Now since the holidays have passed, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and what would have been birthday year 26, feels like I can move on and breathe again. Another season in the books without my Joseph… . But we made it through by the grace of God. Approaching another year without him. Year 4. Year 4 for us without him. Life forever altered by befores and afters. Withs and withouts. Death has a way of changing how you look at the calendar and the seasons.
Was a rough patch for a while. A rough season. A hard time filled with memories of other lost loved ones. A sister, a brother, a mother-in-law, whom we lost in the span since we’ve lost our Joe. Then there were visits to the ER, to the doctors (multiple), to ambulatory care units and then diagnoses… one, two, three… all in the midst of this season of just a few months, “my season of despair,” I called it. Someone called me Jobette. Sort of felt like that for a minute, still do on some days, but God. Covered by His grace.
And yet even in the midst of all of that, my family and I got to take a family vacation to Aruba, (far away from last year’s trip to Chicago). Weather was ideal, no lower than 78, no higher than 82. Perfect temperatures for the beach, where we spent most of our time.
The beach relaxes me, you know. It’s almost like I belong there. Like I was born there or something. It’s what I call my little piece of heaven on the earth. Mi paraiso. And I suppose it’s as close to paradise (and Joseph) as I will get. For now, anyway. So I’ll take it any chance I can.
Looking at the sand on the beach, I saw myself as a child just sitting and playing in it. I’m sure you’ve seen how children sit in the sand and are content to just sit there playing in it. Totally oblivious to what is going on around them. That is where God had me. That is where I felt like I was. In the sand. A child playing in the sand. Twirling my stick, oblivious yet aware. And God has sat me there in the midst of all the things that are happening all around me. I don’t know why they’re happening. There is nothing I can do about them happening. Right now anyway. I’ve just got to go along with it. But in order to go along with it, sometimes you’ve got to get out of the way. And so I sit. In the sand, where God has placed me. Twirling my stick until God comes along and says it’s time to move on. And tells me to put the stick down.
Truth is, it is only then that we can move on. That we can do anything. When God says so. We can only move by His grace. Until then, we must be content to simply sit and wait…
I don’t why things happen. Still don’t. I don’t know why my Joe had to die, but I’ve learned something from it. And I’m learning some other things, which you will hear about soon. God’s grace has been moving in my life in ways I had not seen BUT by His grace. His grace is sufficient.
I don’t know why we have to suffer and suffer so much at one time. Back to back, to back to back. I do know that the Word says that Jesus suffered. And that He learned obedience through the things He suffered. Maybe that’s one reason. Seems a harsh way to learn obedience. But I’m not God. His ways are not my ways, neither are His thoughts my thoughts. Who am I to question them? But thankfully in the midst of the suffering, God’s grace comes along and lightens the load. Never gives you more than you can bear. His grace is sufficient.
In this season, in these few months all I’ve heard and keep hearing is, “My grace is sufficient.” I open the Word and read it. I hear it from a preacher. I heard it out of my husband’s mouth. In devotionals. From things I just happen to pick up and read. From the very mouth of God. “My grace is sufficient.”
In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 7, the Apostle Paul speaks of a thorn that he believe he had. That thorn could have been an illness, could have been a shortcoming, an annoyance, the Bible doesn’t say; but Paul said to God, “Three times I asked you to take it away from me.” Three times… the number of the divine. His divine will. Each time he asked God told him, “My grace is sufficient. For when you are weak, then I am strong.” Then Paul got this revelation, “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” His grace is sufficient.
Everything you need, everything you are going through, everything you shall face… God says, My grace is sufficient. That shortcoming… My grace is sufficient. That hardship, that persecution, that trouble… My grace is sufficient.
Your broken pieces… My grace is sufficient. Your missing ones… My grace is sufficient. Your health challenges… My grace is sufficient. Your financial burdens… My grace is sufficient. Your loved ones… My grace is sufficient.
Just continue to play in the sand (as I have) until it’s time for Me, until it’s time for My grace to move you on. My grace is sufficient to do so. My grace is sufficient to keep you. Sufficient to hold you. Sufficient to lighten your load.
His grace is sufficient. For you. And His grace is sufficient for me.
Because God is real, I am, still.