“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:17-18
I am finally getting around to selling the house that we lived in when Trevor died. I moved just 6 months after the accident; it was a great move. It was immensely helpful for me and my kids. I just couldn’t handle taking care of acreage, and the memories were everywhere. I also had trouble sleeping at night because the slightest sound outside kept me up. I feel much safer living in a neighborhood in town. However, it’s now time to get rid of the other house.
I went to the house a couple days ago with both of my older boys, and we set to work cleaning up the property. It was hard labor; sister, this city girl was not made to do manual labor. It wasn’t long before I was completely exhausted. It reminded me that I never had to do this kind of thing in the past; Trevor would take care of it or he would help. It was yet another stab to the heart that my life is not what it once was. I can rest for a few days and easily recover from all the physical work; it takes much longer to recover from emotional fatigue, doesn’t it?
One of the main tasks was removing the fence around my garden and cleaning up the area. I was not prepared for how it would hit me, like a sword straight to the heart. You see, I would go out there in the evenings to weed and water my little plants, and Trevor would go out there to keep me company. We had cleared the plot of land as a family, and Trevor had painstakingly fenced the area to keep out our chickens, rabbits, and anything else that might want to eat my garden. The night before his accident, we had spaghetti sauce that I’d made from my own tomatoes and for dessert, we ate a watermelon we’d picked together from our garden.
After we finished removing the fencing and pulling up stray plants, weeds, and the occasional thorny tree, there was little left to signify that there had ever been a garden there. But I knew. I could still see the remnants of rows that my oldest had raked for me. I could picture in my mind the watermelon vines growing up the sides of the garden fence and the enormous squash plants before the bugs got to them. I could see Trevor out there, picking peppers with our second son. And I wept. I wept for the family I used to have. I wept for a time when things were simpler for me and the kids. I wept for all the dreams we’d once had. I wept for the way things used to be. Grief is a journey, sweet friend. It’s never truly over this side of heaven, but maybe that’s the point. If life was easy, we wouldn’t constantly be yearning for something beyond this world, a fullness that this life can’t give. Pain and heartache keep us looking to the healer. Brokenness and unfulfilled dreams point us continually back to the one who holds the universe in his hands.
When life deals you an unexpected blow, when you plead with God to step in and act, remember his hand is already outstretched to you. He extends a lifeline to you today to keep you from going under. It is laced through Scripture and is offered to you today – the hope of God. A scarlet cord outside a window. A ram in a thicket. A well in the desert. Sister, there’s a great cloud of witnesses that goes before us, and God will save you too. You need only reach out to him. Don’t turn away from him in your pain; turn to him. His arms are open wide, and he wants us to trust him. He wants us to know he has a plan, and he is most definitely still on his throne. He has a plan for your pain and a purpose for your brokenness. Trust him.
“For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” Habakkuk 1:5b