December 6, 2018 my friend died.
She wasn’t just an acquaintance, she was my dear friend for many years. Grief is fine and very appropriate but as the days progressed my sadness turned ugly. I realized that I was overly sensitive with everyone. “Be nice to me, my friend just died,” I wanted to tell every person I ran into. My husband was the prime target. I had demanded that he be perfect. Did I mention he was grieving too? I was at coffee with my daughter-in-law when a big group walked in. They put their things down on the chair next to me, “my chair.” Instead of accommodating them, I pretended I didn’t see their need. Rude had become my new mantra.
I had a chip on my shoulder daring anyone to hurt my extremely fragile feelings. Recognizing this has been shameful. At her funeral hundreds of people told stories of her kindnesses to them. One after another shared how she loved them while in their life struggles. How many times could I hear of my friend’s kind encouragement before I stop being a discourager?
Grief is illogical.
Yes, her death is hard but watching the evil rooted in my heart is worse. And I’m a Christian! Instead of being a grace-giver I have been a grace blocker. Instead of reminding myself of what Jesus Christ has done for me on the cross I had been picking apart offenses against me. It’s amazing how uncivil I can be when I forget Christ.
Time for change.
No wonder I’ve felt down. As the one month mark came I made a decision. It’s time. Christ is Lord of my life and Lord of this sad tragedy. He is the One who I live for, not for me, and especially not for feelings. His plan is better than mine. He has ordained my friend’s death for His good purpose. It is part of God’s divine plan. As God reminds me in Romans 8, all things work together for good for me because His plan is to conform me to look like Jesus Christ. God is FOR me, not against me. He has not allowed this to happen because He is not powerful or not kind. He has another plan. He has a better plan. Because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not a good plan. He has ordained her death for December 6, 2018 and He is still good.
“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things….No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Wouldn’t you know it? My feelings are changing.
By Kathi Bishop