Last week would have been my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. They had just celebrated 49 when my Dad died one month later. They missed 50 by a mere 11 months.
My Mom has been quite stoic during this first year of grieving her husband. In the last eleven months, she’s made it through her birthday, his birthday, their children’s birthdays, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas by herself. She’s made it through the 1st Sunday sitting alone at church, the first neighborhood BBQ, and the first house repair without him. For the first time in her life, she figured out how to change the bulb in the fridge and how to set a mouse trap.
She’s been quiet about her grief.
Until the wedding anniversary date. She was very vocal about not wanting to be home by herself to “mope around” all day crying and missing him. She made plans to meet the ladies from her church for lunch and shopping to fill the day with outings.
And then a sickness went through the church that left her without plans for the anniversary date.
She watched their favorite movies. She poured through their wedding album. She made his favorite dessert…then ate it all! She got flowers from her kids. And she spent time in the Word. Later she said that it was the best day of memories…and that God had a much better plan for her day than she had scheduled. Psalm 34:18 says that The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Loss is part of our human experience, but that does not make it any easier to deal with. Death takes its toll on those left behind and occasionally it feels as though the grieving process is never-ending. Yet, scripture offers us comfort, guidance, and hope.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
My Mom isn’t the only one walking through grief. I recognize that thousands of people deal with the grieving process daily. Last week was the first time that I recognized how much scripture and the Word of God can change the tide of a day. My Mom, who had been anticipating a sad day of mourning, instead had a joyful day of memories. God offers comfort, guidance, and hope.
God is good.