“How are you doing after the death of your husband? Do you feel better?”
I am sitting across from my friend who I haven’t seen in years — and this is the first question she asks me. I pause before I answer . . . and am a little surprised by my own words.
“The second year is much better than the first,” I say. “I have more good days than bad, and I’ve gotten used to bearing the pain and living with the loss.”
Somehow, behind the scenes, God started healing me of the terrible loss I suffered, a loss from which I thought I would never recover. Back home, I thought about all the signs of comfort and healing that God has brought into my life.
One of the most striking signs of healing has to do with my memory. In the beginning, after I lost Thomas, my husband, I could not see any photos of him. Tears welled up in my eyes and a sharp, cutting pain — that I could not bear — stabbed through my chest whenever I saw his face in a photo.
But God is faithful. In the months that followed, God used photos on Facebook Memories and Google Timeline to help me express my grief and find an outlet for it. It was a slow progression; one that, at first, just brought pain and reminded me of my longing for my husband’s presence. Then, after some time passed, the photos began evoking a mixture of feelings. There was still a sharp pain, but there was also a string of happy thoughts and thankfulness for these particular memories.
Then, in the second year after his passing, there was a reversal — less pain and more joy — when I remembered those good moments captured in photos. I even started deliberately scrolling through our photo albums, especially when I desperately missed Thomas and our life together.
In and through this loss, God has shown Himself as the Lord and healer of my memory. I have experienced firsthand His wonderful ability to redeem a devastating loss by healing the emotional pain and setting me free, enabling me to make peace with what happened.
I don’t know what past or current loss you are suffering through right now, friend, but let me encourage you with this wonderful promise for emotional healing:
“You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.”
Job 11:16-17 (NIV)
Amazingly, we find these words in the Book of Job — a book about a righteous man who lived through inexplicable suffering. These words come from the speech of Zophar the Naamathite, one of Job’s friends. Zophar assures Job that if he searches and follows God, God will bring hope, security, and peace to his life. This eventually becomes true in Job’s life when God puts an end to Job’s suffering and bringing comfort, emotional healing, physical healing, and the restoration of Job’s family and fortunes.
We can find more wonderful promises for healing and restoration in Jeremiah 33. Here is one of these promises: “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security” (Jeremiah 33:6).
The entire chapter focuses on the powerful promise of “again” because, with God, there will always be an “again” in our life. We will, again, hear “the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord” (Jeremiah 33:11).
Yes, with God, it is possible to heal through the pain of our past and present troubles. We may continue to remember what happened, but we won’t reel in the feelings of pain and turmoil. We can remember and we can be at peace. God can and will redeem our memory if we ask Him.
What do you need God to bring into the painful places of your heart and memory? Do you need healing, comfort, joy, peace, gratitude, or restoration?
Invite the Lord of your memory into your dark and painful chambers. Ask for His light and healing touch. There will, again, be good things to fill your desolate places.Leave a Comment