Three months ago today, I woke up to a world I didn’t recognize. A reality I didn’t choose. A pain I’d never experienced. My precious Gracious was gone from my life as unexpectedly and abruptly as she came into it.
These last months are a bit fuzzy in my mind. My memories of them play like a poorly edited home video, bouncing from one scene to the next. The sound is distant, and the picture is darker than normal. Time is of no consequence in this video reel. The scenes I see replayed in my head could have lasted a few minutes or a few days.
I hear my husband’s anguished voice, telling me she’s gone. I hear my cries of disbelief and confusion. I see my best friend sitting next to us, and I feel the silence of that moment because there are no words to say. I see a group of friends, sitting on the floor of a dimly lit room, holding hands as we cry out to the Lord.
I see food constantly arriving. I see flowers all over the house. I watch as I read card after card from friends and family offering comfort. I listen as I share my grief with my local church at her memorial service. The exhaustion, anger, sorrow, and aimlessness are palpable through the scenes played out at a beach.
I witness my ferocious reading of the bible. I hear my anger as my questions for the Lord are voiced. I see pages and pages of thoughts and feelings poured out on tear-stained paper. I see my tears flowing during worship because I can’t sing the songs I used to love singing. I see the battle for my thoughts played out vividly. My enemy taunting, tempting me to doubt my father.
I hear my friends praying over me. I hear my voice proclaiming what’s true over and over, so I will remember. I see the birds in my backyard and witness peace wash over me, remembering how Jesus told his disciples to “look at the birds of the air” when they were worried (Matthew 6:26).
The scenes scroll on. Some are darker, and some are more hopeful. But as the reel continues to play in my mind, I notice one thing each scene has in common. God. He’s in every moment. The public and private ones alike. The darkest scenes and the most hopeful ones. He’s always there. He never leaves.
My emotions mimic a roller coaster. My circumstances change without warning. But the one thing that never changes is my God. He is constant. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And right now, when my little world feels shaky, this truth about him is life-giving. I need him. I need him to be steady. I cannot put my hope in anything less than my unshakeable God.
May I offer encouragement to you, believer? In whatever circumstances you find yourself, know that he is there, and he is steady. He is not surprised. He knows. He is not distant. He is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). He is not wasting this time, nor is it a mistake. He is working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).
My world has changed. I’ve changed. My marriage, family, plans, desires…all have changed. But God. He is my constant. Today, as I ponder losses and new directions, I praise my father for this simple truth. I can rely on him. I’m not alone. I lack nothing. In my uncertain world, he is certain. All I have needed, his hand has provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.