Saturday, May 4, 2013

End of a Journal

As I concluded a journal that began on notepads at Bonnie's the Sunday morning after Ben's death a year and eight months and eight days ago, I went back and read the first two weeks' entries. I'd not done that before, knowing that they would be too raw to handle yet, and might just lead me back into darkness and despair. But I'm shocked by a number of things.

I'm shocked at how much I've healed.
I'm shocked at how strong my faith appeared to be.
I'm shocked at how the early lessons I learned remain with me.

Those lessons: God, too, knew our pain. He suffered as well, and His memories of that suffering surely remain even now, even while knowing that Jesus' suffering ended. Pain remains. He also made the trade. He traded His own Son for us. I would have never made that trade, yet He did. That deepens my understanding of the depth of His love for us. He protects us even as we walk through the Valley of Death. He does not keep us from walking through that valley, but He is with us when we do. And He has healed Jill and held us together, and guarded Rachael's heart. And indeed, everything has changed forever.

Thank you for giving us the faith to take the road of trusting you ever more deeply—of not letting the enemy have any victory, of determination to hang onto you and to overcome and to believe in a great ending, to have our eyes now always on Paradise.

We keep fighting.