Finding Peace and Remembering to Rejoice: A Journey With Grief

“I will rejoice, I will rejoice, and be glad…”

I Will Rejoice/There Is A River

Even when it’s hard, even when I don’t feel I can be, even when my heart is broken and my soul is hurting, I will rejoice, I will be glad, in the presence of the Lord.

He is El Sheddai. He rules over every part of my life, every part of my world. The pain and the darkness may last for the night, but the joy of the Lord – MY Lord – will last forever (See Psalms 30:5). He restores my soul, and I will praise Him – through the storm, through the fire, through it all (See Psalms 23:3).

It’s been a hard week for me and for my family. Tuesday morning, I lost my grandma. gmaThe possibility had been there – she had been sick – but she had been getting better, and I just wasn’t prepared. I’ve been fighting to keep myself together, and I have lost that fight and gone to pieces more than a few times. Sunday morning, I broke down during service when we sang “Wonderful Peace” because I just have not been able to find that God-given peace. I can’t understand why. I know she has finally reached her better, and I know she’d tell me not to worry because all is well now that’s she’s with the King, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how much I know these things, I also know that the pain of her loss is still heavy on my heart regardless of how much I know.

When I hit the altar yesterday morning, I told God how much I’m struggling to find His peace, and he reminded me:

“You are not in this fight alone. Lean on those who love you: your friends, your family, and especially your church. They are in place at my command to help you through.”

For these God-sent people, I am ever thankful.

My eyes are red and raw, but I will carry on with the strength of the Lord my God, my Keeper, my Provider, my ever-present help in times of need.

God bless!
Elizabeth

Crafting, Love, and God’s Blessings

Now for something completely different!

I’ve been debating about posting this here or elsewhere or not at all. I considered just posting it straight to Pinterest, but I realized there’s way too much to say about the process for that. I know it’s, in done ways, incredibly off topic from what I originally created this blog for, but at the same time, this blog is supposed to be my journey, and this is certainly a part of my journey, in more ways than one. With that being said, welcome to my first crafting post!

imageThis was my anniversary gift to my boyfriend this year. I made it using odd decor items I found at Michael’s, with the exception of the E which is two wooden letters from JoAnn’s glued together and wrapped with jute. The board is from an old building on his family’s farm that finally fell last April: imageI printed what is probably my favorite picture of the two of us to put in the frame. It was taken at our friends’ wedding, and it’s not the one we were fully posing for. Someone made us laugh right before the picture was taken, and that makes it so much better. We laugh –  a lot! It’s one of my favorite parts of our relationship, and I’m glad someone captured one of our moments.

The whole idea for this project kind of came together accidentally. I started with the L, the frame, and the keys to make something for my own wall, but then, as I was messing with their arrangement, I realized they could spell “Love,” a word and concept that had been incredibly present in my life lately.
I’ve found that I am absolutely surrounded with love. I have a wonderful family, a fantastic group of friends, and the most amazing and God-fearing man any girl could ask for. Then, above all that, I am loved unconditionally and unceasingly by my Awesome Father, and that’s something that constantly leaves my heart overflowing with grace, adoration, and thankfulness.

While the initial point of this point was to share my crafting creation, the main point is recognizing the wonderful life I have been blessed to live. I thank God for that every day because I see time and time again the experiences and hardships of others.
In times of trouble and trial, I will remember the love my God has blessed me with, both from his arms and from those He has placed in my life to love me here on earth.

God bless!
Elizabeth