Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pursuing Peace

Since Michael's passing, I've learned that not only am I sad and lonely, but I now have all sorts of loose ends to tie up - mostly regarding financial things like disability payments and the death benefit from his pension plans. Of course nothing like that is ever easy. In fact, it's rather frustrating at times.

I'm also having to deal with my hurt feelings regarding Michael's family and their ongoing relationship with an ex-girlfriend of Michael's. It's a long story that I might blog about more someday, but I will tell you that this woman (who despises me) was welcomed by my in-laws to both the mass and memorial service. Her presence was hurtful to me, and I thought it really inappropriate as well. Anyway, I can foresee that she will be invited to family gatherings once again now that Michael is gone, and that's really concerning me. I just don't think I'll be able to handle that.

I guess because I like to have things figured out and resolved, these issues nag at me. Truthfully, the ex-girlfriend issue nags at me more than the financial issues do because it's a heart thing.

So last night, at that point in the evening when I miss him the most, I was really bogged down with all this stuff. My heart was heavy with sadness, loneliness, frustration, and anger.

I've been ending my days with time in the Word, so I picked up my Bible intending to read Psalm 37. But on my way there, I came across Psalm 34. I had highlighted some of the verses in that Psalm previously and they caught my eye. I took the time to read the entire thing, and the commentary about it. I have a Life Application Bible. All that means is that there is commentary on almost every verse in the Bible. It's useful for understanding scripture, and since it's a Life Application Bible, the commentary is geared towards how one can apply the scriptural truths to one's life. But, I digress...

I read it out loud. Buffy listened intently - she loves the Psalms. ;)

And it was all good, but a couple of things really resonated with me.

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him. (Verse 8)

Depart from evil, and do good;
seek peace, and pursue it. (Verse 14)

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit. (Verse 18)

As I considered that Psalm, and continued to read Psalm 37, my heavy heart grew lighter and I felt encouraged instead of discouraged about my circumstances. That's the thing about the Word of God. It's not just words on a page. There's power in it if you are in Him, and it can soothe your soul like nothing else. I remember a few years back to a time in my life where I was a believer, but I did not spend time in the Word. The result was that I was easily overwhelmed by my troubles, and I wasn't having much impact in my life for Christ. As the body needs food for nourishment, the soul needs to be nourished by God's Word.

At this point, I was really drowsy, but I wanted a sneak peak at a new book I had received earlier in the day. I know one of my blogging friends recommended it, but I can't remember who right now. Anyway, the book is simply called Heaven and the author is Randy Alcorn. I ordered it because since Michael's passing I find comfort in knowing that he's in Heaven with the Lord and that I will see him again. That belief has driven me to want to understand all I can about the place where my husband is. There are a lot of books written about the afterlife, but I'm only interested in reading those that are aligned with what's in the Bible and that's what this book is all about. I just read the introduction and the first chapter last night, but I'm excited to keep reading and gain new insights about Heaven. It's my final destination, too.

All that to say that shifting my focus from the things that stress me out to the truth of God's Word went a long way towards calming me and preparing me for a restful night's sleep. God is good!


  1. God is good indeed. I am thankful you are finding truth and peace in His word. I am praying for you!!

  2. I love that you know where to go when you need comfort. It would be easy to turn to other forms of self-medication, but you found the one true flaw-proof healthy way of coping. Thanks for your inspiration as always.

  3. What an inspiring post. I am so glad that you finding comfort in your scripture readings. There is so much power in prayer, isn't there. Take care.


  4. Joannah, it must be so hard to deal with the loss of your husband and have to deal with the issues of an ex-girlfriend on top of that. I don't know how you deal with it and still write so beautifully and with such inspiration...actually I do know...God is good.

  5. I am so glad that you are finding a sense of peace in the bible scriptures. Prayer is very important to you and I know it gives you great comfort.

    I have a lot of question marks/concerns/opinions about the behavior of Michael's family. I wrote a whole diatribe which I deleted because I didn't feel it would be helpful to you.

    So with that, I do want you to know that you are being thought of as you go through this very sad time. I am glad you are pursuing peace and I want to support you in achieving that.



  6. I have some idea of how and what you are feeling, not from my own personal perspective but from my Mother's. She has dated a Filipino man for many many years, and the family can be (what's the right word??) really different when it comes to spouses/girlfriends. I feel your pain as I've seen many unfortunate events over the years. Sadly I think it really is a cultural thing (please don't take offence in my comment)

    I have said before that your faith is inspiring, I have my beliefs but when I read your words and such I feel a peace come over me. It's really nice and I want to thank you for that.

  7. Oh, I'm sooo glad you got the book!!! You are going to LOVE it! I'm so sorry about the family issues...that's so rough...I will add that to my requests on your behalf...death is so messy...and it seems like all the fall-out lasts for such a long time...but you do get through it...Took 1 year to get through all the business stuff for me...tying up all the loose ends...especially since the first year of taxes after is kind of tricky...I will pray that ALL goes smoothly and peacefully for you!! Love you so much! Janine XO

  8. Thank you for sharing your heart. Turning to scripture is definitely the place to go when going through such trying times; turning to scripture is the place to go when on the mountain top or in the valley! You continue to inspire and amaze me. Your words of inspiration move me - closer to my Heavenly Father - and I love that about you! Thank you!

  9. Joannah, so sorry to hear about Michael's family. Don't think about future family events right now- take it one day at a time. I have "issues" with certain family members as well, and if I dwell on what the next family gathering will be like, I'd go crazy. I LOVE Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven. Might've been me that mentioned it, not sure. I started reading it when my dad was so sick for the same reason you're reading it now. Let it comfort you- let it EXCITE you for what's to come!

  10. I'm sorry about the family issues that are greiving your already hurting heart. I'm glad the scripture spoke to your heart and I'm sure it will speak to others reading your post.

    Like Janine said, it will take about a year. I remember my mom telling me that it took almost a year to get through the financial matters because something always cropped up. I told that to my friend who lost her husband unexpectedly while she was 8 months pregnant about 10 years ago and after a year she told me that it was absolutely true. It took almost a year to take care of the financial stuff and she was glad I told her that so that she wasn't so frustrated.

  11. I almost sent you that book! I am so glad you ordered it! :) I just got back from being gone for a week, and I love the new look of your blog.
    I wish you didn't have to deal with paperwork and financial issues and family crud! :( I wish you could just rest. And thank you for the reminder to begin and end my days in the Word. You are so right that it refreshes the soul!

  12. Matters of the heart are the toughest of all especially when your heart is wrapped in a bandage to help it heal from being broken. I truly don't have any advice but I do have you on my mind, constantly.


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