Sunday, February 19, 2017
The descent from the jagged cliff, where I plunged into the deepest ocean of agony that I've ever known, to riding the waves of sorrow, as they crushed, and assaulted my shattered heart. I survived the next eighteen months until I finally found myself on the distant shores of the most horrific tragedy I'd ever known, waking up to a life of which I could have never imagined, nor ever wanted. Crawling on my hands and knees, struggling to stand, I kept reaching up, until one day I was finally able to stand. Upon standing I quickly realized that in order for me to move I had to be willing to take a step, and that would require TRUST for HIM. In my heart I knew..... my life, the old me, when we were seven life was over, and if we were going to move beyond living in the aftermath, I was going to have to be willing to begin again.
Begin again.... the very thought sends me into a tailspin of emotions, both of elation, and fear. Elated because that means that I'm moving farther from the devastating loss of my son, the most horrific week of my life, and the more time that has passed, the more HE has healed my aching heart. Fearful because I have this precious little girl who is rapidly becoming a full fledged toddler, and her mannerisms, her personality is much like that of her older brother Seth. I find myself living in dejavu moments with her, that take me back to precious memories of when life was simple, agony didn't exist, and my heart wasn't shattered. It is in those moments where fear grips me so tight that I can hardly breathe, that I cry JESUS please help me, as its all can manage to say, as the tears flow, and the what if's try to invade my every thought.
What if HE lets my heart be broken again? What if HE asks for Joy back? What if I don't trust HIM, what will happen to me? So many thoughts and so many questions wreck me, and leave me exhausted. So much I find myself begging HIM for relief, knowing full well that it's going to take effort from me to receive such relief. The thought I struggle with most in begin again is knowing that HE is rebuilding me, and strengthening me to be fearless, and what if...... that means HE's asking me to risk it all again? Will I survive?
For a while now I've been hanging around the base of the mountain of TRUST with HIM, for HIM, as I'm terrified to even climb, as the fall terrifies me. Even a stumble these days can throw me into a day of tears, that hurt. I know that every morning when I wake up, I know its going to take a tremendous amount of effort, and TRUST in HIM and for HIM for me to get through the day. With each new day I am met with a choice. I can either choose HIM or I can choose my flesh, and most days I choose HIM, but on the days that I choose my flesh instead of HIS SPIRIT, oh those are my hard days. The worst part is sometimes my hard days turn into a hard week/weeks.
Begin again.... if I'm being honest angers me. I am angry because I would have NEVER chosen this plan for my life, after all it certainly wasn't a part of my plan. My plan was to raise my children together with my husband, and SEE how HIS plans would be lived out for each of their precious lives. My plan was to pray, hope, and dream for my children, their future spouse, and families of their own. My plan was to teach them all about HIM and how JESUS is their best friend. My plan was to make a lifetime of memories with each of my children, so that when I die they could hold tight to their precious memories of our time together.
When I think about my plans, I also couldn't have imagined Joy to be apart of them. After all when Seth was born, D and I were on opposite sides when it came to wanting more children. I was willing, and he was tired. He was worried that we wouldn't be able to give enough love and attention to each of our children, and wanted to be the best daddy to our then crew of five. My plan was never to be sitting in a restaurant on our 16th wedding anniversary with tears streaming down my face, as just five short days earlier D and I would stand in HEAVEN's doorway and give back our son, and place our TRUST in HIM that Seth would be cared for until...... we would meet again. My plan was never for D to hold my hands and ask if I would be willing to have another child with him, did I think GOD would bless us with another child? So much would happen that week that was NEVER a part of my plans.
The idea of begin again was placed on my heart last night as I was crying that life was hard. I was crying because when I look back on my life, it is filled with a lifetime of hurts, and no matter how much I let go, and let HIM, there is yet another layer to be peeled back, to reveal lies that have trapped me, that have kept me from living HIS TRUTH about WHO I am, what I've been through and how I don't have to be sorry or apologize for how messy my life is. Rather I can live with HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE that my circumstances don't define me, but the measure of my FAITH is found when it is revealed how I deal with my circumstances according to HIS word, HIS will, and HIS way.
Begin again frustrates me as each day I struggle to overcome my fears, and try my best to embrace this new life, this new normal that I am forced to live, to accept..... to embrace. My new normal of my son, Seth Daniel did indeed die, he is in HEAVEN wherever that is, and whatever that means. The idea of HEAVEN brings me to my knees, as I used to feel as if though I lived in HIS KINGDOM, and felt as if though I were living my life as a representative of HIS KINGDOM, when honestly now..... HEAVEN seems so incredibly far way, ,as that is where my child is, and all I have is this promise......... that because I BELIEVE and choose to live as HIS follower I know that one day I will be reunited with my son.
Begin again challenges me to lean in, press into HIS word, and really understand that it's not for me to understand, but rather to TRUST that HE knows, and even though I can't HE can. I am challenged to speak HIS TRUTH boldly into the lies that the enemy has been taunting me with and that just as the sweet gentle woman from church said to me today, "you tell Satan to go to hell in JESUS name!" I am challenged that instead of giving into the fear that grips me, release the vice grip of my hands, and open them to receive HIS love as HE will pour HIS strength in me, over me, and through me to be able to move beyond the fear in my heart.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Begin again today means that instead of being upset that I am having to relearn concepts that HE has taught me a million times, I'm not angry that I'm learning, rather I am grateful, I am thankful that HE is relentless in HIS pursuit to fill me with HIS unfailing, unconditional, endless love. I am thankful that HE knows how much I am needing love, and support in this difficult journey I am on, and as my dear friend M said just yesterday "look up my dear friend and see that the race that you are running, there are people their loving you and cheering you on. You can't just look at the ground when you are running your race, because you will miss those people, who they too are running their own race"
So my dear friends my prayer today is this, look up my sweet friends, run your race, look around you and SEE all the people WHOM HE has sent to love, support, and encourage you to run your race. I pray today that if you are tired, rest in HIM as HE is there for you. I pray that in your time of rest you will feel HIS love for you, and that when you are ready, you too can begin your next chapter of begin again.
Always with so much love, compassion, understanding, and grace,
Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,