Friday, July 25, 2014

Grief is a cancer

It's the 25th. Matt's younger sister's birthday is today. And I'm struggling to focus. I couldn't sleep last night and finally made it to bed at 1:30am, only to be woken at 5am by a coughing child who needed a nebulizer treatment. Birthday party plans are bursting at the seam, and the cake is finished. (It's family tradition to make our own cut up cakes, though we've gotten quite competitive with ourselves the last several years! It's fun to see how our skill level has increased from the earlier years.)

The battle to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" is strenuous. When I think back to three years ago, I don't remember this day at all. Instead, what I remember vividly is the 28th. The 28th is the day I took Matt's sister out for a birthday lunch with her best friend. And what stands forever etched in my memory is that that is the last day our lives were untouched by the cancer of grief.

Grief is a cancer. Once discovered, daily life becomes a continual battle to kill it. Life becomes consumed by it. It takes every ounce of one's strength to fight it. It is relentless and cares about nothing but destroying the one it attacks.

But thanks be to GOD, there is an effective treatment for the cancer of grief. It is God's word, God's strength, and God's perspective. The truth of God's word concerning death and disease is the "pill" we take to fight this cancer. Grief leaves one exhausted, but leaning hard on God one finds the strength to get through, to make it to the next day and the day after that and the day after that. Choosing to see the affliction of grief through His eyes is the course of treatment most effective for fighting off the relentless killer of joy. God's perspective on our sorrow and loss is the key to overcoming this cancer. It is fought with hope and thankfulness. Joy is preserved through thanksgiving and the cancer of grief is rendered powerless by it.

As we approach the 29th, I am thankful that there is a plan in place for commemorating it. I don't have to wallow in self-pity or focus on what we have lost or will never have on this side of heaven. I am thankful for the many who have come alongside us in our battle against grief. I am thankful for the outpouring of generosity for Matt's Gofundme 3 Year Remembrance Event. (A new goal has been set, and I hope you'll check it out!)

I am thankful for a God who knows what I am going through, who walks beside me through it, and who gives me the strength and hope to fight this cancer of grief. I live with grief, but greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.

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