In the wilderness
Life is romance, life is tragic and suffering is inevitable and it feels like a wilderness. You may not have lost someone but you might have lost a career, a friendship, family, business or finance so you understand the feeling of suffering.
When my husband passed away my son and daughter in law brought a few of my grandchildren to the viewing. As much as some of us might think that is wrong, it was right for them because they were able to walk through their grieving and still do at moments. They know where their poppa went. My grandaughter Elizabeth hit me at my core last week when she said, “Does he ever think about me?” Does he ever think about you? What a question, how to answer those big chocolate brown eyes full of tears and I had to be honest and say, ” I don’t know.” She began to describe her feelings to me and we both cried but she is facing the truth. He is not coming back. That is very hard for me but it is refreshing to walk with her through such a sad season.
The best advice I have heard with all the books, all the suffering advice (which I love and appreciate) was to not make any major decisions the first year. I have to admit sometimes I had thoughts that were entirely different than I think today. You feel like you need someone or something to fill a hole when the Lord wants that place and others don’t want you to suffer either so they try to fill the hole. The Lord put me in this place, He sent me into the desert, I did not choose it so now I know this is His will.
It seems dry, quiet and lonely. The place where we can be assaulted by one temptation after another. We look for trees, tempted to not trust the Lord, fear of the unknown and tempted to take things into our own hands.
Those of us who have lost spouses, it is a strange place to be. I am no longer a wife, no longer a pastors wife, I closed down the one thing that I loved and kept me extremely busy, the community outreach so then the temptation is to ask who am I? Am I anything or anyone? I am a mother and a grandmother but there is still that age old issue of I want to be someone else. Why do I do that? Why! The answer is my identity is in Jesus Christ and Christ alone. Not position, not placement, not money not anything. Christ alone.
Psalm 23 reminds me that He makes me lie down, He leads me beside the still waters, He restores my soul, then He leads me again and although this desert seems quiet, He reminds me that I am walking through even if it feels like I’m not moving.
I have loved the season I was in. I have grown tremendously through that time, and now I will grow in a different way while I wait on the Lord and remember that I have wonderful children and grandchildren, a home and many friends but most of all I have the Lord and peace that there is an end to the wilderness and I will treasure this time and look forward to the next season.