I read this blog post Tuesday night and much of it struck a familiar chord with me. Though this woman's circumstances are entirely different from mine, I realized we are both living with one foot in this world and one in the world to come. It's just not an easy place to be, honestly. But she identified what I have been missing. Determination. Determination to figure out how to live this life well without my son.
Frankly, I've been coasting. Life is flat. I want what I can't have. My son. A life without sorrow. Joy untainted by grief. But that's not possible. So what do I do?
I give thanks. I remember, as Psalm 13:6 says, that "He has been good to me." I focus on the hope that remains. I remember that sorrow will be a part of this life, but that the life to come will never be touched by grief, death, tears, or pain. (Rev.21:4) I focus on what I do have. I cling to the LORD and remember what He did for me. I remember that He, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross. (Heb.12:2) Because He did, I can.
I am thankful that Christ was honest with us. He said that "in this world, you will have trouble." He said that death and sin is a part of this world. But. But He also said to "...take heart! I have overcome the world." He told us "these things, so that in me you may have peace."(John 16:33) The apostle Paul encourages further with these words: "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15:7)
One can not get through this world believing in anything but Christ. It is not health, wealth, or a good attitude that pulls one through. It is not one's strength, one's will, or even one's positive thinking that gets one through. It is believing in Jesus Christ, taking Him at His word and living by faith in Him. It is doing His will, being obedient to His Word. It is trusting Him when doubt, fear, and lies are shrieking along with the pain of your loss.
I had lost sight of hope lately because I had also stopped giving thanks. I took my eyes off of Christ and had fallen into Satan's trap. I couldn't see a way out, but once again, the words of Ann Voskamp spoke truth.
Giving thanks throws a shovelful of dirt into the pit, and every shovelful thrown in is a step out of the pit. I'm still in the pit, but I'm throwing thanks by the shovelfuls as quickly as I can. I am determined because of Him. Because of Him, I am able. Because of His strength, His will, and His Word. Thank you, Jesus.