A few days ago, I looked in the mirror and I hardly recognized the person standing before me. The lines on my face are deeper and are not as forgiving. My hair is fighting the aging process and gray wants to win this battle. My eyes seem tired and weary. The evidence of the past two years seemed so apparent. I learned today that even medically when you go through a traumatic season or event your heart can be damaged. It will naturally undergo a healing process that may take months but there is such a thing as a broken heart.
Yes, I have changed over the past two years–but not all change is bad. I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death but I am still walking. This is not a destination–it is a journey. I look at pictures of when my husband Bryan was sick and I see a young wife–innocent of the days to come. I see a faith that knew the waters were deep but unaware of the true depth of the waters to come. I see a daughter of the king clinging to His promises to carry her moment by moment..in many ways practicing for the days to come–when I would need Him to even help me breathe.
One change that I did not grasp at the beginning of this journey is the reality of how close heaven would become. When part of your heart is there it is never far from your heart. Sunsets with lines reaching the heavens take your breath away, and the nighttime sky feels like a veil so thin at times you wish you could reach up and touch it. But the most profound is how words to songs take on a new meaning…
“Better is one in your presence than a thousand elsewhere”–so true for Bryan. I have learned a new level of love of being glad he is there and not here as hard as it is for us remaining. I would never wish to take him from that holy, beautiful place–love wants the best for those we love even if it leaves us alone and missing them.
Another reality as I reflect on the person in the mirror is she has met Jesus in ways only brokenness and surrender will allow. The silent cries for God to be my strength at the close of a long day. The repeated prayer for Him to sustain our family–to provide what I cannot. I understand the depth of God’s love holding me and the promise of Him catching each of my tears. God’s word says in Psalm 68:5 that is He the “father to the fatherless and defender of the widow.” I have lived this promise and it has forever changed me.
Yes, the lines on my face are there–but some are evidence of smiling through the tears. The hair–well that is another story but there are promises in the Bible regarding gray hair. My eyes–there have been many tears of sorrow but also in seeing the goodness of the Lord. My understanding of love and release has changed. My walk with God has truly changed and as I reflect–I am glad for those changes. It has come with a great price but to know God in this season and see His tender and gentle love for our family changes who you are and how you look at just about everything. As we receive gifts throughout the years for our birthday or holidays, my treasured gift does not come wrapped in a gift but rather in the evidence of God’s goodness to hold us–to protect us and provide for us. I am changed and declare Psalm 27:13, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of Yahweh (the Lord) in the land of the living.” My prayer is that you would see His goodness as well…
Amy Graves co-facilitates the Widow’s Walking with Jesus Hope@Home™ Group on Mondays at 8pm ET. She and her family were impacted by IoH and now give back by serving families like their own.