Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
There is no way to prepare for the death of a child. There is no way to wrap your mind around the many (many) difficulties you will face as you begin walking this unexpected journey of grief and suffering. The unbelievable sadness and shock that initially overcomes your entire body as you look at your child and watch him take his last breath seem impossible. And it is.
But that changes. With time. The shock wears off and the memory of that (particularly horrible) moment begins to fade. Slowly but surely life, family, friends, work, school and everything in between come back into some kind of order and “normalcy”.
It just does. Now, you don’t have to like it. It’s not easy. But the reality is, at some point, you have to admit, “this is my life.”
Even in the Silence.
Since my last post about the quiet and the silence in my head.. God has done just as He has promised. He’s held me (us) in the most tender of ways. Even in the silence. Maybe, especially, in the silence.
The sweetest thing about how God blesses us and brings comfort is how He uses you. I have seen it over and over. Running into a friend at Walgreens that shared with me how inside her daughters Bible is #WB Jesus Saves. A sweet card from a friend that arrived at the perfect moment.
A lime tree. Yes. I have a friend that has shared with her class each year since Warren died that “you are never too young to make an impact on the world around you for Christ.” And this year, as they are studying the fruits of the spirit, when she asked them what she could get me as a gift for Warrens birthday they said a fruit tree. They decided it was a good picture of how Warren’s life continues to produce fruit even though he’s not here.
I MEAN!!! Am I living that way? In such a way that my life will point others to Jesus even after I’m gone? Every time I water this tree, I pray that Jesus will be what people remember when they think of our family, our story… What is the fruit that my life is producing?
Strength for the “harder” days.
Warren should be graduating from High School this year. This is what has exposed my heart to the pain that causes more frequent tears and the sadness that just really sucks.
But it’s so interesting, that in my recent season of silence, the Lord was strengthening me for these days. I didn’t even think about it at the time. In fact, I was confused by it and it scared me.
As I was reading this verse in Isaiah this week, I came across verse 1 which says “Listen to me in silence, O coastlands. Let the peoples renew their strength..and above this verse in chapter 40:31, it says this-
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.”
As high school graduation approaches, I have found myself pulling out my arsenal of scriptures I have used in the past to fight fear, loneliness, emptiness, sadness…and every other thought or lie the enemy tries to throw at me.
Right after Warren died I use to sit at my kitchen table and write on note cards, verse after verse, as I called out to God to rescue me from my pain. I needed something to distract me from what threatened to take me under. I’m so grateful for those days.
I’m grateful because these are now familiar verses that when I read them, or pray them, I know He hears and that relief is right around the corner. It can look different than what I might expect or want, the relief, but I know that somehow, God will get me through…
Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2