Hello to all today! I pray that your weekend and if you are in the United States, that your holiday was more than you expected. My Thanksgiving Day celebration was a very blessed one with some old and new friends in our little community, where we live.
This time of year which was originally meant to be a time of celebration can become a struggle for some and the struggle did not hit me until a couple of days after Thanksgiving, but God is good, so good. He is faithful and He will meet you as He has done me right where you are.
I started this series on grief several weeks ago because I felt the Lord’s leading in this direction, I know it was no coincidence that it is being published at this time of year. As I have stated before, we have to walk through the hard times so as to see the rainbow of promise and covenant on the other side.
Today, I have a guest who will be posting on Climbing the Mountains. I think that you will be blessed by her story.
Beth is a woman of strength, but even while strong she is very tender hearted. She lost her husband to cancer a little over a year ago. What she has written is a piece of her story in the painful loss. She is a mother to two amazing young adults. She was her husband’s caregiver and was with him to the very end. God now has her on a significant journey of rediscovery. Please take the time to read through her “Tale of Two Hearts” and allow it to bless you as it has blessed me. There are also links throughout her story to websites that are a result of ministries that are being birthed as a result of her grief. (All you have to do is click on the words that are blue and underlined to get to her websites.)
A Tale of Two Hearts
Written By Beth Zinn
The bride walks down the aisle her hand in her Father’s slowly stepping closer to her groom. Tonight the two will be joined in the most intimate way. Then they become one together. Paul and I had wanted to have our rings engraved with the words “Together Where We Belong.” Why did we do this? We had spent a year apart from each other before getting married. There would be many more times would take us apart because of his duties in the military. Yet it was not the service of our country which took him from me. I lost him to cancer. What happens two the one heart when the one they are joined with is taken away?
For some a death or loss could come suddenly, as in a tragic wreck or accident. For others it could be some slow and gradual like a sickness taking a heart apart from another. There are many forms of grief. It will hit you in different ways. The grief you feel when you lose a grandparent or a parent is different from what you feel if you lose a child or a spouse. Some will say one type of grief will be easier than another to get over. I know from my experience it is different in each situation. People feel grief for more than just the loss of a person. We experience grief in the loss of anything. The most important lesson I have learned about grief is we must allow our self to feel. We must also face the fears we experience when the grief comes. Yes fear comes with grief. In my case fear came in many ways, Fear of the unknown, fear of more broken relationships, the fear of losing more and even then fear of not having security in my life. I don’t know why I felt secure before. I was looking to the things of the natural to help make me feel secure. The one thing I can secure myself on is “The Rock.” What Peter built the Church on. It is through a living and active relationship with Jesus. It is through His impact in my life I have been able to walk through the grief and loss. I am able to stand today with my heart entwined with a new lover. I have a tale of two hearts to tell. The first is one I found in a book. The second is a painting. This painting is one telling of how the Lord finds us in our broken places. Then He impacts us to become new and to start a journey to hope and healing. He reaches in and takes us out of the place of brokenness and transforms us into a vessel fit for His use.
One afternoon a little over a year since the loss of Paul in Sept 2011, I was sitting in one of the newly renovated rooms of my house. This house was also a picture of the Lord’s redemption in my life. I was talking to my Son Paul Jr. I had moved two books into this room and set them on a side table. It was partly because they looked pretty on the table between the two wing back chairs. Secondly because they were related to some of the new and fresh starts the Lord was doing in my life. The thought in my mind was if I am dreaming of starting a ministry and par entering with anyone. The best boss to have would be Jesus as the CEO. I wish to do things right and this was a good place to start. I was thumbing through the book because Paul Jr. had become distracted with something and our conversation all but ended for the moment. I then saw a piece of paper stuck in the book. I thought it might be a bookmark or an old receipt just something I had left in the book to mark my place. Yet it was not what was in there. It was a note in the shape of a heart. It said “Just Because I Love You. Guess??” It was in my dead husband’s handwriting. You would think I would be in tears sobbing out of control. Yet sorrow was not the emotion I experienced. You see it was a peace and a quiet reflection of how grateful and happy I was to have had the years I did with Paul.
One of the first ways to know you are coming out of the places of grief is when you reach the point of acceptance and resolve. When you have bridged the gap between where life was and where life is now. The two can come together and create a new reality. This is the emotional place I found myself a little more than a year after his death. Yet with each person the time it takes to reach this place is also diverse as there are sands on a beach or stars in the sky. I had some time to allow myself to grieve before he died, because the Lord made sure I knew what was coming.
Paul’s death was not a surprise to me. There were many years and then months I spent seeking the Lord and his direction on our walk through cancer and in those times the Lord would give me scripture and guidance to prepare my heart for Paul’s homecoming to be with Jesus.
The second heart I wanted to talk about shows how God found me in the “Miry Clay.” It is a painting I just finished after finding the note from my husband. Like the first heart this painting had a story of its own to tell. It shows the picture of a heart which is cracked and broken. It is found in the ground dry and crusty. This heart is also missing a part of it. It has suffered loss and is now missing a part of what it was. It has fallen away. There are tears falling from the heart because in the place of our brokenness we will shed the tears of sorrow and pain from our loss. This heart has a beam of light impacting it. When I first started drawing what I felt the Lord was showing me I saw a shovel digging the heart out of the miry clay. Then as I drew it I kept hearing the scripture from Hebrews.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12, 13 NKJV)
You see instead of seeing a shovel I was seeing the Word of God in a beam of light in the shape of a sword. It was impacting this heart and helping to bring it to a “New Beginning” in its place of brokenness. This is demonstrated by the rising sun in the sky. It is bringing light to the place of darkness this heart has experienced. The colors chosen in this painting were to show as we go through this place from refuge to restoration it requires us to pass through the fire. So the reds, yellows and oranges reflect the fire of refinement. Also clay when found in this state must be soaked in water to make it soft and pliable again. So the Word is depicted in two ways. It was first through the impact of the sword of light. Second it is the blue and white highlights which reflect the light like water in the picture. As we surround ourselves with God’s Word and allow it to impact the depth of pain then the hardness of our condition can be washed away. This process helps to make ourselves pliable. The sword in this picture also depicts the power of the cross gives us the new beginning and transforms us. The highlights also show how the light from both the sword and the sun can expose the darkness of our lives. It is the sacrifice on the cross bringing us freedom from our old self and brings us to a new place. We are then embraced by the hands of the master to form us and mold us into the vessel fit for the master’s use.
The first heart was a picture of the earthly love I have experienced by having a loving relationship with Paul. The second is the picture of the impact the Lord has had in my life. It tells how He began the refining process. It is said bringing revival starts in the heart of the believer. My heart has had a transformation ignited through the power of the Holy Spirit when I was first impacted with the Power of Jesus. God transformed me 18 years ago in Sept 1994. Exactly 17 years before I would lose Paul. He knew I would need power to be a witness for Him. He knew I would need power to walk on a “Road Less Traveled.”
It is a journey to walk. Grief is not something I suggest people do for fun. I can’t say there is a lot of fun walking through it. Yet the Lord says he will give us a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness and he will bring joy to our mourning. So I know his plan is not to have us be in pain for to long. I have always advised people it is ok to be depressed as long as you don’t make it your address. We don’t want to dwell in depression. We want to dwell in the house of the Lord. It is in His presence the healing comes to us. When we take time with Him each day we are made new. The old life and what it looked like fades away and the new light is shed. It is through this light we see God’s love for us.
Depression is just the gap between what life was like and what life is.
Acceptance and resolve is bring the two together and accepting the “New Normal.” The light he sheds our on losses is what helps is to see the vision of the new normal. It is helpful to look and see what the Lord’s light has to show you. Because it brings life and purpose to the pain you experience.
There is another scripture I think of in Proverbs.
18 Where there is no revelation,the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18 NKJV)
It is through the light and revelations of this new life; we find our way out of the grief and despair. This is where we find the purpose in the pain we have suffered. Then we are able to help others to bridge the gap between their old and new life. There is hope in a hopeless place. You can find a way out.
I have a new heart. God has given me sight beyond my pain. He has taken me to a new place. He expanded my family beyond my vision of what I thought it would be. He has given me promise beyond the dark places of my heart. As I held to the embrace of His hands He molded me and His light shined upon me. I began to reflect on the good I had and see the good ahead of me. I have a restored hope. Thanks to His loving embrace. I now have a new heart entwined with Him. He is taking me to a new life after the grief and sorrow. He has given me a “New Joy” in my mourning!
I hope that Beth’s story has blessed you!
Love and blessings to you,