spectacular sunset 8-31-15
A friend called me last night to see if I could see the sunset…I was sitting at my kitchen table and could not, but I grabbed my keys, headed out, and found this…a gorgeous display of God’s awesomeness.
I haven’t always noticed beautiful sunsets, but now I do. I don’t want to miss the opportunity to feel and see God’s presence…and because Warren is in Heaven with God, it’s also a moment I can feel closer to him! What a gift!
Oh the precious memories of the- first-day-of school pics…I couldn’t get my hands on all of them, but loved looking through the ones I could find!
Last week was different. It was hard. It was emotional. Monday was a sweet time with friends who came over just to sit with me. We laughed. We cried. We got in a circle on my living room floor and prayed… asking God to be near, to be our Comforter, our Peace. We asked that He would go with Grace and draw her to Himself in a mighty way. We shared a time with each other that was described by my very dear friend Janell as sacred. Janell knows all too well this kind of heartache, because unfortunately she is part of this “club” that nobody wants in. And yet, she stopped by to check on me..to encourage me, because that’s what you do for a sister in the club.
God’s presence was felt in our home on Monday. We knew He had heard our cries and our longing for Him to carry us through one more difficult “first”. He was certainly enough..and dare I say it ~ I believe He was MORE than enough, just because He could be and because He is a good Father that wants to give us good gifts. The gift of Himself was enough. I am thankful.
The rest of the week was filled with ups and downs. I had to deal with some issues concerning the cemetery… trying to get the marker or (headstone) officially ordered so that it will be here and placed by November 24th. I cannot begin to describe the feeling in the pit of my stomach each time I had to call. Hoping I could at least get through one conversation without crying. Wanting to communicate my concerns so that the person on the other end of the phone understood my train of thought, even though I assume my words were all over the place… and being emotional didn’t help a thing?! (*side note…this has been a very heavy burden…the stress of deciding what we wanted, getting approval, believing people were taking care of things when they were not, wanting it to be complete by 11-24..Truly more than I can handle…..But God is doing it His way, in His timing, so that when it is completed, there will be NO question that it was God and not me.)
I’m reading a fantastic book that describes one aspect of grief as a fight, a war of the mind.(Through The Eyes Of A Lion, written by Levi Lusko) Each day, each moment, there is a battle going on in my brain. How will I process the things I see, hear, taste and smell. Much of the time everything that goes through my brain must first pass through a “Warren filter”. This “filter” determines how I will feel when I see or hear certain things. Sometimes I will feel sad, sometimes I will cry, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes I will spend time with a certain thought or memory and feel very sad, missing the way things used to be. I can’t focus or complete a thought, and all I want to do is cry!!….It just depends… But either way I have a choice : will I only see the things that are right here in front of me? the pain and the sorrow? the difficulties? the loneliness? Or will I choose to see through the lens of eternity? the things I cannot see…the Spiritual things? …Thats the battle going on in my head all the time!
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Cor. 4:18)
So, we made it through week 1 of the school year, (which included the first HS football game…ugh) I’m not sure what that means exactly…What I wish it meant was that we had earned Warren back…We passed the test…We did it and now our reward is having our family back the way it used to be. Unfortunately, it simply means ‘we made it through week 1 of the school year’. Now we are pushing through week 2..and we will keep pushing and keep believing, that as we grieve we WILL grow stronger. Missing Warren and wanting him here will never change…but choosing to look back and remember God’s faithfulness, and how He has not once left us alone in this journey, will be part of how we can look ahead and keep moving forward.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Psalm 143:5-6
Warren’s 8th grade locker has been ‘retired’ and the school let us put a plaque on it in his honor. Kids walk by this every day and will continue to for years to come…I pray that lives will be changed and God’s presence will be felt in and through the halls of MMS!
oh my sweet friend – unceasing prayers for you! love you.
The filter you describe is one of the long lasting effects of losing a child. Initially, it is a painful filter. But as time passes, it becomes an assurance that, despite the moments of loss and longing, Warren will always be there and it begins to bring more smiles than tears. Janell’s and my filter is named Garrett. You see the world through it each day. And the grace and peace that passes all understanding uses that filter to calm your fears, to ease the pain and, yes, ultimately bring a smile to your face. What do you have to do? Just be strong… And take courage. How? By knowing each morning that the God of creation knows your name, feels and has felt the exact same pain you do and He will give you the strength and courage to face each new sunrise. How can you know that? Because He has told you He will. And He cannot lie. So go forth and walk into the darkness towards tomorrow’s sunrise KNOWING that He goes before you each step of the way. And His light will show the way without fail. For He neither slumbers nor sleeps.