• Laura Alvarado-Newson

Thankful in the land of the living

Psalm 27:13

"Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living."

Last night I was invited to a women's tea party. Yup, a tea party! Me! At a tea party! Hahaha. Fortunately they had java for us coffee drinkers; which, by the way, I was not the only one. I had a wonderful time reconnecting with a couple of friends I hadn't seen in years and the message that was shared about how my King is "enthralled with my beauty" (Psalm 45:11), just went straight to my heart.

My heart is full of gratitude as I look back at these past couple of years. I was sharing with one of the ladies at the tea party a little update of our rollercoaster ride of a life and how God has been walking with me through every tear, heartache and pain.

This morning I woke up full of gratitude in my heart as I remember all of those dark nights that I literally wanted to take my own life. The pain was severe, the darkness was thick and all I could feel was my heart and chest throbbing in deep pain. Some of you may find it odd when I say, I am grateful for that darkness, because it has caused me to surrender it all, to be done with my plan and agenda and how things are supposed to be. Now I am in a place of learning how to truly trust God and lean on Him and not my own understanding.

God, in His time, broke through the anger that enslaved me and my soul. He took my hand and walked me through the valley of accepting that my husband was gone, he wasn't coming back and stop waiting for him. God is pointing me towards His plan, His future for me and the children.

I can now say thank you to my Father because my husband is healed, he is whole, walking and worshipping in the presence of Jesus, no better place to be. What I could do, give or be here on earth for Jorge could never compare to what he is experiencing in Heaven with his Heavenly Father.

So I say to my Father, thank you! Thank You for this valley, thank You for being with me in that deep pain and valley, thank You for holding my hand and although I know that I am still in the valley, I also know that I have walked through the darkest, scariest parts, I am at the other side and see light ahead. I thank You Father for all of the amazing people that have come into my life while I walk this valley. They are like angels, speaking Your love and strength into my life and the life of my children. I thank You for all of those who are still around although, at one point, I pushed them away and isolated myself in pain. I thank You for those moments of darkness and isolation because that is where I heard Your voice and felt Your hand over me, telling me to just breathe and that everything was going to be okay.

Honestly, I didn't expect to feel this way so soon. I expected and braced myself for darkness and pain for at least a couple of years. There are days when I question this peace and joy, even feeling guilty about it. That is when I hear the Holy Spirit comfort my heart with the words "in My mercy, in My time....Trust Me." God knows that my life, the life of my family has not been easy. We have gone from one heartache to another, getting knocked down and in His grace picking ourselves back up just to face another heartbreak. I am no stranger to grieving, to loss. I grieved the loss of my first born son, as I expected a healthy, strong baby boy; yet God chose to bless me with a fragile special needs baby who came with a long challenging journey and testing. I grieved my life as a "normal mother", I grieved the lost opportunity to have 3 normal pregnancies and deliveries. Each one of my babies' entry into this world was too soon, too dramatic and extremely scary. Their lives are true miracles. I realized the other day that I do not have any pregnancy pictures of myself because they were born even before I was showing. I grieved my son once again after a major accident and second brain injury almost claimed his life, and left us trying to reconnect and get to know this new boy with different medical needs. I grieved the loss of my job of 15 years to become full time caregiver to my son.

Finally, I grieved the loss of my husband and father of my children 2 years ago as he became ill. The strokes robbed him from being husband and father, he slowly became dependent on me like a child for many things, I stood by him while he grieved the loss of his job, his ability to drive, his ability to read, remember, finish a sentence, and finally the quick deterioration of his physical body. In God's mercy, He said "enough!" and took my husband home to heaven to an eternal life of health, peace, joy and worship. It was my time to grieve his absence, his not being here, not sitting at the dinner table, not holding my hand. It was time to grieve the fact that I was no longer a wife, but now a single mom having to learn new things, letting go of the past and trusting God who has our future.

I can truly say that God has given me permission to slowly step into peace and joy in Him. His mercy is now saying "enough" to the darkness, to the pain, to the anger left after so many years of grieving.

Some would argue that I should still be in that deep dark pain. These individuals don't know what that pain is like. In one word, it is hell and why would I volunteer to go back to hell?

I will trust Him and His timing and although there are still moments when tears flow, I remember, I feel, I ask why....I refuse to stay stuck there, life is too short to stay stuck and Jesus came that we may have life and life in abundance. My Jorge is experiencing this face to face with Jesus.

I trust God with my life and the life of my children.

God bless!

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