In the past three years I lost my mom, then my husband, and just recently my dad to death. It has been a very painful process to say the least. I have felt my heart shatter and have, at times, wondered if I could do this.
Yes, I miss my parents. It is a different kind of missing and longing than my husband. At one time in my life my parents were the ones who helped me and provided the things I needed. But then, I got married. My husband became my North Star—the one constant who guided my path and kept me on course. He fulfilled all my needs. I am currently working on developing a deeper relationship with God so that He is my North Star…but that is for a different discussion.
I have missed the companionship of my husband so deeply. I miss him holding my hand; playing with my hair; the conversations; the reassuring love; the compliments; my best friend.
I have been on my knees praying more times than I can count. I have cried out to God letting Him know that I hurt and I don’t want to feel this emotional pain anymore. I have asked Him for help. I have let God know that I am angry because I feel like He is not listening to me…
And then the other day, after a conversation with a friend I had an “aha” moment. I realized that God has been answering me. He has answered my prayers through a sweet little 5-year-old child in the Sunday School class I teach. Last Sunday she sat by me and played with my hair. It felt so amazing to have someone just play with my hair like my husband used to do.
God has answered my prayers through my daughter. Each night she comes and lays by me on my bed and asks to hold my hand. I love holding her sweet little hand. It brings me comfort and peace. He has also answered my prayers through friends that encourage me, listen to me and offer support.
Yes, God has been answering me and trying to share beautiful gifts with me, only I did not see it.
Do you ever tell your kids to get something only to have them tell you they can't find it? Then you go and look for it and it was sitting right in front of their face the whole time. Why is that? Why didn't they see it?
Sometimes in life God is trying to give us something beautiful...only we don't see it. We are too busy looking everywhere, but right in front of our face. Maybe we are looking back at what we once had. Maybe we are looking over at each side of us to see what is happening around us—wondering if there is something better that might come along. Maybe we are looking down at the things we did wrong. Maybe we are too busy holding on to grief or regrets.
Or maybe he is trying to give us a beautiful gift…only we don’t get past the wrapping to see what is inside…because it doesn’t look like we thought it should or would. If we take time to unwrap it…we will find the gift He is trying to share with us.
In my case, I think I didn’t open the gifts He was trying to give me because…let’s be honest here… subconsciously I wanted my husband back. (Yeah, I know an unrealistic expectation!) And in my mind, anything less was not an answer to my prayer.
Whatever the case may be, I imagine God is often shaking his head. But, He patiently waits and continues to guide us. He knows what He has to offer us and He is trying to lead us to it. Trust Him.
Do I feel the completeness I felt with my husband because of the gifts I now recognize? Honestly, no. I still hurt and I still miss him. But I do feel an added strength. I feel better. Stronger. I see that God’s gifts help us and it is those gifts He gives us along the way that help us to survive.
I do believe the more we recognize the gifts God is sharing with us, the more we receive. The first step is recognizing the gifts and then showing gratitude. There is power in gratitude. I have seen it improve my life and the lives of my children.
I also believe a time will come when all will be made right and I will feel the completeness I once felt. And the same goes for you. We have to believe that God will make it right—because He will. It takes patience, trust, and a whole lot of faith and hope! We’ve got this!
Questions to ponder:
Is God trying to give you something beautiful and you just don’t see it?
How do you learn to recognize the gifts God is giving you?
What gifts are you grateful for?