I’ve come to the end of my journal and my lessons of hope as I have faced my staggering loss. Or I’ve come to the end of one part of my journal. Continue with me, and I’ll take you on a new journey starting next week. I’ll introduce Facing Loss Through The Psalms. I journaled through The Psalms and share it because I wish I had such a companion while I was walking my journey. It will be a vastly different journey. Less personal. More about soaking in the praise and lament and allowing it to flood over our hearts.
In this entry, I reflect on my unwanted journey ever so briefly.
“God’s plan from the start for this world and your heart has been to show His glory and His grace; forever revealing the depth and the beauty of His unfailing Love. And the story has only begun…” Steven Curtis Chapman, “The Glorious Unfolding”
In this final entry, I briefly summarize my journey and say thank you for journeying with me. I have been overwhelmed with the steadfast love of the Lord and your companionship on this journey.
As I reflect, I rehearse that all things are not good. Brokenness delivers pain in life. Don’t I know it. You know it, too, or you will know it one day.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
However, Jesus is so good and so powerful that he can take all things—including broken things in life—and cause them to work together for good.
This is my testimony. I have seen God bring good. Again, my loss was not good. However, God has used this painful loss to teach me so much. I have been given an opportunity to invest my pain and hope. This good in no way diminishes the significance of my loss. Or yours. Loss is staggering.
And yet, I have learned lessons of hope on this unwanted journey. I trust these lessons shared for the past few years through my blog, Facing Loss: Lessons of Hope from My Unwanted Journey, are helpful. Journaling and sharing them have been therapeutic for me. Almost a redemption of the loss for good. Kim would be proud, I hope. Or at least surprised.
I loved my children before Kim’s death. We had good relationships. However, losing Kim thrust me into a deeper love for and appreciation of my children. They have been so good to me. Kim would be so very proud of them. Few things strike my emotional chord now almost four years later. But they do. I am choked up even as I write these words.
Also, I learned about the beauty of the Body of Christ. The people of God are a people redeemed from brokenness. We are ministers. And I have been the recipient of a tapestry of ministry. Those who receive comfort give comfort. The gospel comforts a people marred by sin. That redeeming mercy and grace equips the church to love. And I have been loved. Again, a recipient. I grew in my understanding of the gospel. Redeemed from a broken life. Forgiven of sin. Reunited with Christ. Grace, mercy, peace, love, hope, comfort. All deep lessons.
As a result, I was privileged to comfort others. Candidly, when you walk through grief, mourn with hope, and receive comfort, you are compelled to comfort others. You are literally compelled. You must invest your journey so as not to waste the loss you’ve faced.
While on this journey, I risked a new journey. Loving again risks losing again. As J. R. Miller wrote in The Ministry of Comfort, “…love and grief grow on the same stalk…” Or as John Flavel wrote in Facing Grief, “According to the measure of our delight in the enjoyment, so is our grief in the loss…” And yet, I risked the pursuit of Amanda Lillian Dimperio just after the two-and-a-half-year point after losing Kim. And I made her Amanda Dimperio Davis on March 26, 2022.
In this entire journey, I’ve learned the story is not about me or Amanda or Kim or my children or you. It’s a story about the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Mine is a micro-story in a macro-story. Your story is a micro-story, as well, and it only makes sense in the context of faith and hope—the macro-story.
And there is glory in the story.
This phrase, “glory in the story,” became a theme rehearsed by Gordon Fort when he performed our wedding ceremony. Indeed, there is glory in this story. It takes eyes of faith, yes. However, the glory is there whether you’re looking or not. For my story and for your story.
This story has been a glorious unfolding. That is my testimony. I sign off at this point in my journey; however, I want to thank you who have walked with me.
Jesus is deserving of great glory. As I reflect on this unwanted journey, I lift my voice to the King who needs nothing. I rejoice over his kindness to me as I have faced my staggering loss in the context of his steadying gospel hope.
“You deserve the greater glory. Overcome, I lift my voice to the King in need of nothing. Empty handed I rejoice…” CityAlight, “Good and Gracious King”