If you read my blog, you know I use it to vent my feelings about this horrible loss my family has experienced. It helps me to put my feelings “out there” for someone to see and feel along with me. It is my virtual way of acting on Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
Oftentimes, though, I forget to disclose the benefits I experience as a result of sharing my sorrowful feelings with you all. It puts me in mind of how we sometimes are as Christians. When we are in need of help, we cry out to our Heavenly Father, like little children, until He lifts us up, gives us His peace, and helps us with whatever our need is. But, like the ten lepers Jesus healed while on His way to Jerusalem in Luke chapter 17, we forget to turn back to the Lord, thank Him and give Him the glory.
Yesterday was a much better day than the days before, thanks in part, to you, my precious friends walking alongside and helping to carry this painful burden. Thank you for reading my thoughts and feelings, for lifting me and my family up to God in prayer, and for sharing your encouraging thoughts and relatable experiences with me. You all contribute to my better days by bearing the yoke with me.
It has always been important to me to be like the one leper who returned to Jesus and thanked Him for healing him. But I oftentimes forget to do just that. I forget to thank God for His presence and His healing touch in my life, and I forget to thank my family and friends for nearly the same thing – your presence in my life and your words that bring courage and healing in the face of this devastating loss and accompanying pain. So, thank you all! I appreciate every one of you.
A few nights ago, after I blogged about how sad I was, trying to decorate and prepare for the upcoming holiday – Christmas – I went to bed still feeling the heaviness and sorrow these days that used to be so special to me bring about now. I closed my eyes, hoping the tears wouldn’t start, and I had a reminder from the Lord that turned my heart and my perception back to Him
Years ago, when our oldest daughter was in those harrowing adolescent days, pushing boundaries, testing the waters, and thinking mom and dad knew nothing, I remember having a conversation with her – probably one of a thousand frustrated, exasperated and slightly frightened conversations with her, as she gave us a run for our money in her teen years! But this one I specifically remember for the short phrase that came out of my mouth (inspired by the Holy Spirit) and grabbed her attention for a moment, changing the atmosphere along with her attitude – at least for a few minutes!
This phrase came to me as I was holding back tears and trying to go to sleep a few nights ago, spoken by the Holy Spirit, I’m certain. He said what I had told my daughter those years ago, and it had the same effect on me as it had on her.
“Remember who you are.”
It caught my attention and arrested my imminent tears in an instant.
“Remember who you are.”
I have a very clear memory of my beautiful daughter’s face when I said those words to her – I saw a flash of astonishment cross her face as she realized she was not remembering who she was, and was acting out of that lack of remembrance. Just as quickly, though, she remembered her age and those pinched lips, set jaw and raised eyebrows returned and we were back to her proving I knew nothing! But all humor aside, I knew she heard me in that one moment and those words penetrated the stubbornness of her heart and helped, eventually, to return to her roots.
A few nights ago, when I heard those words, I heard the Lord reminding me that I am His, and that He is near to the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
After musing on this beautiful truth, that I belong to God and He cares for me, I remembered an old song we used to sing in the cozy, little church Dan and I met each other in some 40 years ago, and I sang it through in my head as I dozed off to sleep. The song is based on Isaiah 61:3.
“He gave me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I am a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that Jesus be glorified.”
I am going to try to remember, more often, who and Whose I am, and what He says is true about me in His Word.
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
“He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”