Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thoughts on Bitterness

Bitterness. It's a word that has been on my heart this past week. It's been almost 10 weeks since Isaac died, and I can honestly say: I am NOT bitter. Have you ever heard the song "Held" by Natalie Grant? There's a line in that song that says: "This hand is bitterness. We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrows. The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow."

That's how I feel about each day. Every day I have 2 choices when it comes to bitterness: I can choose that hand, choose to be angry at God, choose to let the anger overwhelm me. Or...I can choose the wise hand. In flower language, lilies of the valley symbolize the return of happiness. I can choose to focus on being angry and bitter, or I can choose to focus on peace.

I credit a large part of my peace to Isaac. I started dating, fell in love with, and married him all with the full knowledge that he had cancer. We never sugar coated the reality of our situation. He never promised me we'd grow old together, and somewhere inside me I always knew that too.

I credit more of my peace to God.  I remember one night before Isaac and I were married.  We had just gotten scans back that said there was cancer in his pelvis again.  I was so angry and afraid.  I cried and sobbed and screamed at God (and Isaac).  I was so angry and felt like God had let me down.  Something about that night really hit me and I asked God to change my angry heart.  Rather than playing solely for Isaac's healing, I began praying for peace no matter what happened.  I prayed God's will to be done, and that He'd just grant us strength and grace in the journey.  I could no longer feel "God let me down" when I prayed that way.  I began seeing His grace in my life.  That's where my peace comes from.
I remember one day during our time with hospice, when Barb (Isaac's mom) and I were standing in the kitchen talking. She said that some of the women in her Bible study said things to her like "I just can't imagine losing a child like you are", and she very calmly said "That's because you weren't called to lose a child. God has called me to this." I 100% know what she means. That is where my peace comes from - knowing that this was God's plan. Of course I am sad, hurt, broken hearted, and lonely. But admist all of that - there is peace. God is bringing me through something I never thought I'd be able to survive; how can I do anything but trust Him through every other circumstance in my life?

I've heard the cliche "Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping someone else dies." and I believe that's true. No good could come from my being bitter. I hope though, as I share with you what God is teaching me, good will come from my choice to embrace peace.

P.S. Did you see I started a new blog? It's called "The Space Between"! Check it out!  You can see pictures of the repainted dining room!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jess,
    After seeing your comment on Beth Moore's LPM blog, I began to follow your blog. I just wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration and blessing that has touched my heart. Thank you for being the testimony of God's love to so many that read your site. I will pray for you. May God keep you held tightly in HIS arms.
    Judy Bronczek
    Memphis, Tn.