I remember the first Mother's Day that I spent without my mom. It was like a torture chamber. I was in therapy then (as I am now) and my councilor Laura suggested a simple way to remember Mom. Her suggestion was that I get a helium balloon and attach a note to my mom on it and then let it go. She said that it might be helpful for my daughter who was three at the time. Laura said that seeing the balloon go up, up and away would help Alex understand that just as we can't see the balloon any longer, but we know it's still there somewhere-so it is with Grandma and Grandpa. We did it at noon. My brother also got a balloon and we talked on cell-phones and counted down through tears-three-two-one and then let them go.
It was bitter. It was sweet. We did it for years until we were ready to let go of the tradition, just like a balloon.
Yesterday was Mother's Day. I was blessed with the opportunity to share the Gospel at a local church during their Sunday services. It was a real blessing because, especially in light of the healing the Jesus has given to me in this very Healing Season, I was able to sing His praise and give more hope than I ever expected to be able to share when I agreed to speak several months ago. I knew then that the Lord was good and right and just and that He uses all things for the good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose and plan-but I'm sure that my message would have had a foreboding air of sadness and brokenness. I just figured "hey they asked ME...that's what they get." See, for the past seven or so years, as I would pray for the Lord to heal my broken heart and He didn't, I just resigned to the idea that the Lord must need me broken. I assumed that He might get greater glory if I was still shattered. The Bible does tell us that the Lord requires a broken and contrite heart-but I don't think it's the kind of brokenness the I was feeling. I think it has to do with submission to His will and not our own.
Actually...let's look at it in the Amplified Bible. This version breaks in right down so that questions about word meanings are often clearer.
In Psalm 51:17 it says:
17My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
So there it is, the Lord wants us sorrowful for our sin, not for our lives and losses. I'm grateful for that because I know that Jesus will for my life is full on, full blown God style FREEDOM and that's what I want,too. Don't you love it when your will lines up with Gods will?
Yesterday I was able, glory to God, to bring a message of hope and healing and total restoration to this church. Do you know how much they needed it? Well desperately. The pastor and his wife are closing in on the one year anniversary of the loss of their oldest daughter. God brought me to them for a reason. He's amazing.
Believe He's a healer. He is. He's THE healer. He's with you. He's for you. I know it.
Take heart. Be encouraged, knowing that His ways are not our ways and His time is not our time, but in His perfect time He will move. He's faithful and He promises He will never leave us nor forsake us. So put your shoulders-blades on your back and lift up your heart. Raise your head and look for Him. Wait in joyful hope.
Peace be with you.
Jesus, we believe. Help our disbelief. Father, help us to know you a Daddy and Master of it all. Help us to seek our in our suffering and in our joyful times and when you are blessed to see your kingdom break though in our lives, make us quick to tell the story and give your glory. You are real and alive-encourage us to spread that good news so that those in our lives who are hopeless today, will see what you have done and open their hearts to your loving kindness and to your healing power.
Psalm 105:3-6 (New International Version)
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.
5 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6 O descendants of Abraham his servant,
O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.