I am not an overly emotional female. Oh, over the years I have had my moments. But ask my friends and they will tell you I am a “steady Betty.” They come to me for reasoned, calm advice. I don’t suppress the female side of me, but God gave me the ability to see life in full context, to see potential outcomes, to reason out the pros and cons, to see how His hand works in the big picture of any day as well as in the story of human history. This gift adds balance to my female side ( ever look up the origin of the word ‘hysterical’? ) and enables me to manage my emotions successfully most of the time. Being an introvert, one who processes internally, helps as well. I look like a person in control.
Yesterday, though, was a different story. I have been dreading this week for several months. Wednesday is the second anniversary of my husband’s death from brain cancer. Last year I planned a vacation for this week and was in beautiful Florida with many distractions and new visual images to help me block out the memories. This year I couldn’t think of any place to go. In fact, it seemed God was encouraging me to stay close to home. I have been fairly successful this summer at keeping the memories of my husband’s last few weeks where I want them. They serve no good purpose and tend to paralyze me mentally and emotionally. I am all about forward movement in life right now and I have no patience for anything holding me back.
Yesterday, I woke up feeling okay. I fixed my breakfast, sat down to eat and began to pray. And the dam burst. There was no warning, no stopping it, no getting out of its path. One advantage to living alone is no one sees these moments, no one’s eyes reflect back to me how truly devastating they are. But, there is no one to hold me, either. Just me and God. I prayed and so wanted God to take control, to deliver me. I wanted to know His urging, His path for getting me out of this flood that threatened to drown me. He left me in it, though, all day long. He didn’t let me drown, but all I could hear was my hurt. The flood washed over me in waves that tossed me from heartache to heartache. Every thought came from my sense of loss. From moments of self-pity to moments of deep anger, I bounced through the torrent. The temptation to escape, to try anything to numb the pain, was great. This morning I woke up on the beach, still in one piece, but wondering what was the point of my wretched adventure.
On my Facebook page I quote each day from the Psalms. I am up to Psalm 116 and yesterday’s entry, which I posted before the dam broke, was verses six through nine:
“The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.”
God gave me a guidepost, His hand to hold through the tumultuous day. He gave me a reason to resist temptation, courage to meet the challenge, assurance that I would survive.
I’m not sure what the point of yesterday’s experience was, or is, or will be. I may never know. Maybe my psyche needed the release. Maybe writing this blog entry, perhaps for you, was the point. Maybe there will be a time when I will need the memory of this experience to help someone else, or help myself, through another wretched adventure. Today I am okay, almost back to “steady Betty.” Maybe I needed the reminder that waiting for God’s timing of deliverance, of anything, is worth the day’s trouble. That clinging to faith matters. That trusting Him is not without purpose.
Trusting God–the greatest challenge of my life.
Psalm 4:5 “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the Lord.”
All Bible quotes are from Zondervan’s Classic Reference Bible, New American Standard Bible–Updated Edition copyright 1999 by Zondervan
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.