Monday, December 9, 2013

What Now?

After the funeral when all the out-of-town relatives have gone home, once the casserole train has ceased, the flowers have wilted, dropped their petals and been tossed in the dumpster, and sympathy cards no longer pile up on the countertop---we begin to realize that the rest of the world is starting back up again---whether we join in or not.

Stop! Stop, stop, stop! Someone punch the rewind button! Let's go back a month, a year, or however long ago it was that life was good, life was "normal." Go back to that time, and skip this nightmare!

But, no. With eyes wide open, we're here, this is life now. Can't check-out, there's no delete button, no rewind, no fast-forward. Now what?

One word: Trust

hmpphh. Some of you would like to slap me for saying that. "So trite, so trivial, so easy for me to say," you think. But I risk repeating it because it's what I heard from a widow of 10 years who has found happiness and deep contentment and fulfillment in that simple word Trust.

I heard her story a while back, and she's a thinker, she's a fighter, stubborn as all get-out. She was sooooo angry when she came home from the hospital ten years ago that she was ready to rip the draperies off the windows!

But with joy on her face she told about clinging to God and how his promises whispered to her heart. Through her despair, the exhaustion of care-giving, the challenges of widowhood, God proved faithful and true. She trusted him.

Here's a good explanation of trust that I copied from a sermon I once heard.
Take inventory: 1) Do I trust God? 2) Can God trust me?
Recognize God as your source
Understand God's principles
Surrender everything to God
Trust God's promises

Trust doesn't come easily to many widows. They feel like their heart was ripped out, and who's to blame? They blame God. A man named Job and many others from Scripture also blamed God. He's in control, He's the Almighty. Yet, after all the emotional and spiritual gymnastics of weighing trusting vs. blaming, we're back to the basic word Trust.

The question is simple: Can we trust God? Sometimes the journey on the way to answering that question is very difficult. But like my stubborn, angry widow friend--- trusting God's Word and believing his promises are true provides strength and direction along the way. It becomes a journey to joy.

What's the answer to What now? The first step is Trust. The next step is Trust. So is the third. And the fourth. Trust in God each step of the way. If that's too hard to imagine, just take one step at a time, one moment, one breath.

I wish you could have seen the joy on her face.


  1. .
    For me the challenge has been to learn to live
    and exist in the present moment. Now Here or No-where.
    Everything is so ultimately different, you don't want to cave
    into those emotions and allow them to take you captive. I'm learning grief is a journey we must go through and learn everything God wants to teach us.
    As you mentioned in your book Ferree "Lean" into the wind and now we must "Lean" into our trust. As we lean upon and into our trust in God's truths - he will surely sail us to our appointed destination. ~

  2. I didn't rip down the curtains, but I did go home and rip certain books out of my bookcase. I'm in the process of rebuilding my trust in God now.

  3. Trust, resting it all with the Lord-sometimes it is a struggle. (At least it is for me.) Yet it is the only way to peace.


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