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Letters to Taylor: On Healing
I wonder what you are doing today. If you’ve had something really yummy to eat. If you’re singing new songs. If you’re looking forward to seeing us again or if you’re content with Jesus and your new knowledge and understanding, realizing that in his perfect timing, we’ll see each other again. I’m guessing it’s all of the above. I just can’t help but dream of what life is like for you now. Makes me smile.
For the last couple years of your life on earth, when someone asked how you were doing, I sometimes struggled to answer. I began using Daddy’s answer: “She has good days and bad days.” It’s interesting how now that you’re gone, that’s my life. The journey of grief holds good days and bad days for all of us who miss you. And we don’t all have the good days at once and then the bad days at once. That’s one of the struggles with family mourning; we aren’t all on the same page at the same time. Emotions hit us in individual waves. How to respond to one another through it all contains a learning curve.
Last week, I began to think that the sorrow of missing you was making me crazy. You know how much I love receiving emails from folks who have been touched by your life, right? The only issue is that sometimes well-meaning readers send tough emails. The question posed?
“Why didn’t you stand against this (Taylor’s fatal report) with faith in God’s promises for healing?”
The entire email essentially accused me of not having enough faith in God’s promises and power for you to be healed. According to the writer’s opinion, I allowed the enemy to steal you from me through disease.
Ok, first of all, the enemy did not steal you. You are in the arms of Jesus, safe and beautiful and whole. Satan has no authority over death or the grave; Jesus paid the penalty for death and rose from the grave, hallelujah!
However, the enemy did take this well-intended email and twisted it up into half-truths in my head for a little while. I poured back over what God’s Word says about disease and healing and purpose. In my head, I replayed the Bible story of the blind man. The disciples asked Jesus, “Who sinned? Who caused this man to be born blind? This man or his parents?” And Jesus answered, “Neither. He was born this way so that God’s work could be displayed in him.”
I believe the writer of this email is absolutely correct in that God’s Word contains promises for healing and that yes, God’s power reigns over disease. I believe God is still in the miracle-working, healing business today. But the ultimate healing is heavenly healing; I know you agree with that! I had to choose to overlook the strong email statements and remember that your purpose, my purpose, in life is to showcase God’s beautiful handiwork. Girl, your life sure is a glorious display of that.
A dear friend gave me a book a few weeks back and when I saw the cover, I’ll be honest, my heart sank. The title? “When Your Family’s Lost a Loved One.” In the moment, I didn’t even want to read the cover of that book, much less the contents. But her sweet note was so encouraging that I tried to begin reading it. The timing wasn’t right, and I put it down a few more days.
Then last week after that whole email incident, I picked the book up during lunch. What a precious gift! The understanding and gracious tone of this book made me realize I wasn’t crazy and I’m not alone. It turns out that the roller coaster emotions that accompany losing a loved one are humanly normal. Chapter 2, “When People Add to Your Pain,” was a perfectly-timed present. I’m halfway through the book and plan to read it again, adding highlights. I want to order a few copies for others and hope that the Lord will allow me to do the same thing for someone else that my dear friend did for me.
I guess I should get to work. I find myself lingering when I write a letter to you. The moments of sharing my heart draw me in to feeling your dearness.
There’s going to be a supermoon tonight. I imagine your view will be particularly spectacular. I’ll be thinking of you.
I love you. Not just to the moon and back, but beyond.