Monday, December 3, 2012

The tears began to well up in my eyes as I read the words, seemingly ordained specifically for me on this very day:

Do not be surprised by the fiery attacks on your mind.  When you struggle to find Me and to live in My Peace, don't let discouragement set in.  You are engaged in massive warfare, spiritually speaking. {Excerpt from December 3 entry of Jesus Calling, Sara Young}

I have been struggling to find Him, to feel Him, as of late.  I find myself roaming through each day, making it from morning to afternoon to night, going to bed, and doing it all again.  Making it through the first Thanksgiving without her, the first Christmas shopping excursion without her, the first putting up of the tree, the first random Tuesday after Thanksgiving without her... without her.

Seems each day is raw and new, and yet still another day without her, each one filled with a deep silent sadness, ever present but not all together consuming.  I rise above the sadness at various points in the day... laughing at Madalyn and her wittiness, enjoying the purchase of something my David really wants for Christmas, ending the day with entertaining television and conversation with my best friend and husband.  But the silent sadness is there all throughout the day, raining down on my me like black confetti.  At Target as I looked through the girls' clothing department looking at the Holiday outfits for my daughter, knowing that was something that she normally did for her, buying her a cute outfit or dress for the season.  I will most likely not be able to buy her a dress this year... just not sure I can bring myself to do so.  Looking at the Christmas plates and napkins and wondering which ones she would have picked out this year for our annual family dinner.  Having that moment take me completely off guard when I'd like to pick up the phone and call her to tell her about something Madayln has said that I know she would adore.

Those are the moments that play out inside my brain all day long every single day.  Each day is new and fresh, and my heart still relives the pain of losing her all over again.  I don't speak about these moments... I feel they are too sacred, special moments to share with her even though she is gone.  And no one else would understand anyway.  To cry at the sight of paper napkins and plates makes little sense to anyone else but me.

And so I have found myself feeling a little lost.  A little disappointed by grief, discovering that it is not something that ever goes away, not something the gets better if you just dig your feet in an work a little harder.  No, it has filled the space in my heart that she once filled.

And, so, I wonder as I walk through the aisles of my local stores and look in the mall for gifts and plan our holiday activities how many other people walk about with the same Spiritual War going on inside of them.  A battle against grief, against a sadness that can overwhelm our souls if we give way to it.

Let me share another little bit of the same devotion above:

When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon my Name: "Jesus, help me!"  At that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you.

I love the imagery of Jesus fighting for me.  I love knowing that He lived here on earth, the He loved and laughed and lost.  I love knowing that He ultimately conquered death.  I love knowing that He understands me in the deepest part of my soul the way no other person can.

As I read through the verses referenced at the end of the devotion, I was reminded of one of my favorites in Isaiah, one that meant so much to me during the months my mother fought that dreadful disease.  And I will close with those words...

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."  {Isaiah 43:1-3}


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