Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When Love Disappoints

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted....” – Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love." Boy, ain't that the truth? The more we love something or someone the more disappointed we are when we our plans or expectations aren't fulfilled with regard to them.

Last Tuesday, in the early hours of the morning, a text came in. I knew it would be arriving soon, but neither my heart, nor my mind was prepared for the magnitude and finality it brought. I was sitting at the table when Todd entered the kitchen. From the look on his face, I knew the words he was about to say would not be words I wanted to hear.

"Daryle just texted. Lola passed away."

No! She can't be gone! It makes no sense. I don't…I just don't…I don't understand.

Now I don’t truly know how it feels to take a knife to the chest, but if I had to guess, I'd say it might come close to how it feels when someone you love dies. My aunt Lola is gone. Gone. Just a few months ago, she was vibrant, active, and full of life. But her cancer returned and took that all away. No sooner did we learn her diagnosis than we said goodbye. I can't wrap my mind around it. I keep thinking I'll wake up and this will all be some crazy, strange dream. I haven't even had a chance to process and accept her diagnosis yet. Furthermore, we just said goodbye to my uncle Don. His life too, cut short by cancer. My heart aches for them and for my family as we grieve those we love so deeply.

My inbox and voice mail still hold messages from Lola. I can't bring myself to delete them. Surely tonight I'll see her working in the yard, as she often did, and hear her jokingly yell at me from across the road, "You need to mow your yard!" She can't be gone. She just can't. Not only was she part of my family, she was my neighbor and my friend...we shared so many laughs and good times. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. And, oh how the disappointment hurts and tugs at my heart. It fills my mind and floods my eyes with tears. She's gone. She's really gone. It just can't be...but, it is.

I've been putting off this post. And, not just a little, but a whole bunch-a-lada. To be honest, I just don't know what to write. Or then again, maybe I do, but am afraid to put it out there for all to see...afraid to put it out there for me to see. It's ugly, and so not tied up in a pretty little package complete with a perfect bow. I like to write about happy things. I like to be silly and witty. I like to share insight and encouragement. But...truthfully, right now I don't feel silly...or witty...or insightful...or encouraging. Mostly I just feel disappointment. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. I want her to come back. I want Don to come back. I loved them so.

I tend to laugh my way through life. The less serious I have to be, the less I have to really face things head on and deal with them. Now, some might say I'm doing what I should in trying not to feel disappointment or hurt. They may offer up "Right on, Angela. Don't sweat the 'small stuff'", or perhaps, "Shake it off", or maybe even, (my least favorite) "Get over it". Generally speaking I'm a pretty happy go lucky kind of gal. The trouble though is that sometimes beneath the smile I am totally sweating (profusely, I might add) the small and the big stuff. And, so it is now. Under my smile is a broken heart. A woman weary, worn out and sweating. A woman who loves deeply. And, a woman who is disappointed deeply.

My aunt Lola and my uncle Don were amazing people. And, the disappointment I feel is nothing more than love grieving deeply for those I hold dear. So, while I'm still this season of disappointment...sweating and grieving, I pray the Lord will give me the strength needed to face each day, and to take one day at a time. Great is His faithfulness.

Strength for today.  Hope for tomorrow.

That is my prayer.

Father God, great is Your faithfulness. Thank You for the hope we have in You. Even when we face disappointments in our lives, You are still good. Lord, I pray You would mend the broken pieces of my heart, and those within my family also, as we grieve for our loved ones. Thank you for the blessing Lola and Don brought to our lives and for the time, love and laughter we shared with them both. Please be with others who are also hurting at this time and missing those they hold so dear. Your word tells us You are close to the brokenhearted and deliver us from discouragement and crushed spirits. May we feel your healing touch, deliverance and presence, Lord. Please give each of us the strength to face each day, one day at a time, and help us to remember You are forever and always our hope.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy Neal7/03/2013

    Angela, my heart grieves so for you and your family. Kevin, the kids, and I were out of town on vacation when we heard the news. All I could feel was shock and sadness for you all, knowing that you all too recently had been through this with your uncle. Life is sometimes so unfair and difficult and hearbreaking, but you are so fortunate to have what many others do not - faith. Faith to find comfort and strength in the love of our Heavenly father. Faith that life will go on for you and that you will be your happy, witty self again after the most intense of the the grief passes. Faith that you will see your loved ones again on the streets of Heaven, and that someday, when you make your own journey home, they will great you with celebration and love. Your faith is a precious gift. I will continue to pray for you and yours and send my love along with those prayers. I love you friend!!!