When God Doesn’t Heal

Did I mention that two weeks prior to my mother’s death in Massachusetts, my father-in-law died in California?

And two days after my mother’s funeral, my husband, an Executive Officer on a Navy ship, left for six weeks to Alaska?

And that our VW bug burst into flames just as my husband pulled onto the Navy base?

This was all in the same month: August 1985. The month from hell.

A month later I was told I had a “suspicious nodule” in my breast and to see a surgeon for a biopsy. My husband said to wait until he got home. I did and that was a mistake. Not knowing is more torture than the actual procedure. It turns out, it must have been a cyst that resolved by itself. Phew.

Okay, so I’ve established that was a rough period in my life. For several months we lived in crisis management mode. God felt very far away. My devotional times? I think maybe I read the psalms. That’s all I could manage.

The grief was so deep I could barely care for my two little girls. I remember colors being brighter, sounds louder, smells more profound. One day I had the revelation that love is the only thing that crosses the gap between life and death. Did you ever consider that before? What a comfort to my aching heart!

About six weeks after Mom’s death, a box came. Thrifty Dad couldn’t bear to get rid of her winter coat, so he sent it to me. I opened the carton, and out wafted my Mom’s favorite cologne. Her scarf was included, and as I lifted it to my nostrils, I let out a wail. She really and truly was gone.

My creative mother–maker of individual bridesmaid cakes, author of funny poems, gorgeous afghan maker, Christmas fanatic, friend and faithful writer, was gone.

God had not healed her.

There are those that try to comfort by saying, “Death is a kind of healing. She’s at peace now.” I tried telling myself that. But it didn’t work. I couldn’t make sense out of it. None. I guess I had to simply resign myself to the truth. God is sovereign. He does what He will and that’s the end of it. I didn’t like it. Not one bit.

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