It has been awhile since I could lift my eyes to read about pain and loss, but today begins a new chapter, so, with one eye closed, I went on a web site for grieving people.
BEFORE (that always means the moment,between my husband’s last breath and silence) when I felt fully alive, it was important to me to be a blessing or to receive one from another person who was reaching out, so I hesitantly clicked the necessary keys as a defiant act of faith in my own resurrection.
After all, the sun came up, I woke up, Jesus owns my life, and I don’t. So, I continue, just as other widows have for millennia.
A member of the site was discussing dreams of their late spouse, so I jumped in to the fray. I wrote….
Each day is not wholly given to gut wrenching, but some days–or weeks, THERE IT IS. Only recently, and it’s been almost 2 years, I have had dreams with my husband in them. Just as you describe, they are not comforting, only sources of deep longing.
So, I say in a loud voice so I can hear myself above the noisy pain, “I am putting the past behind and pressing on toward the mark of the high calling of Jesus!” Usually, this allows me to launch into the rest of the day that stretches in front of me.
A couple of weeks ago though, the grief overcame me as the sun dropped below the horizon and darkness fell. Unable to sit still, my usual respite into Bible study, or even TV was impossible. I began to pace the floor, stomping with every footfall. “Jesus, Jesus, HELP ME” was all I could say, clenching teeth so as not to alarm my housemates.
Exhaustion set in after about an hour, and I heard a quiet voice speak inside me. It was Holy Spirit and He asked, “In your deepest thoughts, what would you like from Me? Don’t be afraid to ask, or think I can’t do.”
“Fine”, I replied testily. I NEED to be hugged. I NEED to FEEL Your joy. I NEED to FEEL your affection. I’ve read about it, over and over. I must FEEL something besides this nagging ache, this black hole of grief that sucks away every hint of peace and joy in living. Can you, a Spirit, do THAT?”
“Well,” Holy Spirit said “Describe for Me the precious moments between you and your husband when you began to feel joy that made the whole world seem rosy. “
Considering for a time, I realized that I had joy when I was deeply in love. Moreover, I fell in love in the hours my husband and I spent simply telling stories about our lives, our selves, or deepest regrets, our fondest hopes, and our dreams. I told Holy Spirit just that.
“So, Holy Spirit replied, ” The intimacy of being IN LOVE was what took the pain of life away and replaced it with joy. Did you know that Jesus deeply wants to spend the same kind of time with you? You’ve read ABOUT Him and His life, since you were a child. It’s time you realized that Jesus is truly a person…..He was present in all of those events and teaching all of those ideas you’ve read about. Moreover, He has heard your cry and has given Me a message for you.”
“Jesus has a message for me?” Now I wasn’t so angry. Humility made me bow my head, quietly.
“Yes, He does.” He’s hoping you’ll invite Him to sit down with you as you read the Word or as you ponder. He wants to tell you what He felt like in those situations in your Bible; what His hopes were, what He felt during those times. And too, He wants to share, back and forth with you: His visions for the future, His life as it is, now, and what He hopes for in your relationship together. He’s a person, not a thing. He’s hoped for this relationship all along, and I can promise you that in His Presence, is fullness of joy, and healing for your broken heart.”
Obviously, this was an invitation that I extended with my next heartbeat! Nothing since that moment has been instantaneous or strictly forward-reaching, to be sure. Especially when I hear a motorcycle rev its engines gleefully, or when I see an RV like the one we shared and planned our retirement in, a pang hits my gut. But I am falling in love again! I look forward to my evening time with Jesus. He’s told me things that are personal and precious.
I am falling in love again, and light is returning. I can feel joy, again.
AniLo (I am His)