Forgive me if I hope I never ask that question again, especially to someone who is grieving.
Joni Tada said, “Suffering is the textbook that will teach you who you really are.”
My suffering has revealed painful truths. I am a weak and grieving mom whose mind can’t stop the play, rewind, repeat of guilt, or the mystery and guilt of having peace amidst the pain.
My first honest response, I am struggling was not what I wanted to say, but it was truth. Drowning in regret it wasn’t me. Guilt that I didn’t recognize or research her monthly ibuprofen use, and guilt because I dared to question God. Truthfully I am also trusting. I do have peace that God is in control. If I didn’t truly believe that God alone holds the keys to life and death, I would snap. Well, actually…
I did snap at a loving and gentle friend when he asked me how I was doing. “That is not a good question,” I sobbed. What is a good question, he wondered while comforting me. I pondered that. No questions, I decided. Please, no questions. Just truths.
She was a good woman, She will be greatly missed. I love you. I am praying for you. I am here for you. Focus on the truth.
That was another friend’s response. Only a week prior I’d advised her to fight off the enemy’s lies and to focus on truth. “Focus on the truth,” she repeated, reading back to me the page of truth scriptures I had given her. It made me wonder – was God guiding me to prepare my own counsel when I answered her need the week prior?
I am humbled at that friend’s story and the dozens of stories from others who have also lost a child too suddenly and too soon.
I remember God opening my heart to how much He loved me through an incident with Laurie. I wonder at our other daughter’s peace when God allowed her son to die. I wonder at God’s feeling when his son hung on the cross. He allowed that – for me. Did He also feel the cost was too high?
I wonder at Jesus after losing his best friend John, escaping to grieve, and being greeted by crowds wanting him to do for them, what he was not permitted to do for John. I wonder at Job, experiencing the loss of all his children. I wonder how those who do not believe can bear such loss.
And I wonder at the peace I have, despite the pain.
You all have incredibly poured into me this past week. I thank you for the many acts of love and mercy and prayer.