews 11:6.
Look I know it’s hard to speak joyfully over a lingering sickness. I know it’s hard to believe when the circumstances look bleak. I have my days where I want to throw in the towel on situations. But those moments are the very ones that Hebrews 11:6 and Isaiah 52:8 are referring to. In those moments, choose to thank Him. Choose to praise Him. And choose to believe.
What’s the alternative? Complaining and murmuring? Waste of time; see Numbers 11:1 and Exodus chapters 16-17. Giving up? Then what? You want to wait all that time just to quit and die in the desert? Waste of time; see Numbers 14:34, 32:13, Deuteronomy 2:7, 8:2-4 and Joshua 5:6. You want to do it your own way? Waste of time; see I Samuel 13.
Consider this: The only difference between the generation who died in the desert and Caleb is that Caleb believed God.
“Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.” Joshua 14:6-12
You’re going to wait no matter what. God’s timing is God’s timing. He is always on time, never early and never late. He has very specific reasons why He does things when He does. Maybe you’re not ready for what you’ve asked for. Maybe there are things in your heart that need to be worked out. Maybe He’s using your situation to teach others and allowing you to have an amazing testimony. He’s a good God, so why not choose to rejoice while you wait? Happy Friday!
(Scripture from the NKJV today)