I went to a bridal shower and a wedding last Saturday. I cried at both events. I cried kind of a lot. Not the huge sobbing type, but the slow flowing kind that just trickle out and don't seem to want to stop. Maybe it was a slow leak in the dam that was about ready to blow. I don't mind crying at all, but it is kind of a nuisance when I'm wearing eyeliner. Must remember to waterproof it before the next wedding.
I cried for many reasons. I cried because other people were crying, I cried because the groom was crying, I cried for the couples and their joy... and I also cried a little bit for myself. I cried the most at the bridal shower as my friend's aunt was sharing about her marriage and passing along the lessons she'd learned. I cried for them and their heartaches. I also cried for me. Once again, I was mourning the loss of the life I'd hoped to have with Anderson. There were so many things we never got a chance to do together... so many things we wanted to do together, but couldn't. Even something as simple as cooking together... I think after we were married, we only got a chance to cook together a handful of times. We spent months having our meals delivered to us on a hospital tray though.
Whenever I take care of patients who have family at the bedside, it makes me happy knowing that they have a loved one nearby. When I see them leave after visiting hours, I'm just a little bit sad for them. I remember the nurses and doctors telling me to go home and rest... because I never left. I spent every single night we were married in the same room with my husband... every night except one. 6 months... 180 days and nights. I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of spending all day and night with him. What was I going to do at the apartment, alone, anyway? We went to bed every night thanking God for another day and asking for one more. Sometimes I miss those nights. I miss him being the last person I saw before I went to sleep and the first person I saw when I woke.
It hit me hard when I was watching a lone couple dancing a slow dance at the wedding. I had flashbacks of us dancing in my room or his room. Sometimes we'd do that before we had to part for the night. And in the last few years... I've only ever danced in front of him... fast or slow. I don't think I've been able to dance since. Sometimes I feel like dancing but it only ever happens in my head. My body doesn't move. Maybe one day soon, I'll dance again outside the confines of my mind. Hope you guys don't have to see it. I don't think it's very pretty.
Anyway... watching the couple dance... I wished I had someone to dance with...someone to live life with... someone to hold and to be held by. It almost broke my heart... to even think that I've come all this way only to have to start all over again...alone. I know people keep reminding me that I'm still young... but sometimes I don't feel very young. I still get carded but sometimes... inside... I feel like I've lived a full life and I'm ready to go home... any day now.
Psalm 30:8 I cried out to you, O Lord.
I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 “What will you gain if I die,
if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me.
Help me, O Lord.”
I know I feel this. I feel the deep longing. But it's not unbearable. For the most part, I do OK with it. I go on living. Sometimes I wonder... is it peace... or is it apathy. With apathy, you just don't care... you give up... you don't even despair anymore because you're all numb and dead inside. With peace... you're content and all the little things here and there just don't seem to bug anymore. I think the real difference is... joy. You don't have joy when you're apathetic. Joy can't co-exist with blank, deadness. Peace, on the other hand, can live very happily with joy. Peace and joy that does not depend on earthly circumstances... that is perfect peace.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3.
Perfect peace happens as a result of unwavering faith. Yes, I have fleshly desires. Yes, my heart yearns for things I've lost, for things I don't have... but not enough to break my gaze away from Him to long for the perishable over the imperishable. The things in this world die and fade away to oblivion. The Real Thing never fades, never dies, never fails. I will never lose it, it will never be taken away. And because I'm where I'm meant to be... I'm with the One I was created for... I rest in the peace and security that He will take care of me. He knows exactly what I need, when I need it and I trust Him. His timing is always perfect and His love knows no end. Resting in the arms of the One who has the power to give and take away... I wait. I will continue to wait on Him and He will renew my strength. Rest. Perfect rest. Perfect peace. Perfect joy.
Psalm 30:11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
Quote from yesterday's Streams:
Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place except in God's timing and in His way. A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God's work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present.
Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time.
You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower. Leave everything to Him, without exception. "Not what I will, but what You will." Mark 14:36 - Stephen Merritt.