It can rip your heart out, and tear your soul to pieces. It can be the voice of unspeakable love and boundless pain. Or it can be a teacher of a faith so deep that even death cannot break it.
One of my favorite women in the world died on Friday. She was my Aunt Debbie. She was a teacher of strength and patience, discipline and courage. Her faith was one that I only hope to acquire someday. Amidst all her pain and faith, she held onto the faith that she would one day go home to Jesus. And she did. It's not just Debbie that demonstrated an abounding love and faith to me though.
I called my Uncle Doug this evening, to talk to him, and to tell him how much I loved him and how sorry I was, how blessed I was to see both her and him before she left us.
While I was calling to console my uncle, HE was trying to console me. Telling me how proud she was of me, and how much she loved me and prayed for me. He said, "Well, I miss my girl a lot. But she's way too busy up there to miss me. She's whole again now, whole and happy, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
Grief can teach us so much, if only we listen. When I heard she died, I was so mad. All she kept saying when I visited while home was that she was "healed by the grace of God" and when I heard the news, I thought, "Really God? This is how you healed her?"
And then I realized yes. It is. Because now she's healed. She's whole. She's not in pain from the cancer, or feeling bad because she can't help herself. She's healed. She's with God. I remembered sitting there, as my Mom read the Bible to aunt Debbie, because she couldn't even hold a Bible up. I heard Mom read Hebrews 3:15...
As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as they did when they provoked me."
And I realized that is what my grief has taught me. To strive for Debbie and Doug's abounding faith, unending love, even in death, and to never, ever be so mad at God that I harden my heart to Him.
She was such an amazing woman. I miss her already.