• 11Apr

    We are grieving again at the loss of another family member.  Our Uncle Jasper has lost his wife of six months and their little one just barely conceived.  At first the shock of hearing the news threw me into a tailspin that had me shaking and crying and left my mind floundering for it’s next thought.  In a lot of ways I felt like I lost two years or so of recovery time and the pain and anguish were pushing me into the ground again.  It was hard to think and function in a world that didn’t even realize that something was missing.  And then came the field trip.

    I had been planning a field trip to a local model train museum for several weeks and I was wondering if funeral plans and such would rearrange the event, but God had something else in mind.  The morning of, I was again overwhelmed with the pain and found it difficult to pull myself out from under my pillow and I turned to God in my distress.  “Lord, you are going to have to help me.  I cannot do this today on my own.  There is no way I can function like this.  I’m in charge.  I need a clear head in order to handle the responsibilities of a possible 20-some children plus adults and I have no backup plan if it rains.”

    Just about then I hear a serious scream from my youngest.  I’m out of bed in the blink of an eye and off to see the problem.  He is throwing up and I quickly determine that we both need a bath.  He gets his first and gets sent off with a sibling with appropriate instructions and the day begins.  “Thank you, Lord, for getting me out of bed.”

    My help arrives, takes in the situation, realizes I’m not emotionally up to par and refrains from asking the tons of questions I know she wants and needs answers to, until I am emotionally ready to handle them (like 4/5:00 p.m.).  “Thank you, Lord, for her patience and sensitivity.”

    Nanna is more than willing to help with watching Caleb(3) so that the rest of us can continue with our trip without fear of infecting everyone else and worries over the comfort and cleanliness of having a sick child come along.  “Thank you, Lord, for her willingness to help.”

    The sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky.  I focus on that, reminding myself that the Lord has answered my prayer.  The sunshine brings a strange comfort.  I know that God is there, that He cares, and that He provides the grace.  I cling to that.

    The trip goes off without a hitch and I was even able to push everything aside to be dealt with later and actually enjoy the day.  God is good.  He’s not just good, He’s great!

    Somewhere in the midst of that day I realized again just how wonderful it is to be loved and cared for by my Saviour.  And strangely enough I found myself glad to be in the midst of such trying circumstances.  I’m not happy about another death and the pain that comes with that.  But I have come to appreciate the depth of my relationship with my Saviour during the difficult times.  I told Jasper that I was sorry for his loss but not sorry about the time He would get to spend with God.  In some ways I envy him.  It’s the darkness of night where you can see the light most clearly.

    Lord, I’m sorry that I have allowed so much to come between us.  I’m sorry that I haven’t put the effort into our relationship that I should have.  I’m sorry that I waited until a crisis in my life before I turned to You for help with every little detail.  Thank you for loving us and caring for us, no matter how strange and stupid we are.  I love you.

  • 10Apr

    Jasper, as someone who has also experienced this type of loss I feel like I should have some great words of wisdom to say, . . . but I
    don’t.  I know each grief is different and each grief is experienced in different ways and so all I can say is, “I’m sorry.”  But then I realize I’m not.

    I’m sorry for your pain,

    but I’m not sorry for your growth.

    I’m sorry for the hole in your heart,

    but I’m not sorry for the peace that fills that hole and soothes the frayed edges.

    I’m sorry that you feel the loss,

    but I’m not sorry that you had something so precious to lose.

    I’m sorry you no longer have the love of a wife,

    but I’m not sorry for the love that continues to surround you.

    I’m sorry you are about to face one of the hardest years of your life,

    but I’m not sorry for the time you will spend with God.

    I’m sorry for your lost relationship,

    but I’m not sorry for the many you have gained.

    I’m sorry for your painful vulnerability,

    but I’m not sorry for a soft heart that God can mold, shape, and use for His glory.

    And so Jasper, I’m sorry, but then again . . I’m not.

    Lean on Him.