January 9, 2020
I am sitting in my office at my computer. I think I am in a bit of shock. Denial rages through me too. Is Glen really gone? How can this be? I see his pictures hanging on the wall (he would hate that!) and every moment I go past him I murmur his name either out loud or in my head. There is very rarely a moment that I don’t think of my Glen with longing. I smile when I think of him and then I get sad. I look at the chair where he sat when he was sick and I see his sick form there…and I am filled with sadness. I chastise myself for just seeing the sick form of Glen and then bring back pictures of the healthy Glen…the problem is that he wasn’t very healthy in this house.
I have been reading through my blog in bits and pieces and it has of course brought tears, yet it has also brought me some reassurances. The mind is a treasure trove and massively complicated thing. My mind in these past few days, months even, has been playing tricks on me. Did Glen know how much I loved him? Did he know that his leaving would be ridiculously hard on me and those around him? Did he know? I tried so hard to be positive and lived in what I had dubbed “Camp Hope” – was it too positive? Did we not talk enough about the possibility of him actually physically dying? And what about how quick he passed out of my realm and into the Heavenly realm? Was he angry with me for not clueing in and calling the ambulance sooner?
I have found some answers in re-reading my blog posts – thank God! I knew that my mind would be reeling with grief and that I would not remember because that is what brains do. The brain begins to question the obvious things and twist and distort to the negative – which is why Jesus tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…it’s “mindfulness” in today’s terms but God created us and knows what we need. So as my mind questions me into a downward spiral I read what I have documented and know the answers. Before Glen’s passing I read him every word that I wrote for his approval before posting so the answer is obvious. Glen knew how much I loved him (and will always love him). Glen knew how difficult his passing would be on those around him – particularly me and the boys yet not limited to us. I don’t think Glen grasped how important he was to a multitude of people yet I do know that dealing with his own impending physical death the hardest part for him was leaving us. Dying in and of itself was never a fear. So the only questions left to answer are the one’s after his physical death… was he upset with me for not clueing in and prolonging his death even a day? A week?
In comes the logical brain. In comes the Holy Spirit whispering to me. Upset with me for not prolonging his physical death and leaving him in utter agony for longer? Really? Would I be upset if I died so quickly? No! I would thank God for taking me quickly and not allowing me to suffer more than I already had. I am learning to “trust in quietness for I know not the incredible ways of the Lord…the ways of the Lord are just simply too big for me to comprehend” (my paraphrase of Psalm 131). I chose and I choose to trust in this quietness that God knows what He’s doing – even if it seems ridiculously wrong from my point of view and from everyone’s point of view down here on earth. What do we know? Not much to be sure! We see a thread of the tapestry, if that. We can’t possibly see the whole thing. I choose to know that God is using this for His glory even as I struggle through deep grief and others do as well. I am not in charge of others journey’s – only my own. And even my own journey is not my own, it is God’s will. I am only in charge of, in control of, my responses to what happens to me on my journey.
My lessons have been those that have cemented what I knew, but now I know deeper. We can ask God, we can claim healing, we can pray, we can beg and intercede and that is all good and well. It is as things should be because God is walking with us. God is a good Father and as a good Father sometimes He chooses things for us that we don’t think are good. Like cleaning a bathroom – how can that be considered “good”? Maybe it’s a poor example but I hope you are following my wild train of thought. God uses things to teach us. I am His servant, His child, His friend. He is my King. If God wills something I can still beg for something different but in the end His will comes through to fruition. God is not a Genie in a bottle where we get our wishes whether those wishes are good for us or not. Yet God also cries with us in our pain and suffering here on earth. He is not impassive to our emotions and us. He knows we can’t see, just as a child learning to not touch something hot cannot see the consequences. Either we, as His beloved children, touch the stove anyway and learn by doing (which most of us choose to our own detriment) or we trust that what Daddy says is true and don’t do it… Ah human reasoning that is so flawed! Trust. Quiet trust as we sit on our Daddy’s lap is all that is required.
As I trust, as I choose HIS joy even on this day where my mind is tortured with memories of Glen’s death, I also remember all the good things. I remember Glen telling me that I was just as beautiful now or more as on the day we got married. I hear his voice saying, “I love you my Laurel. Always and forever, to eternity and beyond.” I remember that God did blind each one of us to Glen dying that day so that Glen would not be tormented with pain any longer. I remember that Glen is happy now, even though I believe he misses me in a way up there in heaven, I know that he is healthy and content doing God’s will. I know that Glen was called into a deeper intimacy with God and that his physical death means something and has a bigger spiritual impact than I can grasp…I see threads and wish my finite mind could comprehend more. I trust that all is as it should be according to God’s good and perfect will. I trust that Glen’s story is not over and that one day we will be together again continuing our “together” story. I trust that I am to continue down here for awhile…tarry a little longer doing the work that Christ has entrusted to me. I trust that God will continue to give me the strength to accomplish all that He is asking of me. I trust that I can still hear God’s voice and that I am also human so learning to grow closer and closer to God even in my angry moments and questioning “why God?!” I choose to trust God’s tapestry of time that He is putting together is for my good. I now see that many of His Biblical promises are not just for the here and now on earth. Those promises extend to eternity.
Those simple actions of trust allow me to move forward. Today I grieve. Perhaps I will grieve forever as Glen was a man worthy of great grief. Yet in that grief I will also find joy because of my heavenly Father whose ways are greater than mine as I continue to trust. The grief will change as I move forward. The love will ever be there.
Today I am also filled with gratitude even in my tears, knowing that God has placed people in my life who genuinely love me and are there for me. Thank you. I believe you know who you all are. Thank you for standing with me, as I cannot stand alone. Thank you for being God’s army alongside me. Thank you for financially supporting Glen and I when we went to Issels. That trip was not for naught…that trip taught me a lot and gave Glen and I hope and precious time together and that could not have been accomplished without help. My heart is filled, yet hurting. I am walking as half a person, yet God fills the other half, allowing me to walk. The simple miracle is that I am walking… God is good. Always.