by Sherry Bitler
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NSV
I DON’T WANT TO GO!!!
I AM NOT GOING!
I MEAN IT!
My silent emotional tantrum, still cracks loud and real, and causes my body to shudder.
If I go to this memorial service, then that means she is really gone.
If I go to this memorial service, then the hole in my heart is reality.
If I go to this memorial service, I witness the heartbreak piercing her husband.
But, of course, I AM going. She is one of my closest friends, for over 20 years now.
I peruse the closet for something to wear. I can feel every emotion as I am getting ready to go, the moment is surreal.
DIDN’T MY BODY HEAR MY SOUL? IT IS UGLY. IT IS NOT TRUE.
The sanctuary is full. The lines of people steady. The music is stately and formal. The message is Gospel-centered. Her life certainly reflected her love for the Gospel story.
People I haven’t seen for a while greet me with hugs and comfort. I feel myself responding, but it all slides off, nothing offers the peace I long to experience.
I just want to go home. I want to curl up on the couch, cuddle in a blanket, and turn on the TV, so I can just get lost, staring at nonsense.
This is how I feel, but not what I know to be true, not what I believe and not what I trust in. Please, Lord, shout your truth to me. She is with Jesus and like Jesus. There is no more pain for her. My dear friend is happy, celebrating in His arms. A perfect happiness, a perfect peace, a perfect joy, and I want that for her, I really do. One day I will see her again. We will celebrate together and time will stand still. Her favorite verse, staring at me from the memorial service bulletin, comforts me:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Emotion can be so very gripping. This day was very painful and the little girl in me just wanted it to be a dream, not my reality. We all have times like this as we continue to live in this broken world.
When I give myself permission to embrace the emotion with what I know, rather than just what I feel, I am more successful. Realizing that others may feel the same way, I often look for someone who needs a hug, a smile, or a gentle touch. Giving what I need to others, often seems to be the best way to calm my own hurting heart.
Lord, it feels like she left too soon. Take my focus off my loss, my sadness. Help me to revel in all the wonderful memories and the many ways her friendship led me to run to You. I know that she would want me to celebrate rather than grieve. Please help me to follow her example, to be an encouragement and comfort to others, and to be living gratefully.
Sherry Bitler is the founder of a local traditional Christian School, a home school cooperative school, and a summer program for children at a popular Christian Conference Center. She is spiritual mother to hundreds of young women. Challenged by her daughter-in-law, she began writing a blog, The Grateful Grammie, several years ago as part of her legacy to her grandchildren. She loves time with her husband of 47 years, their four children, their spouses, and twelve grandchildren. Sherry shares more about living with Multiple Sclerosis in this interview: When MS is Your Constant Companion.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview “Divorce – One Woman’s Story" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
In this transparent interview, Patti shares her shock and pain when her husband divorced her. Listeners will hear how she told her children and helped them deal with their own broken hearts, found the right attorney, processed the deceit and betrayal and learned how to forgive.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.