Saturday, January 18, 2014

This Year: More Love

Last week in church the pastor challenged us to ask God for a "verse of the year." Odd thing was, I already had one. Very odd for me to be one step ahead of the pastor, lol! Just one of those affirmations from the Lord though, which we find when we need them.

And then, feeling a little discouraged and burdened for widows who repeat over, and over, and over I want my old life back, I noticed a note in the piles on my messy desk. I was surprised to read these words from a widow-- "...I remember saying to God, through my tears, Lord, I still love you and I love you even more."

Her prayer to God was a message to me, too---why wish for the old life when God offers more love? That's sort of the journey I'm on this year with my "verse of the year," my jar, and what I'm tracking in my personal journal. And for widows who struggle with wanting the old? I don't judge them, my heart hurts along with them.

I understand that desire. There are moments I still battle it myself. For while those thoughts and feelings--that deep yearning-- can be a part of grief, like any desire it can also become a dangerous and addictive idol and temptation. It's a spiritual battle. Everybody struggles with something. Some people battle lust, or drink, or envy, or gluttony, or lying...

But there comes a point when we can't blame grief anymore. I know this for myself that if I begin to focus on unfulfilled desires, refusing life in the here and now, it's like telling God he's not enough. I don't need him. Instead, I need __________---filling in the blank with what ever or whom ever that desire might be.

Following Jesus is a daily, moment by moment, step by step walk. Even today, even though I'm remarried and it was way back on 2000 when Bruce died, I can still choose to fall back to a litany of if only Bruce were still here, if only my kids still had their dad, if only this, and this, and this had or had not happened. But you know what? Those are torturous and hurtful thoughts, like fire. When they come to me, this year especially, I'm going to choose love instead. More love. Won't you join me?



Ephesians 5:2 ...live a life of love...

7 comments:

  1. How did you know this was just what I needed to hear this morning?! Thank you.

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  2. Ah, are you going to choose it or has it already been chosen for you? This sin, this brokenness, is precisely why God became man and died and rose again defeating death. Christ has overcome sin, including our sin of feeling like our current circumstances are not enough. Thank you, Jesus, for the forgiveness you continually lavish upon us all. Thank you, Jesus, for choosing me.

    And thank you, Ferree, for encouraging.
    Rhonda

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  3. The 'if onlys' only serve to drag us down. Been there,done that. I know that when I spend too much time longing for what is no more,I feel really down,but when I take a few moments to praise God for what i still have and what I have now,I feel better and can go about my day with joy in my heart.

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  4. Powerful blog post, Ferree! It is so easy to forget that there were trials and problems when our husbands were alive as well. Yet our loving Lord loves us and never fails us. He alone has to be our all.

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  5. Thank you Ferree. This post makes one think about what the Lord has done for us whether in the storms of life or not. I would caution, though, that those who may have been on this road longer than others or who have been able to overcome easier or faster, be sensitive to those who are still grieving, no matter what the time limit. I don't believe grief ends. I do believe it subsides, with occasional flare ups. Sometimes I feel there is, even in "widowland", an impatience in the healing process of someone else, that our faith may be perceived as not strong enough. I will always, ALWAYS be grateful to the Lord for ALL He has done for me and what He has taken me through and that I WILL see my beloved again. I know he is not coming back and he is with Jesus, AMEN!! BUT, I do still miss my husband and I do still wish he were here and I still do wonder what it would be like if he didn't leave, and you know, that is o.k. as long as I am depending on God for the grace to keep going without my dear one.

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  6. The Lord fought all battles with Love.

    a petition to the widow's God...

    Since it is your sentence I should part
    With the most precious possession of my heart
    With your grace I freely resign,
    My heart I yield to be completely thine
    Death came and for awhile my courage died
    But greater than death is your grace supplied
    You O'Lord left true bliss above,
    Emptied yourself of all but love,
    So for now dear Lord I bid my
    precious husband adieu . . .
    believing your promises to make
    all things new. ....


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  7. I'd like to thank each of you for your comments, they spoke volumes of God's mysterious holiness, goodness and faithful love during such grief. I have such respect for you all....

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