I said on Sunday that I was going to write and update. 🙂 I didn’t, and a friend reminded me tonight that she had been waiting to see what I was going to say. She got the verbal update but I might as well write down what I would have written on Sunday, had there been the time.
I woke up really early on Sunday morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I knew the Lord was drawing me to go and spend some time with him so I went outside to the trampoline with my bible and my journal. I started reading from Lamentations 3…you know…that well-known scripture that says:
This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.
It is a verse I always quote to friends who are going through a tough time. I always thought it was a very encouraging verse (and it is). But for me, on Sunday, I felt as hopeless as they come and could not see the mercy of God in my situation. Despite what the verse said, I felt consumed.
All I could see before me was a life without my precious little Jenna, a life filled with pain and longing and unfulfilled dreams and wishes. But it wasn’t only having Jenna here with us and having a little girly-girl to spice up our lives that was an unfulfilled dream. I could handle being without Jenna if I knew her death counted for something in my life. I want so much of God, I want to be consumed by him. Yet all I could see was the same old patterns, the same old Sumi, with no evidence of any lasting change in my life yet. It was beyond discouraging…I felt utterly hopeless.
To lose Jenna, and not grow from it, is my biggest fear and would be a greater tragedy than her leaving us all-too-soon.
As i thought about how lonely this road of grief is, I was reminded of a teaching my pastor gave not too long ago on ‘The Principle of Aloneness’. He mentioned the scripture in Isaiah 51:2:
Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Abraham had to leave everything he held dear and follow God completely. He had to embrace an aloneness, a set-apartness that he couldn’t find in the midst of his family, his culture, or his friends in Ur. But because he went out on a limb with God like that, he was blessed, and God was able to add things to his life and his character he never would have received otherwise. I was encouraged that in this alone-place God will comfort (the hebrew word there means to sigh or breathe over) and cause my wilderness to become the garden of the Lord, a place of joy and singing.
Further on in the same chapter, it is written that: He hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over… Some of you may have read the post I made on ‘the deep’ about a year ago. It is one of my favorite posts ever and still speaks truth to me today.
The word ‘deep’ is described in Strong’s Concordance as an abyss or subterranean water supply, but it comes from a root word that means to agitate greatly, cause an uproar, destroy, put in commotion, disturb, consume, crush, discomfort.
It is a paradox, but God is able to use this very place where I am so crushed, so discomforted, where my soul is in such an agitated uproar, as a means of bringing his salvation to me. It can become the very thing that helps me to cross over from this place I have been stuck in so long, to the deliverance that waits on the other side. As I cry out to Him and pour out my heart to him and seek his face in the middle of this horrific mess, he meets me, like he did on Sunday morning. And in meeting him like that I am one step closer, going from (a little bit of) strength to (a little bit more) strength, and from glory to glory.
My hope is that my ‘depths’ might even become a way for others to pass over…that as I come through this I will be able to minister to others who are facing ‘depths’ of their own and show them the way across.
Sooo…God gave me new hope on Sunday. I could put my chin up because he told me I was going to make it in the long term. A day will come when Jenna’s death won’t just seem like a tragic, horrible waste. It will bring forth his glory, and I will live to see it.
My mother’s day was much better than I had expected. The days preceding it were actually much worse. People rallied around me and loved on me and most of all Jesus had ministered to me and given me my hope back. Isn’t he faithful?