"Grief is very personal and unique to every individual. In my experience as well as working with others, I have learned that there is no specific time table to healing. Losing Jim was like being in a horrific accident where I lost my arm and leg. I felt paralyzed and overwhelmed by pain. Healing came slowly, very slowly. Emotionally, I felt like I was functioning from a hospital bed, and then a wheelchair. There has been specific times that the LORD did significant healing within me over the last almost 11years. Most recently, the LORD has brought a profound healing deep in my heart. I feel as if I have finally graduated from physical therapy with prosthetic limbs and I am able to walk again. I feel that the LORD and I can hike together now toward something special up ahead. I don't know what it is, but I know the LORD is good and He knows best."
I recently share the above in our family newsletter. As I walked in the silent snow this evening, a realized I am waiting. Part of me is anxiously waiting for what the Lord will do next, the other part is fearfully waiting for the pain to return.....am I really healed?
I see couples holding hands, especially elderly couples, and I smile instead of feeling a twinge of pain. I celebrated our anniversary with rejoicing over my adult nephew being baptized, no twinge of pain that day either. More heart checks: Two boys' birthdays....no twinge. Thanksgiving...no twinge. Christmas is coming.....nothing yet. Hear about some people's loved ones passing on. I pray with understanding, but don't get sucked into a grief wave. I stand amazed and tremble.
Winter is here and that usually means dark clouds come with dread as the cold creeps in. It has been like that for ten years now. That is what I am used. Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb.....each month had certain grief days, some times quiet with silent tears, some times feeling hollow and alone, some times just making myself put one foot in front of the other. Finally March brings spring and as the cold leaves so do the clouds in my soul.
But this year is different, I have felt a inner joy and freedom that I can not explain. I know that my heart is fearful that it won't last. Am I really healed? I think of all the people Jesus healed and I wonder....did the man with leprosy check his skin every day in the sunlight for weeks just to inspect for signs of its returning? Did the lame women carefully stretch her legs each morning to make sure they still worked? Did Martha check on Lazarus in the middle of the night to make sure she wasn't dreaming, that he was really alive again?
I know in my head my fearful waiting is a lack of faith, a work of unbelief in my heart. So many years ago, God told me this would happen. Psalm 147:3 "He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds." The LORD spoke specifically to my bleeding heart one night, "You won't always hurt like this." At the time, the thought was unbelievable. The pain was so intense I could not believe I wasn't dying from how excruciating it was. But I clung to this verse of hope, that it wasn't always going to hurt like that. The LORD was right. It took time, lots of time. 3 years in I could breathe better, 4 yrs in a painful outpouring followed by significant healing, 5 yrs in the pain dulled some, 6 yrs in He answered some questions, 7 years in a second great outpouring of pain followed by a gentle healing again, the next three years steady steps in healing with occasional set backs. This summer feeling like I was on the rim of an overwhelming canyon. Then this fall...some precious, precious time with my Lord. Just seeking His face in intense prayer and reading His word. Oh, how He spoke to my heart.
He spoke and God created light. Creation was spoken into existence, except man, He was more hands-on with man. But if I can believe He spoke and created this world and universe, why do I stand in doubt of His great healing on my heart?
Another verse God shared with me years ago is Mark 5:36 "Be not afraid, only believe." Jesus spoke these words to a grief-stricken father. Another father who brought Jesus his ailing son was told to believe. The father cried out, "I believe, help mine unbelief."
So that is me tonight. Lord, I believe You have done a great healing in my heart and that the pain isn't going to come back and pounce on me. But please help my unbelief that fearfully waits for the pain to creep up on me when I least expect it and to snatch away the joy I feel in my soul.
With trembling heart, I choose to believe.