When Grief Is Covered In Love

There are a lot of things I don’t know.

There are even more things I’ll never understand.

As I’ve unexpectedly experienced a crashing wave of grief over the past weekend,

I’ve come to realize at an even deeper level that there is nothing in this life that matters more than love.

We can work hard and accumulate all kinds of possessions.

We can study hard and earn all kinds of degrees.

Success, in the world’s eyes, is possible with enough determination and effort.

But, in the end, when we find ourselves in that moment when no amount of money can purchase our next breath,

there’s only one thing that truly has value.

Only one thing has eternal worth.

That one thing is LOVE.

Love can transform the tiniest house into a castle.

Love can wash over all kinds of shortcomings, revealing true beauty and perfection.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…. 

I John 4:18

I believe love also drives out all kinds of other negative emotions.

Love can release the prison bars of anger, resentment, greed, jealousy, insecurity, and every other ugly cell we may find ourselves living in as we stumble through this oh-so-often painful life.

Love pushes hard.

It is relentless.

We can fight it,

run from it,

ignore it,

resist it………..

but eventually love, like a tsunami, wins.

It overwhelms, overtakes, and completely covers everything in its path.

And we are all in the path of God’s love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16
No matter how hard we try, we can’t escape His love.
No matter how unloved we may feel from time to time,
there’s no denying that God’s love for us surpasses anything we will ever experience during our short time on this planet.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13
I try to imagine this kind of love –
A love where I would willingly give up my child or myself for others.
The closest I can get to understanding this kind of love is by thinking about Nick’s fight with cancer……………….
But believe me,
there was no willingness here.

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We smiled our way through a journey I would not wish on my worst enemy,

but deep inside I fought the thought of giving up Nick every step of the way.

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This computer was my place for begging for prayer from all of you.

I believed in a miracle til the very end.

Today, as I look at this memory of a special trip with Nick to see his favorite team play football

(thank you, Mike and Carol, for this memory),

I’m finally beginning to see that the miracle for our family is this:

we are still waking up and facing the next day…………….

we are still walking…………..

we are still creating the next memory……………..

and we are still smiling (most of the time)…………..

Yes, we are definitely still trying to put all the pieces back together,

but the truth is……

Our puzzle will never be complete.

We have been called to live an earthly life with missing pieces.

God’s love has to fill up all these aching spaces, or we will not survive.

I love this picture of Nick and me looking at our reflection.

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I’m not sure why we even took this,

but today it reminds me that all along the way Nick reflected the love of God with his smile and his spirit.

He was never bitter or angry.

He never received bad news and chose to blame or question.

He taught me so much about how to live.

But most of all he taught me so much about how to love.

I’ve cried so many tears in the past few weeks………………

tears I didn’t know I still had inside of me.

 I feel renewed today.

I feel freed up again to smile.

Last week, I was hit by a crashing wave of grief and found myself so weak I could barely stay above the pounding water.

But once again, God has been so faithful in hearing my prayers and the prayers of all of you who love our family so much.

I am safely on the Rock again.

And I will hold on tight,

braced for whatever kind of wave comes next.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,

I call as my heart grows faint;

lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:2

My prayer today is that if you find yourself feeling weak that you will cry out.

God loves you so much.

He longs to lead you to the Rock.

Cry out today.

Feel His love wash over you.

Even if pieces of your life are missing, I hope you will find a very special kind of peace on the Rock of God’s love.

That’s what happens when grief is covered in love.

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