Ten Months

It’s so much more than losing our son – as if that isn’t enough.

It’s the living without him every day and the knowing that he won’t ever be back here with us. It’s the replaying of October 24th that never stops

It’s watching a baby brother retreat in the areas he used to thrive and a middle brother carry the weight of playing a role he was never created for.

It’s seeing a sister doubt all the things she once knew; trying to make sense of the fact that her brother won’t be here when she graduates high school or walks done the aisle.

It’s hearing the moans and groans of a father in the night and knowing he will awake to the same mental, emotional and physical pain he fell asleep with.

It’s my heart longing just to touch my son once more; to stroke his face, to place my hand on his shoulder, to stand on my tippy toes to kiss his cheek, to hug him and never let go.

It’s pain and heartache every day.  It’s an unwanted knowing that life can be gone in an instant. It’s worrying about my children every time they aren’t with me. It’s the piling up of bills and the trying to play catch up for the time we just couldn’t function. It’s the floods that came, one forcing my husband to switch the location of his business, and the other still plaguing our basement with mold. It’s our family unit all handling our grief in different ways – and it’s me trying to be there for everyone. It’s doubts and questions from my children that leave me speechless and without answers. It’s crying out to God, pleading for him to reveal Himself to our children. It’s watching the strongest man I’ve ever known take on a whole different disposition; limping from the recent rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and walking with a hunch – both because he misses his boy. It’s the two of us trying so hard to hold it together but, at times, find ourselves drifting apart. It’s working when I want to home with my family because I know they need me now more than ever. It’s life on hold – unfinished projects, shattered dreams, and a blurry picture of a future once so clear. It’s trusting in God when I just want to crawl in a hole. It’s a daily hope that our suffering will cease and God will fix our family. It’s a constant struggle and battle in which we have a choice – do we surrender to the enemy or do we surrender to The Lord? Do we cave under the pressure, or do we let it refine us? It’s a persistent faith that our battle has been won and we will see the other side, someway; somehow.

I will not sugar coat it. The last ten months have been complete and utter hell for our family, and this only scratches the surface of it. All I can say with confidence is that Jesus knows our suffering – He paid the price for all of it. God knows what it’s like to lose a son, and He sacrificed His son just for me. Is that enough? Is it enough that God made a way for me to have eternal life? I can truly say, it’s everything to me. It gives me hope and provides me with a future. Someone recently asked me, ‘how can you still say that God is good?’ My answer, minus the tears, cries, and blubbering, was simply this, ‘He saved me, and I’ve seen His hand upon my life.’

As awful as this past ten months have been, I am trying to maintain a grateful heart through this season. I’m beyond thankful for the love of my family and the friends who have prayed for us. I’m thankful that I’ve gained an access to God that not everyone gets. I know what Paul meant when He said ‘I’ve been crucified with Christ,’ and I’m slowly learning the second part that it’s no longer I that lives, but Christ in me.’

One day our suffering will end, and we will come face to face with the One who took our place in hell and made our place in Heaven. Ten months is a long time. But, eternity is forever.

Sometimes, It’s More Like A Crawl

Sometimes, it’s more like a crawl.

It’s more like a crawl than a walk these days. My zeal and passion for life hidden so high on the mountain I’m on. Or, maybe it’s back at the bottom somewhere. I’m really not sure. When crawling is the method in getting from A to B or from bottom to top, you’re not quite sure you’re getting anywhere, or if you ever will. The top of that mountain seems endless to me most of the time; almost unattainable. Some of my dreams are up there, but too many more of my dreams lay shattered at the bottom. I’m tempted to go back and lay in the rubble – to become one with the dead dreams that have fallen so deep within the soil. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve died already because such a big part of me has. Not just someone I once held and laughed with and dreamed for, but a very piece of my heart is in that soil – dead and buried. The dreams at the top just don’t seem as attainable anymore, nor do they appeal to me the way they once did. Will I ever return to me? Will I ever reach the top? Will it matter if I do? These are the things I’m not sure of. These things, along with so many others.

Psalm 73:25 says, ‘Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none on earth that I desire beside you.’  But, I’m here IN this earth right now. So how do I keep going? How do I stop crawling and begin walking again? I want God to move in me. I want to experience Him in ways unimaginable – to feel him holding me and guiding me. Jesus felt forsaken, and we see the beautiful outcome of him pushing through. Even unto death, he didn’t quit. I feel forsaken, but, if I’m honest, I don’t feel as strong as Jesus. I don’t know how to push through right now.
Maybe, I will look back and see that God has been carrying me all along and pulling me through these dark times. That’s what I want – for God to be glorified. But, God doesn’t crawl and God doesn’t faint. Why am I crawling? Why aren’t I soaring? Something is holding me back with every step. A part of me is stuck in October 2013, and none of me is ready to face October 2014. I don’t want this. I often say out loud, ‘This cannot be real. This cannot really be my life.’ I guess I’m still waiting to wake up from this nightmare.

I want to be the carefree woman with child-like faith again. I want to be able to answer my kids questions and offer my friends hope. I want to be everything I was and everything I’m not anymore. I miss me, and I don’t like crawling. It hurts, and it’s exhausting. It doesn’t get me where I want to go fast enough, and it’s easier to fall flat on my face. I’m shaky and unstable in the places that were once so firm and founded.

But, in this moment it’s all I can do. And, I have to remind myself that it is better than sitting stationary and it’s better than laying down dead. It’s better than quitting, and it’s better than going backwards.

Sometimes it’s more like a crawl.

It Is Well

‘It is well with my soul.’

True words, but so difficult to speak.  Missing my son more and more with each passing moment; even with the knowing that there will be a day that I will meet  him face to face, and all my pain will disappear. How we all long for a day with no more suffering; no more struggle. So, how can we speak those challenging words? How can we say that it is well?

 All of us have been through something to make us question. This earth life is rocky. We fall and get hurt, and we get pushed down more times than we can count. Life can knock the wind right out of us and strip us of every material covering we’ve ever known.

But, we do have a hope and we do have a future. Somewhere, deep within we sense the outcome – in the very roots of our heart and the complex strands of our DNA. We were made to believe in the God who loves, heals, delivers, and saves us. So, our heart cannot help but go back to Him. Those of us who are running can only run for so long, until we become captured. He won’t ever give up on His pursuit of us. He won’t relent. His capture is more like a rescue that frees us from the bondage of death. One day, death will die and it will lose its grip on God’s children forever. And, it is for that reason alone that I can say, ‘it is well with my soul.’ Because as real as our pain is, it will all end one day. But, His love won’t end – His love never will. This is how the weak can say, ‘I am strong,’ the blind can say, ‘Now, I see,’ and the poor can say, ‘I am rich.’ This is how I can say, ‘it is well.’