Where’s a Ghostbuster When You Need One?

by | Joy in the Trenches | 0 comments

It’s been a hard weekend. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been able to catch up on sleep, binge-watch Designated Survivor, start a painting, start a new chapter in my latest book, and even got to the store. Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, a quiet house is a haunted house, and I had no Ghostbuster on hand. In the TV show, the main character loses his wife unexpectedly when she dies in a car crash. I see his cry of anguish, and it releases a torrent of my own tears and screams.

I was unprepared for this devastation. I’ve lost my parents, my grandparents, my little brother, but this level of desolation is so much deeper, so much wider. It’s like I’m caught in a desert, and there are miles of sand dunes as far as the eye can see. I discovered that all griefs are unique. Like snowflakes, no two are alike. Everyone’s relationships are different, so each loss has its own shape and flavor. With losing Kiki, I feel as if I lost my future. She was always the one who stood by my side, sleeves rolled up, ready to jump in and help me with whatever I was doing. When my parents were dying, she is the one who went with me, helped me decide to call in hospice, sat with me and my mother’s body, grieved with me over their loss. It’s likely I’ll take on the caregiving roll again in the next few years. Kiki knew about it, and we would face it together. Now I’m alone and the isolation is crushing me. It reminds me of the medieval torture of pressing a prisoner to death. Each day, a new rock of pain is added to my chest. I can’t breathe.

So where is my Lord and Savior? He’s with me in the bubble. Last night I let it all out, yelled at Him, told Him He was wrong, that whatever His plan, I couldn’t do it.

But I know better, and while a part of me was being honest, a part of me was already repeating the answers. He bases His plans on what He can do, not what I can do. And no matter what the future holds, my Lord has it all in hand. Kiki’s death surprised me, not Him.

I appreciated that He invited me to express my pain and suffering. “Better out than in,” God says. The two extremes I need to avoid is a) suppress the pain and b) wallow in it. I can’t be stoic about this and I shouldn’t. I’ve already tried suppressing thoughts and feelings and it always turns out badly for me. But to wallow in the pain, to lapse into despair and act hopeless and helpless is also wrong. I can grieve, I can’t despair. I’d be telling God He hasn’t and won’t take care of me and that’s not true.

I could almost hear His gentle chuckle as I had an all-out tantrum. I wasn’t even finished when He gob-smacked me. Whatever tomorrow brings, today, I will have what I need exactly when I need it. My job is to follow. My Heavenly Husband’s job is to do the rest.

Okay. Wish me luck. Here I go into this day. I can do this even with tears in my eyes. I just need to keep my focus on Him.

II Corinthians 4: 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

April 29, 2019  · 

Daily Keller

If you can do nothing else, you can always glorify God by having a trusting attitude toward him as you suffer, rather than becoming bitter. And the best way to do that is to look at God the Son suffering infinitely for you. That will help you trust him as you suffer.

Daily Keller

April 30, 2019

God’s glory also means his inexpressible beauty and perfection. It does not glorify him, then, if we only ever obey God simply out of duty. We must give him not only our will but also our heart, as we adore and enjoy him, as we find him infinitely attractive.

Daily Keller

May 3, 2019 

Work done in the belief it is all up to us becomes a joyless, deadly grind. Only those who know that salvation comes by sheer grace, not our efforts, have the inner dynamic of grateful joy that empowers the greatest efforts. So the joy of the Lord is our strength.

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