Originally published Tuesday, 21 April 2015.
The man from the cemetery called my mother. He said, "Mrs. Liscotti, Your husband's stone is set." Meaning: the headstone is on his grave. The finality we've already been forced to accept has somehow managed to take us by surprise all over again. Traveling with it are whispers that echo, "Never again in this life."
Just twenty minutes before she received the call I was pulling into Panera Bread. I was planning to write to you on an entirely different subject matter until I reached for my purse and realized I had forgotten it at home. I cannot remember the last time I forgot my purse. Stunned, I dialed my mother and told her I was coming back for it.
On the way home, the song "It Is Well" by Kristene DiMarco and Bethel Music sounded through my vehicle. At the top of my lungs I poured out each word to God with a heart full of praise. He knows how deeply I've struggled with the words it is well over the last year. With all my heart I want the death of my stepfather to be well with me, but oftentimes, my flesh won't have it.
I've been robbed, and I'm furious.
During the short drive home and throughout the lyrics of that song, God poured out a different message for me to write about than the one I had originally intended. As I pulled in my driveway I saw my mother open the front door. I parked and hopped out quickly to retrieve my purse. She told me about the call from the cemetery. After a brief conversation I returned to the truck and left.
Grief washed over me and then something else came to mind...
I forgot my purse for a reason. The song "It Is Well" began to play while on my way home for a very specific purpose.
I believe God was preparing my heart and reassuring my soul that I can handle another step in the process of death. The finality death loves to taunt me with doesn't have to paralyze me with grief. It doesn't have the right to attempt clouding my truth.
What I've realized is that though my heart is aching right now, it is well with my soul. Truly it is.
I'll tell you why:
The Bible says, " O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (See 1 Corinthians 15:55) However, regardless of knowing that, I've been crying out to God for the last nine months wondering why I feel such a horrific sting. It burns. I kept telling God, "It's not supposed to be this way!"
With everything in me, I believe in eternal life. And I know the only reason any of us are able to partake in heaven is because of Jesus. But my flesh doesn't always want to submit to His plan.
My flesh feels angry and cheated. And, friend, that is why continually need to put it down.
I need to put down my flesh!
Though my flesh feels the sting of death, my soul NEVER will! (Tweet that.)
I wish I could stare you right in the eyes and speak those words to you. I want you to hear me, because I know there is someone reading today who needs these words as much as I.
We must put down our flesh, because when we do all will be well. In the end, it is our souls that live forever and our flesh that dies.
When I step out of the emotions of grief and loss and connect to the cross, then I can see death beaten. Not only that, I can feel victory! I know deep down in my soul that I've been protected from the awful sting of death and that victory is mine! And, friend, victory is yours as well!
Sometimes, we need to speak to ourselves and tell our flesh to die! We need to command our spirits to rise up and claim the victory that Jesus died and rose again to give us! He beat death so that we don't have to face it!
Whenever your flesh feels the sting, remember that when you belong to Christ. It is impossible for the sting to reach your soul. You can make it. You just have to submit your flesh and cling to the cross. All will be well!
You are loved and victory is yours!
PS: This is National Infertility Awareness Week. I hope you will join me here on Friday to participate in a conversation about it. Until then, please pray for the couples who are struggling.
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