Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” – Lamentations 3:22-24

Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, knew the meaning of that promise at the core of his being.

Anyone who has suffered the death of a loved one, knows the meaning of it. To feel the jagged waves of gut-wrenching, heart-ripping pain of losing a husband, a wife, a child, a friend.

Anyone who has gone through betrayal by close friends, financial ruin, shattered dreams, accidents and sicknesses that forever altered the course of your life – knows the meaning of this promise too.

How can we still praise in our pain?

Last year, a friend of mine lost her 42-year-old husband to cancer – 8 months after he was diagnosed with it. After 20 years of marriage, she was left a widow with three children in elementary and high school.  This month marks 9 months since her husband died. She agreed to let me share her recent reflections from her CaringBridge site.

God’s refining and comfort are amazing. I am thankful that He is doing both in my life. I have been able to recognize that my biggest dream in life is still there, to grow closer to God each day.

The lie that Satan would want me to believe is that all my dreams are gone. There are many dreams and desires that God has taken away, and it is hard to let go of those. There is comfort in things staying the way they were when my husband was here. But God has a purpose for every thing that He allows.

We are learning what complete surrender looks like. We are also learning to trust God when the path we would like to take is not the path He wants us to walk down. It sounds so easy but it comes to a daily choice to say no to self-pity and bitterness.

A friend and I have a phrase that we text to remind each other…live above your circumstances. That is our reminder that our home is in heaven and all that we desire is there. God will give us the strength and wisdom to walk this road until He calls us home.

I have been studying the story of Ruth and a question in the study asked if I could see evidence of the harvest beginning (Ruth 1:22); the sun rising? Here is what I wrote and the verses that I claimed:

I have never understood what God says when He says to not let your hearts be troubled, and yet I think it is the balance of living in pain while resting in God’s strength. It is peaceful and awful at the same time. It is broken and whole. It is a heart that is ripped out that knows that God is the only way to heal. It is knowing that it will hurt, but I will heal.

I am catching glimpses of the harvest – my wounds are healing. I am seeing things that I could handle before my husband died, that are knocking me over now. But being able to recognize it allows me to turn to God for His wisdom and strength. Emotionally handicapped is how I feel right now and I know that God wants me here so that I can see that He is all that I need. – 1 Peter 1:6-7

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