Author: Lori Apon
Category: Grief: Memorials and Remembrance WidowLife
Last week we crossed over the 20th anniversary of my husband’s death. Without fail, this day still produces a catch in my throat, tear in my eye, and tenderness in my heart. It doesn’t take much effort for memories of the trauma to flood my soul even for my children as well.
Is that okay? I think so. May 17th is our Good Friday—a dark day of death. Are we emotionally stuck even after two solid decades? I don’t think so. For the Apon family of nine, remembering this scene in life’s drama has been good, necessary, and impossible to avoid. This is the day that changed the trajectory of our lives.
From our finite view, this day wasn’t supposed to happen, or was it? God wrote the story in a book even before time began. Because of Psalm 139 we know He knew, but did He allow or appoint such suffering? The same unanswered questions remain. The enemy knows when and how to use these to bring torment, if I let him. However, like Job, my response to silence the enemy keeping me at a place of surrender to my God is this information is too wonderful for me!
God responded to Job’s questions with the reminder of Who He was instead of explaining what He was doing. In my Bible, the title of this section makes me smile, “Job’s wise silence.” We are told that Job even put a hand over his mouth almost as if to say, “I am nothing, know nothing, and already said too much.” I can relate to Job.
“Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore, I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
When you break down the word wonderful in this famous response, it means marvelous, surpassing, extraordinary, beyond one’s power, and difficult to understand. Most of us easily admit that suffering is beyond our control and too difficult to understand, but to define suffering as marvelous, surpassing, and extraordinary requires an eternal faith-based perspective. Shifting the focus from the natural to the supernatural is often a moment by moment, day by day, week by week and year by year requirement for healing.
There is a weight of pain AND glory in our stories that can’t be avoided—the tension is not to be resolved, understood, or explained. It’s just too wonderful!
Reflections of two decades with God as Husband and Father:
- God is God and I am not which is a very good thing.
- God is good no matter what our perception of “good” is.
- The Lord went before me whispering that we would go through transition, but it would be for our good and His glory, and we have found this to be true.
- Fight to avoid spiritual numbness.
- The Word of God is the anchor for your soul. Read God’s Word every. single. day.
- Embracing the pain is necessary for healing.
- We are not the same people on this side of the valley which is good!
- Single parenting wasn’t as bad as its reputation.
- I love my life! I’m content with God’s call to widowhood.
- Loneliness is real, but purposeful.
- There are treasures to be found in the dark.
- I know God in ways I never ever could.
- God has been my Husband. This is a foreign concept for many but relating to God in this way was life to me.
- Perspective matters and can determine the outcome of your life.
- It is crucial to think on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellence, and anything worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)
- God IS Father to the fatherless. This promise from Psalm 68:5 is true! We put our trust in God and His promise to be Who He said He was. The power in this trust gave us hope.
- Statistics are not the final word—by choosing life after death, you can change negative statistics.
- God taught me the necessity of being a prayer warrior. The best way to parent our children is on our knees.
- God hears our every cry.
- Great is God’s faithfulness! He uses the body of Christ and provides in miraculous ways. He is worthy of our praise!