Sunday, January 8, 2012

If the Lord is present, so is HOPE

Yesterday two life-long friends came to visit. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt. I can't tell you how good it felt to wake up during the night to sore abs--not from crying or a serious workout (um...no)...but from laughter. Thank You, Lord.

We went to church today mainly because my kids begged me to go. It's amazing to hear their requests--to want to go to church over watching (another) Veggie Tales video or a trip to the donut store. I did alright as we walked in and even as we started to sing. Then the lump in my throat grew as I read the words on the screen:

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of
Jesus.

Oh Lord I feel so weak and tiny, (not in the way we girls like to feel tiny,) but small and broken. There is a void in my house, a huge void that even the most well-meaning people can't fill. Sean is gone. The worst kind of gone too-the kind you didn't get to say goodbye to. The kind you didn't get a say in even though your lives are intertwined in every way. So there is a void. Something missing, something I fight the urge to fill just so it won't be so painful to look at. I know the truth-that Sean is in heaven with Jesus and feeling no more sadness or pain. I know that he is whole and feeling nothing but the love and joy of being with God Himself. This does bring me comfort because I love him. The knowledge is there and though there's a mighty big gap between what I know and what I feel, I'm glad I have the Truth to go back to.

But.

Normal life is missing. Normal schedules, (mostly set up by Sean, let's just be honest) are missing. Thankfully hope isn't. I flipped through my Bible tonight and of course found something immediately helpful. It's from my Soul Care Bible, which is a Bible full of key passages relating to the struggles we face with... well...struggles. The things people fear most or succumb to most easily, and in this case, this passage is about despair.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
The Other Side of Despair

The word hopeless has no place in a believer's vocabulary. If the Lord is present, so is hope. God's Word offers hope:

*Regardless of how dark or desperate a situation seems, hope abides (1 Corinth 13:13) This means we should hold tightly to our hope.

*Our hope is anchored in Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:15,16); thus it is able to withstand any attack.

*Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom 8: 38,39) and the hope He brings. Any problem, situation, or affliction we face pales in comparison with the power of the Lord who can help us overcome it.

We must learn to look beyond our immediate circumstances, beyond the worry and despair that so easily grip us, and toward the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. That light is the hope that God gives us in His Word. That hope, that confident expectation, can carry us through.

(SoulCare Bible, Key Passage)

I'm still not doing well at responding to calls or texts. I'm sorry. I know y'all understand but I want you to know that I do read what you write and feel comforted and loved. Thank you.

5 comments:

We Three Smiths + 1 said...

I can't think of any words...you are always, always, always in my thoughts and my prayers. So much love is being sent your way sweet friend.

Julie said...

Beautiful!!

Carley said...

Beautiful words from a strong women with a broken heart. I am proud of you!

ShellBo said...

Mary,
Although you do not know me. I read your blogs and I am inspired. I am so sad for you and your family and my heart and prayers have been with you. I can only say that you can say I will see you soon and not good bye, as You will see him again with Jesus! Praise and thanks to God! I pray that the Holy Spirt continues to fill your life and give you strength to move forward with what ever God has planned for you.

Heather said...

Hope, a "confident expectation"... so true. Thank you for sharing your heart Mary, you have such a way with words. It's a priviledge to read how God is working in your brokenness. I know you could so easily keep it to yourself... So thank you! You are an inspiration.