Here is your FWF prompt:
The pain of loss is devastating, even now, months later. Rather than getting better, the pain just seemed to intensify over time, as I thought of all the things I should have or could have done differently, before I lost my mother. “Oh God,” I cried out in pain, “How can You ever forgive me? There were so many things I should have done and should have said, but fear of what others would think of me kept me silent. Forgive me, Lord.”
The weight of my pain was so heavy on my chest that it felt as though a vice grip was wrapped around it, making it painful and hard to breathe. Feelings of guilt and shame made it hard for me to face anyone. I just couldn’t bear to see the looks of contempt and disgust on the faces of the people I loved, and even worse than that were the pitying glances from those who clearly saw my weaknesses.
It was the worst darkness I’ve ever experienced, and I hid myself away for several months, as I tried to come to grips with my loss. It seemed that when my mother died, my joy and peace died as well, and in its stead, fear, hopelessness, guilt and shame had taken up residence. Now, I cried for what seemed to be no reason, and I lived in constant fear of death and dying.
My faith and my salvation, which I have long been confident of, now suffered greatly, as my grief with its guilt and fear led me to question my salvation. Was I truly saved? Or had I been deluding myself all these years? Could God truly love someone like me? Or was I beyond redemption?
It felt as though my death was imminent, and I was filled with dread. As the days wore on, my depression grew progressively worse. I was constantly in tears, yet God, in His love and mercy, ministered to me through my husband. After being married for thirty-two years, I thought I knew my husband, but when I lost my mother, I saw a new side of him… In the midst of my suffering, my husband loved me and cared for me, speaking gentle words of comfort and love. The Lord knows that I could never have survived the loss of my mother had it not been for my husband, through whom God comforted and reassured me.
It was he who encouraged me to see my doctor and get help when the depression wouldn’t lift, encouraging me to take the prescribed medications, which eventually helped to lift the depression to some degree, and it is he who continues to love me, comfort me and encourage me to go on. These last fourteen months have truly been the most difficult months of my life, but still, God has blessed me.
You see, in the midst of my pain, I’ve come to love my husband and appreciate him more than ever. Because of God’s love for me, and because of the love of my husband, my children and my grandchildren, I’m coming out of that deep, dark depression. I won’t lie and say that it’s all behind me, because the truth is that there are days when I feel great joy, but there are still many days when I find it hard to even get out of bed.
What I will say is that I am on my way to a full recovery. I’m hopeful that God has a plan for my life, and though it may not be what I once thought it was, I know it’s a good plan. I no longer believe that God is completely disgusted with me. I’m His beloved, and though I’m disappointed in myself, He still loves me. Because I grew up believing that I had to work to earn the love of my family, and because I was often made to feel unworthy of love, even now, at the age of fifty-two, I often feel unloved and unworthy of love. Therefore, for the last fourteen months, since I lost my mother, I’ve felt unworthy of God’s love and my family’s love.
Yet, during this horrible year, God has revealed His great love for me over and over again, through my husband’s tenderness and love. He’s revealed His great love for me through my children’s love and unfailing support. He’s also shown His unfailing love for me through my grandchildren, who not only love me, but they are excited to see me. Finally, not only has God revealed His great love for me through my beloved family, He has also shown me His great love through His word… Have you struggled with grief? Have you ever questioned God’s love for you? Then, this is my prayer for you, and me as well…
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:14-21 — NLT ~
Cheryl A. Showers