A few months ago I met for coffee with a group of ladies from my church. The purpose was to get us all together, to get to know one another, and establish new friendships. I remember afterwards I was standing outside talking to one of my soon to be soul-sisters where I would share my damaged, wounded heart when it comes to friendships. She looked at me and said, "I want to be your friend, let's hang out." This was the start of one of many beautiful friendships, where I would be gifted with many soul-sisters.
HIS Daily Teachings today is taking me on a journey into my past and showing me just how much HE loves me that in being brave enough to share how much I cry HE prepared a way for me to cope with the deepest sorrow, and most tragic loss of my son. HE is letting me know that HE knew my heart, and it's desires to have friendships, meaningful, loving, and trusting friendships. Today I am blown away by just how much HE loves me and just how exactly HE did it all, without my even realizing it until now.
When my son passed, I called my Pastor's wife, who is one of my many soul-sisters. She then picked up the phone and started asking for prayers on behalf of our family. It would be later in the night that she and three other soul-sisters would arrive at our home, to comfort, cry, and just be there for our family. I will NEVER forget that night, that was so full of love, compassion, and grace and tears.
It is rapidly coming up on the sixth week mark of life without my son, and my heart still doesn't know how to move more than a few inches at a time. This for me in discouraging, as I am usually a very pro-active person when it comes to my FAITH, and doing what HE calls me to do. In short I am a doer, and I don't do well with being still.
"He says, “Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
However, since I clearly do NOT call the shots when it comes to my life, that is exactly what HE has been teaching me since my son's passing. HE is wanting me to know that it was NEVER HIS intention that I would just do a series of things, and then my season of mourning would be over. Rather, HIS plans would include times of silence, that would teach me to press in, and lean on HIM. HIS plans would be that I would read a sentence in my bible that states "why cry?" To which I responded, I'm NOT reading that! Oh my, how foolish am I, haven't I learned yet that it's NEVER no with HIM but always a resounding YES! Because HE loves me that is exactly what HE led me to do, and so for the past week all I have done is cry.
In knowing how much I would need HIM, HE would place me on many of my soul-sisters hearts to pray for me, so it was no surprise to me that HE would speak to me, straight to my heart, through one of my soul-sisters. After typing out yesterday's blog, I was in a good place, or so I thought. It was then that I received a private message from a sweet soul-sister sharing with me what HE had placed on her heart, while praying fervently for me. Upon reading her words, tears fell, and peace flooded me, as what she said, could have only come from HIM.
Her message to me, was HIS message of HOPE, LOVE, and TRUST, so that through my sorrow, sadness, and tears I would be able to SEE and choose HIS JOY. Her words to me yesterday were this:
"Heather, I wanted you to know that I have been praying for you morning and night as always. You are so loved by your church family. We see the pain and bring you to GOD often. This morning as I prayed for you a thought kept crossing my mind... GOD could have saved this wretched world, could have made a way to reconcile sinners to HIMSELF, in any form. The plan for Salvation could have taken any form but nothing GOD does is accidental. I think GOD knew that the most leveling, most painful, most heart wrenching grief a human would ever experience ~ would be found in the death of ones child. HE knew. So good is GOD that HE made Salvation come through the death of HIS child. I believe HE did this so that we could never believe there was a pain so deep HE did not understand.
"This is love: not that we loved GOD, but that HE loved us and sent HIS SON as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." 1 John 4:10
But Satan, also knows the heart-shattering pain this type of loss is, he bets against us with it. Satan wants to to be able to take the loss of a loved one and use it to turn the face of the grieving from GOD.
"But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” JOB 1:11
GOD always knew Satan's game, his schemes. By being willing to sacrifice HIS own child, GOD gave grieving Mama's such a weapon to beat back the evil: shared experience. You and GOD both lost a son you love. SO you can cling to HIM knowing HE knows fully the depth and breadth of your pain. We talked briefly at bible study too about how, in this grief, you have the chance to know GOD more. I was thinking about how, in a way, as you grieve the loss of your son, you will get to know GOD in a way I don't ~ as another parent who had to lose their child to death for a bit. And truly in the past I have thought about how slightly sad even the day GOD sent HIS son away for over 30 years.... just as you have been asked to send your son for a time. Even in THIS waiting you are suffering in a way very familiar to GOD. HE SEES you Heather, HE knows, HE can be trusted with your grief and you can trust in the victory that will be found as you continue to stay with GOD and resist letting the enemy use this for his gain. "
"I remind you, my dear children: Your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ name. You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One"
1 John 2:13-14 The Message
HE knew that upon reading her words, that is when I would be finally able to fully grasp just how close to HIM I now am. HE knew that her words would speak straight to my heart, and that I would be comforted in knowing that the once longed for friendships, have now been multiplied.
I can tell you that the ONLY reason I have made it this far is because HE loves me so much that HE would ensure that I, and my family would have a HUGE network of support, love, help, and grace. HE is wanting me to know that HE knew what I was going to be facing, and loved me so much that HE made sure that I would SEE HIM in the details of each and every step on this new journey that I am in mourning the loss of my sweet precious son.
Today I am so incredibly thankful to know that this pain, the horrible heart-wrenching pain that I am now living with, breathing through, and walking one step at time with is shared by HIM, THE ONE TRUE LIVING GOD, WHO HE HIMSELF suffered the loss of HIS only begotten SON.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 KJV
This past week during a talk with my brother he shared with me what a friend of his was saying about how he felt bad for my five year old son, that he lost his only brother. That his pain, is much paralleled to HIS pain of losing HIS one and only SON. I thought about it a lot this week, but didn't realize what that truly meant until now. HE is telling me that HE is even so into the details, that HE ensured that the pain that my sweet precious five year old son's pain was known. That the pain of losing his one and only was known by GOD. WOW! That is so incredibly comforting, as his Mama, as I have watched my sweet little boy struggle so badly with his grief of feeling as if though he wasn't a big brother anymore.
Yesterday while in my office, he came in and leaned into me and said, "Mama when I think of him, I cry, I'm sad, I miss him Mama." I pulled him close to me into a warm embrace, and could feel HIM holding both of us, as the tears fell from our eyes. Even in comforting my son, HE is there, HE is in every single detail of our lives, in our stories, on this journey called life.
"But whoever loves God is known by God." 1 Corinthians 8:3
Today I am so incredibly overwhelmed by HIS relentless pursuit of my heart, soul, and mind. So that I could NOT only know of HIM, but know HIM, know of HIS great love for me. So that I would NOT only know of HIS love, but feel HIS love, by experiencing HIS great love for me, and for my family. Today I can SEE HIM in every single area of my life, working, making ALL things turn out for HIS good.
Today I am seeking HIS KINGDOM all around me. I am asking HIM what it is that HE is doing, and what my part in it should be. Today I am trusting HIM, with my tears, as I am learning that even when I cry HE hears the words that are in those tears. Today I am gaining an even broader and greater understanding of WHO HE is, WHAT HE has done, and WHAT HE WILL continue to do! Today I am resting, and trusting in HIM, and BELIEVING HIM when HE says HE has amazing plans for my life.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS~ I pray today even if it's too hard for you to cry, that you will know that HE is there, holding you, and waiting for you to open your heart up to HIM so that HE can help you. I pray today that you will know when you cry HE is there, catching every one of your tears, and that HE knows, and HEARS the words that make up those tears. I pray today that if you feel alone, that you will TRUST and know that HE has gone ahead of you, and you are NEVER alone. I pray that you will SEE that HE is in the details of your life, by setting up a network of support in your life, through your family and friends. I pray today that you will trust HIM and lean in and press into him, so that HE will be able to lead you on the path of HIS true freedom. I pray today that you know that HE deeply loves you.
Much love, fervent prayers, compassion, understanding, and always grace,
Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,