Grace That Turns Grief into Praise
Many nights, since we lost our son, I have been unable to close my eyes. Insomnia doesn’t even begin to describe what my condition has been like. Lack of sleep, depression, grief, loss of appetite; all were my constant companions for approximately the past two years. In some ways, they were my ‘comfort’. It is where I felt at home. No one bothered me here. No one expected anything more from me. I did not have to talk to anyone or even think about anything. Life was just passing by, one moment at a time.
Our family life suffered during this time. Most of the responsibility of the household was now placed on my husband. He did not seem to mind and I did not have the strength to help and so it was. Even though I continued to work and help raise our grandson, once I walked through the doors, I was done.
Every day I had to cross the bridge where my son had been killed. It was agony to say the least. I would look at the black mark on the wall, wonder if he had been thrown over the bridge between the first or second beams, and then glance down the river to where they had pulled him from three days later. Tears would fill my eyes and my grandson would say “Maw Maw, don’t cry”, “it’s gonna be okay, I love you”.
In October 2011, my neice invited us to try a new church. She mentioned that there was a class for our grandson with activities and opportunities to learn. There was a special class being taught to the adults that she knew would peak my attention due to my love of the study of prophecy and the time of the end. My husband and I went that first Wednesday evening and have not missed since.
God began a restoration process in my life that night. He reminded me that nothing had taken him by surprise. He knew where my son was the night he died. He reminded me that He knew where His Son was the night He had died. God either wills things to happen or He allows things to happen. We don’t have to understand it, we just have to trust that God has everything under His control. God does!
One night I was asked to join in with a group of women to discuss a ministry opportunity. During the meeting, a story was given of forgiveness. For the first time in two years, I was confronted with the issue of forgiveness. Actually it was my lack of forgiveness. Leaving the meeting, tears streamed down my face all of the way home. Just as I approached the bridge on the opposite side where my son had been killed, the song which had become our theme song for him, came onto the radio. It was if he was telling me, “mom, it’s okay. Let it go. I am home. I am happy. I am waiting on you, dad, and my boys”.
Since that night, God continues to strengthen me in ways I cannot understand. I still miss the sound of my son’s voice, his brilliant smile, and his bear hugs. But God promised me that I will see him again. That is something I can be grateful for. I can sing praises to God now because He is faithful. See Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. And in 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. In Isaiah 61:3 God declares that we should put on our garment of praise. I desire to be found in this garment when Christ returns. To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified . God can and does turn Grief into Praise through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer is that I may continue in His truth until I reach my heavenly home. It is in Him and Him alone, that I find peace.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped : therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth ; and with my song will I praise him.
May God receive All Glory and All Praise!