February 20, 2009

Love and Loss

The last several days have been filled with so much emotion. Between the loss of my aunt, Valentine's Day, and attending the funeral, my heart has been running the full gamut of emotions. I feel completely drained, yet at peace. I hardly know what to say about it all. My husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day on the 13th rather than the 14th. Ironically this was the day my aunt died from a massive stroke that occurred 2 days before. It was a day of love and loss. It was the day that I celebrated the love of my husband and I mourned the loss of my aunt.

My aunt was mentally ill, and in thinking about her life I find hope in God's mercy. I believe her mental illness was possibly severe enough to render her incapable of making a decision for Christ. I don't know what was in her heart and mind in the days before her death or even in the last hours when she was not conscious. I know God could have reached out to her even then. I don't know why God didn't heal her mind and make her whole, but I do believe that he is more merciful than we can ever comprehend, and that he must have extended that mercy to my aunt. I don't think I would be at such peace otherwise. Even so, I won't know for sure the outcome of it all until I pass from this earth. Today we only see in part, but one day we will see clearly. One thing I know for sure is that God's grace and mercy have been extended to me, and I am fully capable and willing to receive them. As one of my favorite scriptures and hymns says, "I know whom I have believed in and know that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

It seems that my aunt's death would have in some way "spoiled" Valentine's Day, but in reality that hope I mentioned earlier seemed to make it all fit for me. My husband seems to do everything well, and on Valentine's Day he didn't disappoint. He bought 2 dozen Carnations, baby's breath and the works ,and he created 3 flower arrangements and displayed them in different places throughout the house. The flowers that are still blooming fresh today in my home remind me of this wonderful love I have with my husband, and they remind me of all the good and perfect gifts that God gives us in those moments when loss could otherwise overtake us.

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