Thursday, September 26, 2013

If His grace is an ocean...

Eating dinner tonight - a gourmet delight consisting of macaroni and cheese and reheated leftovers (hey, a single mom has to cut corners sometimes!), today's date jarred my memory.

Instantly I was transported back to March 26, six months ago today.  A very grave, dejected Dr. Vashi, gently telling Ryan and I the words that we so desperately did not want to hear.

It was time to go home.  No more options.

I had steeled myself for this news for the previous 24 hours.  I could see the whole news unfolding exactly as it did, almost like a premonition or a foreshadowing.  I could see the symptoms increasing.  I knew that Ryan's surgery six days prior had been unsuccessful in its attempt to stop the internal bleeding that had plagued him since late February.

However, my husband had not spent the same amount of time preparing himself for the news. When we had a private moment, my husband, weak and bone-thin after four weeks of fighting for his life with every ounce of strength he had, laid his head on my shoulder and quietly sobbed and we prayed.  Most of it was guttural, but it was almost an entirely non-verbal plea for grace, peace, and mercy.

And there it came, rushing over us yet again, even in one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life.  And even in that excruciating moment where death stared us in the eyes, I knew that God's grace was once again going to sustain and buoy us through the next (short) chapter of our lives.  Because it is sufficient for me.  It was for Ryan.

It is for you, too.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that [the thorn] should leave me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

The next two weeks will be really tough for me again as the six-month anniversary of Ryan's passing approaches. The combination of the impending anniversary and school starting (Really?  I'm really doing all of this myself?  All the time?  No breaks?) has left me feeling bereft, lonely, and overwhelmed for the past few weeks.

And yet, throughout all of the pain that this month of September has dredged up, I am reminded of that sufficient grace.  As a believer, I have an enormous source of power within me that is a direct result of the Holy Spirit's indwelling of me.  This power has allowed me to choose joy in spite of paralyzing sadness, and has allowed me to live life in abundance in spite of my weakness.

My Savior loves me.  My Father comforts me.  His Spirit sustains me.

And His grace is an ocean in which I am still sinking, six months later.

7 comments:

Cheryl said...

Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I pray that God will continue to give you the strength, comfort, peace and grace you need as this new chapter of Living in High Definition continues to be written.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes! He is enough! You are enough in Him! Endless love and deepest comfort to you in Christ. Jaye Beatty

Angie said...

You don't know me but I have been privileged to follow your story of mind blowing levels of trust and of God's faithful provision.

I wanted to share something God put on my heart during a time of grief.

It is the desire of the enemy to stir up anxiety and dread over dates and anniversaries. The alternative is to submit healing and grieving to God who is so able and tender with his precious children. He knows the different things we need every day and we can trust him with timing.

This has moved me away from giving authority to dates and toward trusting God that he will lead me through this. Some of the deepest levels of grieving can come on the most unexpected of days. And surprising blessings of lightness can come on days when our loves saw Jesus' face for the first time.

I hope this encourages you as it has me. You are a light and powerful testimony of how to deal with pain in this life. Thank you for being willing to share.

jvzdutch said...

Kendra,
You don't know me (I'm a friend of Jenny Richardson's), but your post made me cry. There is such faith expressed alongside such pain! I extol you for your faith, but at the same time,I am literally crying for you. "Lord, please help her. Hold her up. Comfort her. Encourage her." They are not flowery words, and my tears really don't do you any good, but I just want you to know that God continues to use you in powerful ways.

Kelsey said...

Dear Kendra - I know it's not a coincidence that my mother-in-law (Denise Conroy) shared a link to your latest blog post today.

Thank you for your hope, your faith, your faithfulness. Thanks for your honesty and openness about the melting pot of emotions you're working through. You are changing people's lives simply by inviting us in.

We are sending up huge prayers from Salt Lake for you and your little one as school starts and time plods on. God is so faithful, and we pray his mercy and grace upon you in the days to come.

KD said...

Thank you for sharing! Your blog is so convicting. It seems like each entry is like an incredible sermon that makes you think, evaluate, and see things differently. You challenge me in so many ways. Your reliance upon God, for one. I've experienced pain, but for a time I turned away from God instead of running to him. Thank you for being so open. Praying for you

Anonymous said...

Kendra, you are a beautiful example of God's love to so many others. You have such a loving heart and we thank you for being real and being an inspiration to others.