I went out for coffee recently with a friend, who asked, “Are there still good days and bad days?”
“No, it’s more like there are good moments and bad moments.”
The healing process is such a unique and mystifying path; it’s so vast yet so simple all at the same time. When I compare the state of my heart now to the days after my dad passed, I clearly see the difference time has made. But then, I’ll have a moment where I feel the ache of missing him and the sadness that swells up inside seems to take me over and carry me away for a bit. In that moment, I’m back on the hospital floor, weeping and crying out to God. It’s in those seconds that I’m not so sure I’ve got a grip on this whole healing thing.
Regardless of where I may be in the land of healing, I know where I am with God. I know He still wraps His arms around me and freely pours out the comfort I need, whether it’s a meaningful conversation with a friend or a quiet moment finding rest in Him. There are no words known to man that will ever be able to precisely describe the encounter I have had with God. In the moments where my body was racking with uncontrollable sobs, my soul knew that all was, and would be, well. I’ve walked through deep waters and I’ve come out closer to the cross than I’ve ever been before.
I just finished a book called I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp. The book walks through the valley of losing a loved one. There is one particular passage that really resonated within me:
“Before this happened, I thought I had a strong relationship with God, but I was only in the meadow near the Cross. After it happened, I went to the foot of the cross and stayed there.”
This describes it perfectly. Before my dad passed, I thought I had a strong faith. I had known struggle and had remained obedient to Him. This loss, however, was nothing compared to my previous struggles and it completely tore my heart apart. And the only true remedy was the love of Christ. I ran hard after this love and sought it wholeheartedly. I clung to it as if it were my lifeline. And then, one day, I looked up and I was kneeling before the cross. Here I saw the cross from a whole new perspective.
This new perspective has opened my eyes wider than ever. Where I once only noticed my struggles, I now see those walking around me. Where I once only saw my life, I now see eternity. I would not wish suffering or loss on anyone, but the refinement that has come from it is incomparable to the dark days I’ve experienced. It has propelled me closer to Christ and has further rooted my life in Him.
So while I may still get jumbled up in the waves of healing, I’m still hurtling forward. A new season is upon me and there is an unknown path just ahead. And if I’m being honest, I am very afraid. It’s not something I want to face right now. Frankly, I just want to sit on down and make myself comfy right where I am, refusing to budge. I’ve walked through this valley and I’m climbing back up, but what if God has another valley just ahead? I’m leaving my family this summer for work, but what if they need me here? I’m good at school, I’ve been doing it for the past 17 years, but what if I’m not good at what’s next? These questions have been racing through my mind recently, leading to an upheaval of my peace. Sometimes fighting off these questions and negativity can be a constant battle, but it’s a battle that is fought when confronted with truth. Scripture has been that source of truth for me and the bible is full of stories that fill my heart and remove the doubt in my mind.
And while I like the idea of change, when it comes to the big changes I need some time to adjust. I don’t like to just plunge into the unknown, but instead wade a bit and test the waters first. So, from the questions that keep circulating through my mind to the upcoming changes, the word surrender keeps popping up. I just have to keep surrendering it all. I can cast my anxieties on Him for He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). I know God has orchestrated a future for me and He is always working behind the scenes, even when I can’t see or feel Him. With that being said, I will continue to face my fear and replace it with God’s truth. I will boldly walk forward on this unknown path, continuously surrendering and trusting that Jesus will be with me at every step.