As I begin to write, I am listening to Andrea Bocelli singing on my internet radio. He is one of many reminders of the things Terrie enjoyed. Thoughts of her crowd my mind,
especially on Monday’s and on the 23rd of the month, the day and date of her death. Those thoughts are less painful now. Most of the time, I can smile without crying, but there are those times, I smile with tears in my eyes.
I said I would give a monthly update for the first year of grieving, in order to help those who have not experienced the death of someone close to them, a spouse or parent or child. This is the seventh month and it is yet different than the sixth month.
The sixth month point is different, in that, a half of a year has passed. For the grieving, that is a milestone, as is one year, five years, ten years, and etcetera. The month of May brought what would have been our forty-second wedding anniversary, just two days after her date of death. I prepared myself emotionally and spiritually for that week by praying and acknowledging that they were important dates to me. I gave myself room to cry, if I needed to, and the Lord gave me strength for each of those days. I removed my wedding ring the day of our anniversary. It seemed appropriate to mark the end of our marriage vow, but not the end of my relationship with her.
In the last few days, I had a doctor’s appointment to discuss the results of my latest CT scan of my lungs. It showed that all of my cancer tumors were gone. The Lord had been merciful and kind to me yet again. I posted on my Facebook timeline the news and received many comments and likes, but as far as any celebration event, I was alone. I would have wanted to have Terrie celebrate with me. She would have been so very, very pleased with the news. She was a good nurse for me during my chemo infusions. But I suspect the Lord had already told her of my result, even before I knew of them.
I am trying to improve my health by losing weight. I would like to shed fifty pounds by reducing my portions and sweets. I am going to join a gym to do bicycle, treadmill, and light weights. I need to overcome eating when I get nervous or insecure. There are times, I remind myself of Don Knotts in the “Reluctant Astronaut”, not to the extent the actor demonstrates but internally I am uncertain of things. Does that surprise you that I have insecurities?
As I enter the seventh month, I’m still walking the “highway of grief”, but I guess I am more comfortable with my travelling companion, the Lord himself. I’m learning more of Him and His ways and timing. I am seeing the wisdom in what I have been told about not going too fast, just wanting it to be “over with”, which I had not defined except as to not hurt or return to a state of happiness. I have learned, in this transition time that it is not wasted time. It is a time to heal my heart/emotions. That takes time and in rushing, I run the risk of injuring myself. I could end up with an emotional limp.
It is also a time to exhibit God’s work in my life to those who come in contact with me.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29 NKJV
I was impressed with the phrase “to be conformed to the image of His Son“. As I go through the spiritual sanctification process, I am to have less of me showing and more of Him showing in my life. Could it be when I feel nothing is happening and I think that I’m stuck in traffic, that there may be someone watching me to see how I react to a given situation? Knowing I profess Jesus as my Lord and Savior, does my reaction reflect His image? Do I show confidence in the Lord’s ability and plan or do I act poorly, indicating a lack of trust in what He has for me.
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV
I close with this thought, seven months ago; I was impressed to travel on this journey with 1 Thessalonians 5:18 as my compass. I have looked to that verse as my North. I only get off course when I have stopped looking at my guidance. I pray that for the remainder of the journey, I would remain faithful and trusting in what He has planned for me.
I can look with hope to my future. The Lord is faithful.
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6 NKJV