Peace | One Year Later

It has been one year since my mom went to walk with our Lord and Savior, free of all the physical pain she was experiencing on Earth.  I thought for the longest time that I would never write a post about my mom’s passing because what is there to say?  But it has now been a year without hearing her voice, giving her a hug or having her hold my girls.  I feel like there is A LOT to say but what I want to focus on is how great our God is.

I expected to break down.  I honestly thought that at some point during this year I would completely break down.  Mother’s Day without mom, the birth of our baby girl without mom, Peyton’s birthday without Gramma, a trip back to Indiana without mom, my first birthday without mom, our first Thanksgiving without mom, our first Christmas without mom, our first you-name-it without mom.

But God.  

But God has given me a peace that I fail to find the words to describe properly.  I haven’t known He gave it to me.  I’ve just been going through my day-to-day, week-by-week and I haven’t had a melt down…  I’ve had hard days, I’ve had countless moments that I’ve wanted to pick up the phone, I’ve had doubts about decisions, I’ve had questions about kids and cooking and laundry, I’ve wanted to celebrate, I’ve had a broken heart.  But there has always been a lingering peace that I could never explain.

During our small group at one of the fall Bible study sessions at church we were discussing our mind and God and we read this verse:

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.

And the conversation that followed just washed over me.  I realized that the reason I hadn’t/haven’t had a complete melt down is because God is giving me peace.  He is putting my mind at ease and comforting me.

At the beginning of this year, a friend asked me to be her partner in reading the Bible in one year.  I had started at the beginning of last year but after Sloane was born I found it difficult to pick up my Bible every day.  I remember asking Forest if I should start at the beginning again but since I’m reading with a friend I decided it would be best to read the same thing so I started at the beginning.

Two days ago I read this passage in Psalm:

Psalm 18:28-30

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.

For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

This God – his way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

And I was filled with so much joy and warmth that is so difficult to explain except it truly feels like God is just wrapping me in His arms.  He gave me this passage to comfort me, to strengthen me, to protect me!

I was talking to Forest last night – sharing this passage from Psalm with him as well as the one from Isaiah and the peace that I haven’t been able to explain – and I realized that God is absolutely protecting me.  There are so many ways the enemy could have attacked me but I haven’t felt/experienced those attacks.  God is so good!

I feel like some people say that they feel closest to and most comforted by the Lord after they’ve lost a loved one or experienced a tragic, life-changing event but I didn’t.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t been seeking the Lord, trying to draw closer to Him or reading the Word for comfort and strength.  I was just doing normal life things and sometimes reading from my Bible.  I wasn’t rejecting God or blaming Him for anything – I believe that His will is greater than I could ever dream – but I wasn’t praying as much or reading my Bible or seeking God’s guidance.

But now I’ve had two separate but very distinct experiences where I’ve felt the Lord drawing me closer to Him.  I’m not going to forget this feeling and I’m not going to resist His loving hand to comfort, lead, protect, strengthen.

God has given me so much this year:

  • peace when I should be a wreck
  • love when I’ve been unlovable
  • a wonderful/loving/understanding/supportive husband
  • a new chubby baby (Sloane!!)
  • the ability to be at home with our two beautiful girls who keep me busy
  • and now I’m adding comfort, guidance, strength, security, and light to my list
  • and now I’m adding etc., etc. because really, there is so much more that He’s given me that I can’t find the words to explain nor do I have the brain capacity to understand it all

If there’s one other thing I’ve learned it’s that grief is a process and it looks different for everyone.  There is no time limit on grieving.  There is no ‘right way’ to grieve.  Grief will hit you when you least expect it.  And I’ve learned that it’s ok!  It’s ok to be sad.  It’s ok to feel whatever rushes over you when it comes.  The sadness, the pain, the frustration.  All of it.  The happiness too!  It’s so weird having such happy moments when you’re also so sad – for example, the birth of Sloane was amazing and beautiful and so special but realizing my mom will never get to hold her is gut wrenching and heart breaking all at the same time.  It’s the one thing I struggle with the most, knowing my mom will never get to hold my babies…  But God!  But God will give me the comfort and peace that I need!  I believe that He already has and will continue to do so.

And lastly- “thy will be done” and “it is well with my soul” are two of the most commonly repeated phrases that I say to myself.  Even when (or ESPECIALLY when) I’m at my lowest and saddest and most confused, I continuously repeat these two sayings because the more I say them, no matter if I believe them in the moment, they get me through to the next moment.  (I specifically like to sing this version of Thy Will be Done by Hillary Scott – it’s the best.)

Well.  Maybe that wasn’t the post you thought you’d be reading one year after I lost my mom but there you have it.  I’ll tell you that it definitely isn’t the post I thought I’d be writing!  Maybe one day I’ll be able to put more words to my thoughts.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to explain everything.  But I hope that you found comfort in what I’ve shared.  I hope that at least one person is now willing to stop resisting God’s peace.  I hope that at least one person is now comforted.

Until next time — Cindy

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