The Lord redeems the soul of his servants. Psalm 34:22a
One of the most influential books I read in my grief journey since Lynn's death was Jerry Sittser's A Grace Disguised. It was one of the first books I read, and perhaps the only one I was able to read from start to finish. It contributed to my setting the course of this journey of grief towards a deep and profound brokenness that is somehow also wholeness. It taught me about how pain and suffering grows the soul… leading hopefully to a soul redeemed.
I have often wondered why I blog? Why did I choose to make public this very private journey? At times, it was not always a pure and healthy motivation. There were days that it contributed to a sense of togetherness, shielding me form the harsh reality of journeying alone. There were times it contributed to a sense of purpose in moments of profound identity crisis. But ultimately, it seemed as though God had a plan to use my life as a testament to his nature, to his goodness, to his loving kindness, and to his grace… I had always been impacted by the cry of His heart in Is 43:10, For you are my witnesses!! The people whom I have chosen to know me! to believe me! and to understand that I am HE!!! Could my life be marked with such a testimony? To bring forth a revelation of who God truly is in an age of confusion, over-stimulation, false testimonies and false truths?? Even if another person never knows it, I have concluded that it is worth it to offer up my life in this way. How could I ever attain to such a call?
I had committed early on in this journey, coinciding with the title of this blog, to allow the Holy Spirit to be the ultimate guide through my grief, leading me in the Way Everlasting. The responsibility of my co-operation toward this goal lies ultimately in my willingness and obedience to listen and keep in step with His Spirit. There is no manual. No how-to guide. Just His Word and His Spirit, that always agree.
These last few weeks, I have been greatly challenged in the call to keep up with His Spirit. He had led me softly and tenderly, but now there is a rush of supernatural strength to move faster and further beyond what I can humanly bear. God is so gracious and good, but also mighty. he calls us to the end of ourselves and then beyond where we can give him glory by standing in the impossible with our eyes fixed on Him…
Yesterday, I sang. I've sung a couple of times on the praise team at my church in the last month, but yesterday, with my brother Robbie's help, I stood on the platform and sang a solo/duet for the first time since Lynn's death. I absolutely loved singing, (and surprising my mom, which was priceless!!), but the inner working of it was so emotionally and spiritually intense. Today, as often happens after a "first", I am completely wiped out.
How incredibly hard it is to say "Yes!" to a God who would lead me into sorrow and brokenness, invite me to embrace pain, and urge me to grow my soul. He is passionate about my soul growing, because he knows our human capacity is to be filled with the fullness of Himself. I tremble at His Word and work in my life, but I also embrace it.
My commitment to my husband was until death do us part. But my commitment to the Lord has no end. His faithfulness to me has no limit. And He leads me on... Surely goodness and mercy will follow me [pursue me] all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6
Pray for me, fellow believers in Christ. God is redeeming my soul from the pit and into His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. It is a process that comes at such a high cost, and yet we are met with immeasurable gain.
If God can redeem my soul, He can redeem yours too. Through brokenness. In the context of a grace disguised. You can believe God.
And if you believe God, you will see the glory of God. (John 11:40)
I hope this is an encouragement to you, today.