A new chapter
In graduate school I typically had to read 3-4 books a week. Some of these books were more than 500 pages. The chapters were long, dry and very difficult to get through. As I read, I often wondered, not just when I would complete the book, but when the chapter would end.
In my own life, I feel as though the chapter I have been in has been incredibly long and very difficult. It started on December 2014 with a cancer diagnosis. It contained 18 hospitalizations, 15 cycles of chemotherapy, hundreds of nights where my children went to sleep at home while their dad was in the hospital. It contained relapse, bad news and paralysis. Heartache, pain and tears filled each page of the chapter. And on February 14, 2017 it included the passage "Melchor Lira passed away." The chapter of pain continued and consisted of my children and me figuring out how to live without the love of our life in it. It has included nights where the pain is so intense. It includes uncontrollable and deep tears. The chapter is filled with loneliness and silence as the absence of Mel is felt on every page and in each sentence. And there are times I wonder when this chapter will end? When will the pain not be so harsh? When will the silence stop being so loud? When will my broken heart be pieced back together?
On Monday during my time of praying and reading the Bible, I read I Peter 2:12 "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer." I have asked God some difficult questions, not out of a rebellious or unbelieving heart, but questions that those who grieve the loss of someone have. I am so thankful that God sees our tears. I am thankful that He hears our prayers. I am thankful that the questions I ask aren't offensive to Him and don't cause Him to grow angry with me. I am thankful that God is love and in the midst of the pain, He lets me know He hears my prayers. And as I began to pray on Monday, I felt as though God was speaking to my spirit and said "This is not the end of your story. New chapters are yet to come." For those who have never lost a spouse, it may be hard to truly understand how when a spouse dies it feels as though a part of you is gone as well. Every dream and desire I had included my husband in it. And since he passed away, I have been forced to re-dream. Every chapter of my life I thought would include my husband. But they don't. And that has been the most difficult thing. It is as if you are starting over. When something so devastating happens it can be hard to believe that there are good things in store for your life. Yet in my time of prayer, as God saw my tears, He let me know new chapters are yet to come.
On Monday evening someone I am connected with via social media sent me a link to a preaching. The title of the preaching was "Welcome to your next chapter." She had no idea that just that morning within my spirit, I felt like God was telling me that new chapters were yet to come. Yet just as the scripture in I Peter said God's "ears are open" to our prayers. He sees the pain of our heart. He sees the tears we shed. He sees the grief a mourning wife endures. And He speaks. He may not calm the storm right away. He may not remove the pain immediately. He may not part the sea right then. But He speaks. He lets us know that He hears our prayers. And He confirms the message He wants us to hear.
There are new chapters of my life. I don't know what they will look like, but I am believing that while grief is not something that ends, there are new seasons for my life. The storm clouds won't always hover. Pain won't always be so present. My broken heart will be pieced back together. Mourning will be turned to laughter. Sorrow will be replaced by joy. My story doesn't end with heartache. It doesn't end with pain. It doesn't end with tears. There are new chapters that are yet to come.
A little about me:
On February 14, 2017 my husband passed away at the age of 31. He fought cancer for two years. In a moment I went from wife to widow and entered into the club no one wants to belong to. I have two young children. I am a homeschooling mom and work in the educational field. I attend First United Pentecostal Church in San Antonio, Texas.