Mourning by Mourning
I couldn’t cry. I knew if I started I would never stop. My whole world had crashed before my very eyes but I had to be strong. I had to hold it together. I had to seem like everything was going to be all right. For their sake I needed to be in control at all times. Did they know the pain that I was hiding? Could they see in my eyes the terror of what was happening in our lives? Did it show or had I fooled even my children?
A year had passed since the separation. He had finally brought divorce papers so he could marry someone else. I wasn’t the same woman that had gathered up my children and ran for our lives. He could no longer control and manipulate me. I had drawn a line and would not cross it until he was delivered and free from the chains that had him bound. The chains that had so harshly molded our lives into a living hell would not destroy my children as well. No, I would not let them grow up like that. They didn’t deserve that kind of life. I would face the shame of a failed marriage; I could suffer the loneliness if that’s what it took.
But this, he was just going to throw away our marriage, our family so that he could have “someone”? How could a fifteen-year marriage just be tossed aside in a moment? Oh the rejection, the pain, the horrendous need to scream from the very depths of my being. Oh no, they could not see. They could not know. I had to protect them.
I had never been through a mourning process. I had recognized some of the stages of grieving and had been surprised. I didn’t know that you could grieve even though no one had died. I kept everything inside and found ways to control this process. I began wearing black and brown clothes. I knew those were the colors of death and dead things but no one else knew what I was doing. I thought I had fooled everyone. It was my way of seeming strong and ok to the world, but hurting with intense pain on the inside. But there was someone who I could not fool. I had never voiced what I was doing how could they have known? But, my Lord Jesus, who knows me inside and out knew exactly what I was doing and knew that I needed to get on with my life.
He spoke to me that New Years Eve as I was getting dressed in my black underclothes, brown slacks and black blouse. My heart was crying to be refreshed and alive that’s why I had driven with a friend 600 miles to a conference. But my mind was bound, afraid to hope, afraid to go forward. And then He spoke, He said, “No more”. I looked at the black blouse in my hand and knew where I was. It brought me to a reality that changed me again. At that moment I realized what I had been doing and knew that I was holding myself back. I was clinging to a back-up plan in case God’s hope didn’t work. That was not faith though and could never heal my broken life. I said, “Yes Lord”. I made a decision to let go and let God have it all. Whatever that meant. He had been there for me in so many ways already. I could count on Him to supply my every need. I trusted Him to carry my children through this horrible time and knew that they would be ok, why had I refused to trust Him with my future? Every day I would get up and have faith that He would carry me through that day but I could not give Him tomorrow. I had been holding on to it, afraid of what it would be. When I said, “Yes” to Him it changed everything.
I began to hope again. I began to cling to the scripture in Joel 2:25 “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” I began to hope again and let the Lord restore me and heal me. The first step though was to have faith. Without faith in Him we can accomplish nothing. He is in control and He is faithful. All of the promises in the Bible are for us and we can hold on to them and know that He loves us and wants good for us. Another scripture that I held on to and actually posted on my refrigerator so that I would not forget was Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.”
Yes, He had it all under control. I could rest in His arms and in His unfailing love. He is so good.