I had a different post written for today. It will have to wait.
Last night, when I went to bed...I could not sleep. AT ALL. I was extremely restless and...agitated or something. I just couldn't put my finger on what was wrong. I didn't have caffeine or anything. It seemed like everything was okay...but I could not sleep. So I began to pray.
I prayed for many things and several different people, but mainly...my heart was burdened to pray for my friend, Micah. She has been fighting the hard battle against colon cancer for the past 18 months or so.
Y'all, she is 44 years old. FORTY-FOUR.
Last month, it became apparent that this was a battle she was not going to win on Earth. She's been on hospice care at home, but last week, she requested to move back to the hospice at the hospital. She was adamant about not dying at home. She thought it would be too traumatic for her husband and children to live in the home if she died there.
I think we all thought every day last week would be her last, but she was such a fighter.
I started praying for Micah last night...that she would feel peace. That she wouldn't struggle in death, but that it would be peaceful. I prayed for the family I knew would be there with her. She has a husband and two children...and a large and loving extended family who have rarely left her side during the past 2 weeks.
As I prayed, I kept hearing weird noises inside my house and outside...noises that weren't scary or anything...just noises that kept me awake.
Kept me praying.
Was there a storm coming? Was there a strong wind outside?
Nope. It was hot and still and clear.
What was going on?
I looked over at Jim. He was sound asleep. I finally fell into a fitful sleep. When I woke up this morning, I found out that Micah had gone to meet Jesus late last night.
Was that why I was awake? Was God wanting me to pray for her and her family? What was all the noise I was hearing? It was like the sound of leaves in a strong wind...like a storm.
But there was no storm.
In my mind, I am imagining it was the rusting wings of thousands of angels...escorting her Home.
Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of praying for her.
And then this morning, I read about Leslie Sisti on Kelly's Facebook and blog. I don't know Leslie, but my daughter has followed her blog for several years. Leslie passed away from a heart complication, and she has a husband and two small children...two babies.
I can hardly stand it.
I was driving down the road this morning, just trying to get a-hold of myself...praying that I could make it home and not burst into tears while I was driving.
And it's not sadness for the ones who have gone to meet Jesus...it's for the ones left behind. Husbands...children...babies.
You know, there are many good and right things to say in hard times, but words of comfort often fall short in the face of deep heartache. We still want to speak those words, because we all want to offer some measure of kindness to those who are grieving. And, if we're on the other side, we need to receive those words with grace, even if we aren't feeling it...because, most people mean well.
Sometimes the TRUTH we know and the HOPE we have can seem so far away...because pain is real and suffering is hard and loss is nearly unbearable...save for the strength God sends us through the ones who hold us up.
Time doesn't heal our wounds, only God can do that...and sometimes it doesn't happen in this lifetime. Maybe it's not meant to. Maybe our hearts aren't meant to heal back up, like nothing ever happened. Maybe a broken and tender heart is more sensitive to the needs of others...and to the voice of God.
After the meals have stopped coming, and the calls and cards are fewer, grief may come in waves...or when you least expect it.
At least that's how it was for me.
It's during those times that we have to deliberately and desperately cling to the promises in God's word, and pray for the peace that can only come from Him.
"I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!" 2 Timothy 4:7