“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” ~ I Thessalonians 4:13-14
Sometimes it’s just hard to make your heart understand what your head knows.
With the arrival of June, my emotions have been thrown into turmoil and are on the brink of exploding everywhere as if they were shot from a confetti cannon. Next Friday should have been my fifth wedding anniversary. Instead, two short weeks after that, I will have reached the milestone I’ve been dreading for a while now – the one year mark of my husband’s death. Needless to say, this month isn’t anything like I had hoped it would be a year ago.
As a result, I have grappled with this verse in Thessalonians for some time. I know that my family has the hope of Christ, so that my husband’s death doesn’t mean a permanent separation, but a temporary one. But honestly, sometimes that is just hard to accept. There are nights when I go out and sit on my front step and just cry, because this isn’t the way life was supposed to be. I watch my friends have children and spend time with their families, and I am so envious because their husband’s don’t die of some terrible disease at an unfairly young age. Why did mine have to? I know that our time in eternity will dwarf my time here on earth, but sometimes it feels like I have to endure an eternity to get there.
I also find myself asking the question, “Why did you leave me here?” So often, I think this question is directed to my husband, but the other night I realized that a lot of times I am directing that question at God. Why him and not me? Why did I have to stay behind and face things that are harder than I could have ever imagined? On my really good days, the super-star-faith days, I think that it’s better for my family to go through this, because we have the hope of Christ. An unbelieving family wouldn’t have the support and the hope of seeing their loved one again. But let me tell you, those days are few and far between. And even then, I can’t say they make me feel a whole lot better.
I think more than anything, I struggle with the idea that after a year things should be easier. And maybe they are in some ways. But in a lot of ways, they are exactly the same as that terrible night in June, when I walked into a hospital room to witness my hopes and dreams shattering into a thousand little pieces. And the tough part is, I feel like people expect me to be getting better. And I know that I am, but my reality is still missing someone who was supposed to be here. You get used to the pain, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone.
In the end, I have to cling to the promises God has made to me through His Word. I believe that Christ died and rose again. And I believe that means that someday, somehow, all of this will be made right.