When did it get to be September?
This is the month, a year ago, of Mom’s long hospital stay after her big “event” (heart attack, several TIA’s, whatever else they were or weren’t able to ascertain that she’d suffered). A year since I attempted to bring her back and care for her at home again, then gave up … yes, it still feels like that. A year since the close of that last, precious summer with her, mid-May to late August, and the memory still haunts me of how the exhaustion eroded the edges of my gratitude for that time.
We aren’t supposed to waste time angsting over our failures any more than we should linger over our accomplishments … “one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead” … but sometimes the guilt and questions and insecurities swamp us.
I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
It grows old because of all my enemies.
And the grieving is a palpable, physical thing sometimes.
God never leaves us, I know this. I know. And He doesn’t abandon us to our grief and guilt—but the deliverance isn’t always immediate. In fact, it rarely is. And I find myself thinking about that lately, what it looks like when “My grace is sufficient for you” doesn’t mean deliverance at all (Paul’s thorn in the flesh or the heroes of the faith referred to in Hebrews 11) but instead is the searing core inside that shoves us from one aching, weary step to another on this journey.
The month hasn’t been completely without consolation, though. Another budding branch of the family has come to visit, then sent on their way after a wonderful week. Leaving us with another layer of mourning.
Sometimes I feel like life is nothing but layers of mourning.
And then, today, I was reminded of this verse:
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
Just as we look forward to the next time we’ll see our older kids—the occasion of a wedding—there’s another reunion coming, the ultimate in family reunions with all who believe in Christ. The ultimate wedding, when we join our Redeemer and Lord, the One who shed His own blood for us. And then, as I said elsewhere, there will be no more pain, no more misunderstandings, no more worrying about appearance or performance, no more sorrow or separations.
And I, for one, cannot wait.