When oil and water mix

Grief rolled in like a fog
Grief rolled in like a fog

I don’t know how else to describe the past couple of weeks except that deep within my thoughts have been this must be what it is like for oil and water to mix.

January 4th was the 2nd anniversary of my Mother transitioning to heaven. I was not prepared for the the wave of grief that rolled in like a fog the day before. I was sitting at work when all of a sudden I was SAD. No warning. I was simply overtaken.

Where was this coming from? This year was even more difficult than last year. What’s up with that?

There was no denying the pain, but as the anniversary day itself unfurled there was no denying the hope that my Heavenly Father was gifting to me as well. Yes, I meant to say gifting and not giving. A gift is something you have to take the time to stop and open to fully appreciate what you have been given.

Gift #1:

Shortly after waking I saw a book near my journal, i.e., my computer 🙂 that I had not picked up in a long time. I felt that “nudge” to check it out. I opened it to the bookmark that marked that last chapter I had read. I turned the page and look what awaited me:

“Christ came when we didn’t acknowledge Him, when we weren’t grateful, when we were blind to our need and determined to have our own way. He came when we didn’t think we needed Him. … I am learning that he still comes, no matter what. He comes to free us from the failure of our lives, from the broken promises that seem to define us. He says, ‘I saw you in your need. And I still see you. I am restoring all you thought was lost, all you have grieved and left behind. For with Me, all things are new.’ ”
Tammy Maltby – The God Who Sees You

Gift #2

I just “happened” to meet a co-worker I’d not seen for some time in the ladies room. She asked me if I remembered a friend of her young son that we had prayed for last fall. I said yes. She shared with me that the doctors had told the family at that time that only 1 in 10 survive the type of injury he suffered and those that survived have little quality of life. Fast forward to now. That same young man had walked back into his classroom at school for the first time that very day! Talk about a hope infusion!!

Gift #3

A simple e-mail from my sister saying she was thankful for everything we had shared as a family. It seemed to eat up the 14 hours between my family and me, and for just a brief moment it was the “the five” of us again – 3 young kids and 2 loving parents.

Just the five of us.
Just the five of us.

Gift #4

The phone rings that evening and it is my brother calling to check on his “kid” sister. He’s been one of my heros since I can remember, and he is still living out that role. I shared with him how much more difficult this year had been from last year and what a surprise that had been. He said he felt much the same and thought it was probably because the will had been finalized this past year and one more degree of separation put in place. The light went on! Hope dawned. What a gift … I was not starting down some mirky path encased with unknown tentacles of grief waiting to entangle me as I stumbled along alone. Someone else knew just what I was feeling and why.

The prophet Isaiah knew about oil mixing with water when he wrote:

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair
(Isaiah 61:3)

It takes a miracle for oil to mix with water; for beauty to replace ashes; for joy to come in the midst of mourning; and for praise to displace despair. And My Heavenly Father is just the One who can make the impossible, possible (Mark 10:27) .

Praying that wherever you need it in your life, the oil and water will mix!

8 thoughts on “When oil and water mix

  1. This is beautiful, Diane. My husband is deteriorating mentally and physically – slowly, but noticeably. I’ve gone down this road before with my Mom, but it isn’t a road I would choose for anyone. My hope is in the Lord, and my joy is that in the past 4 years., Ray has attended services, participated in ministry and talked about God more than in the previous 40. And I rely on the Lord to give me wisdom and patience and those little sparks of grace that brighten up the day, no matter what is happening.

    1. Hi Ginny – I am very sorry life is so hard for you right now. As I read what came to mind is Ps 94:18-19 and that is my prayer for you. “When Ginny feels her feet are slipping, cause Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, to hold up Ginny. When the multitude of anxious thoughts rise within Ginny, cause Your comforts to cheer and to delight Ginny’s soul all because of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. Amen.

  2. I love this article and sorry you were having that kind of day but look with God did by you opening the book and then the things that followed to help ease your pain. I love the daily readings in the book Jesus Calling it’s one that I try to read each day before I leave home and how that day seems to always fit my needs. I still have my days of break down over my father but then I think of where he could have been if he had lived – nursing home and then a joy fills my heart to know God did not want that for him or our family. I have visited a few friends recently in nursing homes and they tell me how they wish they could get up and go home or feels like they are in a prison that is when I look to Jesus and say thank you for taking daddy home with you where he is happy and free of all his pains and suffering. It’s not easy each day but there is always something that brings a relief for us to move on. You just don’t know how your articles are so uplifiting and gives me an encourgament to hang on. I love you so much and appreicate all you do to keep some of us going when you don’t realize you are.

    1. Thanks for your very kind words and encouragement Judy! It’s only been a few weeks since your Dad’s passing, so be as kind to your heart as you would be to someone else going through this. Sometimes I think people believe grieving is unchristian. Not so. God Himself grieved in the old testament when Israel chose idols over Him. Jesus grieved when Lazarus died. Faith and grief can and do co-exist … oil and water mixing. Love you sweet friend.

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