Good morning, friends. As I sit to write this morning, anniversaries are on my mind. When you think of anniversaries, they mostly inspire happy thoughts. Steve and I recently celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. Happy!
This coming Sunday, Steve will be preaching at the church we grew up in, Calvary Baptist Church, in Woodbridge, VA, where they will be kicking off their 65th (or 66th) anniversary of the formation of the church. Happy!
But today marks an anniversary for us that is not so happy – the 2nd anniversary of our son, Jeremy, running ahead of us to heaven. Grief anniversaries are just plain hard! I wrote this in my journal this morning:
“I am thankful for the promise of heaven. Knowing I have a son there is hard, but encouraging, too.”
I recently heard two quotes on secular TV shows that really resonated with me about grief and thought this would be an appropriate day to share them with you. If you have experienced grief, you will totally understand.
On one show, a person who had lost someone they loved said these words:
“Grief is grief. It’s a hole that can’t be filled. But, over time, it will shrink enough that you won’t fall in every time you take a step.”
On another show, a woman was commenting on someone saying to her, “I’m sorry for your loss.” This was her reply:
“One gets over the loss of a wallet or a watch, but a loved one – they never leave you. You never get over it. You only get through it by leaning on others, the comfort of friends.”
I have found both of these statements to be true. But, as I came to my quiet time this morning, I read a passage in Psalm 119, and verse 143 jumped out at me:
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find JOY in Your commands.”
Then this quote in Jesus Always really hit home:
“Filling your mind with Biblical truth will help you resist discouragement.”
God’s Word, His truth, His commands are what will get you through whatever “loss” you are experiencing. So, on this not-so-happy anniversary day, these are the truths I am filling my mind with:
“The Lord cares deeply when His loved one dies.” (Psalm 116:15)
“We are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
And, finally, the verse that Jeremy’s widow, Stephanie, chose to be on his headstone, for which we are so grateful. What a wonderful truth from God’s Word to be forever under his name, a lasting legacy of God’s grace!
“Blessed are those who die in the Lord. They are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work…” (Revelation 14:13)
Having said all of that, we covet your prayers on this “anniversary” day. Your friendship, love, support and prayers have certainly helped us get through this “loss”. Much love to you, my dear friends.