By Julie Wright
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. “
Matthew 5:4 Msg
With the recent passing of my uncle just a few short weeks ago, a new flood of emotions fell upon my heart quickly. It started with the feelings of sadness for my aunt. Knowing how hard the days, weeks and months ahead would be for her and the family. Especially after forty four years of marriage. I only made it to thirteen years. I can only imagine how much harder it would have been to be married almost a half century. To faithfully be by his side through all the ups and downs of his all too brief battle with cancer. What a testimony of love that is!
The feelings of sadness gave way to some hope in knowing that my uncle was no longer suffering in his earthly, cancer ridden body. Hope in the knowledge that one day I will join him and others in heaven forever…rejoicing and praising God with all our might. Hope in knowing our earthly time is short compared to the eternity we will spend in heaven.
Then the hope gave way to endless tears that fell harder and harder the more I let my “feelings” get the best of me. Tears that fell for all the moments that would no longer be shared together. Tears for all the holidays, birthdays and milestones of our children that he can longer celebrate with us. Tears for all the decisions, changes, and future endeavors that need to be made without him.
That’s when I realized that I can’t let my “feelings” get the better of me. I can’t allow them to cloud my judgment of how God truly “feels” about me. Our emotions are so raw and flippant in the early stages of grief. I remember telling everyone that “I’m fine. Really, we’re all fine,” knowing that if they followed me home and plucked the roof off to peek inside, they would find me curled in the fetal position crying on top of our bed. I bet they wouldn’t think I was “amazing, so God-centered, and strong” at that point.
But regardless of how we are truly feeling or how we may interpret the feelings we have for God, the truth is He loves us. Even when He’s taken the one person who is most dear to us on this earth, He loves us. It’s in that time that we can start to feel loved and embraced by God and begin to move towards those feelings of hope, wholeness and love again. One painful step at a time…
Allow God to love you through friends.
Allow God to love you through strangers.
Allow God to love you through your church.
Allow God to love you through your family.
Allow God to love you through your emotions. The good ones and the bad ones. He created us. He knows how we really feel. Don’t mask it or pretend your feelings aren’t allowed. Emotions are a healthy outlet of our pain. Let them flow.
Allow God to love you. Period.
That is when you will begin to “feel” whole again; when you are embraced by the One who is most dear to you.
Meet us where we are. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, and grief or even in the feelings that say, I’m okay. I’ve got this. Help us to remember that you are there. You are the One who will embrace us tightly and get us through the deepest, darkest valley to the other side. You are the One who can love us with an everlasting love. Help us to “feel” that love even when we feel completely unlovable. Most of all help us to know that our emotions, our feelings are okay. Allow us to fall before you and let it all out, the good and the bad, knowing that when we are through, You will be there with arms wide open every time. Thank you, Lord, for meeting me wherever I am, every time. I pray the women needing to feel you near will embrace you with a fresh new feeling of hope, peace, and love. Amen.