Jehovah-Jireh. God provides. He sees the Big picture while I see and feel shattered hearts and dreams. He sees the beginning and end, while I see the here and now. My finite mind cannot begin to comprehend His infinite being. I have to keep my eyes fixed on the cross.
When the ‘what if’s’ come flooding in like a tidal wave of destruction and the ‘should have’s’ won’t seem to subside. When the ‘could have’s’ play in the forefront of my mind like a never ending picture. I have to trust and know that He is in control. He weeps with me. He predestined us all before time, knowing our beginnings and our last days. (Job 14:15) Though my time with Will will never seem like enough; He came and defeated death so that I and we may grieve with hope.
This world is not my home. I can feel displaced some days as I yearn for the eternal place that has been prepared for me, but I know that as long as He puts life into my being, I have a purpose to fulfill. It will look different than anyone else’s and that’s okay because we are all unique and beautiful, knit together by a perfect God. Comparing and sizing myself up to other’s callings and accomplishments won’t gratify or enable me to run and finish my race or fulfill my purpose. There is purpose in my pain… And in yours, too.
I’m learning that storms in life can ultimately quench a weary soul when endured in the right spirit. The realization of how temporary and fleeting this life is, is a special offering from Him to me. I don’t have every question answered, and I don’t need to. That’s faith.
I’m almost nine years into this grief journey, and the reality of God being bigger and greater than this crushing pain is taking up permanent residence in my heart and mind as the years of yearning and grief have perpetuated. The constant ache can establish a desire for heaven that wouldn’t exist without suffering.
Romans 8:28 is a verse that has encouraged me at my darkest hour, a verse that I clung to when nothing made sense. I had it printed on Will’s memorial program for his funeral service and have declared its Promise over our loss since day 1. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
It doesn’t say ‘some things’ or ‘most things,’ my loss isn’t out of the realm or grasp of this promise. So I stored it in my broken heart and frazzled mind, knowing that He would make good on this promise in my life.
I cannot sit here today and claim that Will not being here is ‘good.’ I cannot say that I wouldn’t change what has happened if I could. But I can say that through this suffering I have seen God do and work some pretty miraculous things. He has strengthened me on days that I just couldn’t, and people now know Him who didn’t before. He has used me to help the suffering and poor in spirit, just as He used so many others while I was downcast. That’s what this community is for.
We cannot allow the pain to overshadow the promise. Beauty will rise from the ashes of our broken dreams and we will come alive in the midst of devastation.
Though our losses here seem so concrete and those we love are irreplaceable, it’s not permanent. When despair rears its ugly face, know that there is a hope that can’t be extinguished in Christ.
**This post originally appeared on Scribbles & Crumbs, a community on a mission to unite all who have known suffering [no matter the form] through the common ground of compassion and love. For more stories of people rising from the ashes of suffering, visit OnComingAlive.com.
Patcine McAnaul is the mother of five children, four on earth and one in Heaven. She is the founder of #thewilltochoose ministry that supports bereaved parents with funeral costs as well as selling t-shirts with God’s Promises printed on them. Shirts are also available upon request to donate to bereaved parents. Find her on Instagram.