Tag Archive | faith

Year 4 is coming to a close

Well… it’s August again.

I didn’t start dreading it until July 27th. That’s pretty good.

I seem to be functioning “okay” today… but it’s only August 1st so I won’t get my hopes up that the next few weeks will be easy.

I don’t have much scheduled this week and I leave town Sunday – no contact with anyone again till Wednesday. I dread it and I look forward to it. Maybe I’m finally learning to walk in these big clumsy grief shoes? I don’t fall so often now. And I know a little better about when to get down on my hands and knees and crawl instead of attempting to walk every day.

I do still hate when I mess up things that used to be so simple. Being organized was like breathing before 8.8.12 but even now – 4 years later – I still get so confused over the simplest of things. But what’s cool about this grief brain is that as I’m typing and looking outside I see our grass needs mowed and the entire yard needs weeded; but the word “needs” is no longer accurate because the yard just isn’t important. I think my husband likes that grief brain also means laid back brain when it comes to many things.

I used to ask God, “Is this as healed as I’ll get?” I don’t ask that question so much anymore. The realization that I’d always carry this pain sunk in sometime during year 2. And I discovered joy more frequently during year 3. And during year 4 I stopped searching aimlessly for permission to laugh and just began to laugh. And most recently I’ve slowly been learning to let tears flow whenever they need to without apologizing to anyone.

It is possible to miss my baby terribly, to sit with another survivor and cry with her, to laugh hysterically at Angie Tribeca, to read a volunteer report about a scene LOSS attended, to pray for those left behind and to smile at the thought of seeing my baby again in heaven all in the same day. How bout that?

Angie Tribeca Trailer – Flippin Hilarious show 🙂

 

AZ with Drey

I’m back in Arizona for the week. Blessed and grateful to be able to take these classes. Nice to get away from Ohio… just unplug. Still surreal  – this direction life has taken. Never in a million years could I have imagined it.

Walking through the airport I see young men in their 20’s and think of you. I see a young lady I’m sure you would’ve noticed. I see an older woman with her adult son helping her walk. Thoughts of what should’ve been are flooding my mind. I’m breathing you again. I’ve come so far in learning how to live this new life… but you’re always here in my mind, in my heart. And some days I still just ache. I’ve held it in for a while without even realizing it. But now that I’m here and alone with my thoughts the tears flow freely.

Sitting on the shuttle bus I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window. Who is that woman looking back at me? It can’t possibly be me, can it? You didn’t really do this, did you? How am I still alive?

God, I pray for rest. I pray for clarity of mind and a supernatural ability to take my thoughts captive to the obedience of your son. Those thoughts. Those horrible thoughts. I praise you for keeping me alive. And I yell at you for keeping me alive. Sometimes it changes from minute to minute. I take great comfort in knowing you’re grateful to be talking with me regardless of my mood. Protect my mind from nightmares. And while I’m on the topic… how about you give me a nice dream of Drey? You know, one that doesn’t make me want to vomit when I wake up? I’m afraid to ask for a good dream. I’m more afraid to ask for a sign that Drey is happy, safe and loved with you. Because when it doesn’t get answered I worry it’s because he’s not with you. Forgive my fearful attitude. Change my heart towards you when I’m full of doubt. God I’m asking now. Help me trust you regardless of the outcome. Thank you that I can sleep. I am so grateful for rest. Tell Drey I love him.

That beautiful smile

I miss Drey very much. I wish I could hold him, smell him, hear his laugh.  I can think about him sometimes now without thinking about how he died. It took 3 years. And I still focus more on his choice to die than on his life but slowly I’m learning to stop asking “why.” I was thinking about the day I took him to get his drivers license earlier today. I remember him walking back in the building after taking the test with a somber look – that lasted 5 seconds tops. He broke into a huge smile – couldn’t help himself! God I’d love to see that beautiful smile.

Today in church we talked about how because of Christ we can approach the throne with confidence… Which got me thinking about Drey. Drey took his life then was immediately in heaven and could approach God with confidence? It’s hard to get my mind around. That God is THAT loving and merciful. Why do I think my sins are forgivable but have a difficult time believing my son was able to approach our Heavenly Father, too? Even after all I’ve been through I still have a shallow understanding of how loving God is and I definitely don’t have an adequate understanding of just how gross my own sins are. To think Drey crossed an unredeemable line and I haven’t is pure pride, arrogance.

I am excited to see my boy again. I often wonder if he’s the first person I’ll see when I get to heaven. I wonder why God hasn’t given me a sign? Why haven’t I had a dream about heaven and seeing Drey there? Sometimes I go to bed with anticipation that tonight may be the night. To wake up after a dream of Drey in heaven would be so amazing! I’ve prayed about it. But no dream. Some people talk about signs they see and experiences they have… Things that reassure them about their loved one being in heaven. I’m pretty cynical. I’m far more likely to chalk something up to coincidence than I am to something spiritual.

Well, maybe tonight will be the night? But if not, it’s ok. Everything’s ok. I’m still alive – and if 3 years ago you would’ve told me I’d still be alive today – I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m a walking miracle.

Personalized 1 Corinthians 13

If I devote myself to ’round the clock service to others, but don’t have Jesus, my service is meaningless. If I have full knowledge of all circumstances, motives and intentions leading up to 8.8.12, but I don’t have Jesus, my knowledge is but dust. If I have the power to turn back time and undo what’s been done, but I don’t have Jesus, my power amounts to nothing. 

Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not boast or envy; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. He does not force His way or His perspective on me. He is not irritable or resentful; He never rejoices at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus does not compare His suffering to mine; He does not discount my pain. Jesus does not keep score. Jesus stays alongside me in all things. He bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Jesus never ends. As for good works, knowledge, and power they will pass away. For without Jesus I only work and know in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a woman, I gave up childish ways. And so there will be a great transformation again… For now as a grown woman I see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And this transformation will be greater. 

So now faith, hope, and Jesus abide, these three; but the greatest of these is Jesus.

Thank you JRue and CT Teacher for your sharing.

1 Corinthians 13 (ESV):

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

My new view 

Drey’s death has revealed lots of character flaws… No wait…  Drey’s death has presented me with more opportunities to cooperate with God as He’s been working on my character. That sounds better. There’s nothing like a tragedy that knocks you off your feet, forces bittersweet dependence and produces fertile ground for sanctification. 

I am grateful for the new view I have. It’s peaceful. 

I am not grateful for how I got here. It’s gut wrenching.      

I’m coolio with the sacrifices I’ve had to make since Drey died. 

I’m devastated over why I’ve had to make the sacrifices I have. 

I live at a delightfully, refreshing pace more often. 

I wish I could’ve learned this pace without losing Drey.

I couldn’t do what I do without passion. God knew what He was doing. He prepared me the best He could. He was infinitely joyful, angry and devastated the day Drey was born. All at the same time. He knew. He sees all. He’s not limited by time. To see a new mothers love and at the same time to know the heartbreak her future held. To delight in the joy of a little boy scoring his first soccer goal while knowing the psychological pain he would soon experience. Surely the only thing more painful than what we live with would have been knowing what was coming ahead of time. How does God handle feelings of intense joy and devastation at the same time?  He knows how the story ends. There’s no other explanation. Can I have faith in what He’s told me about the end of the story?

Suicide, God, Robin Williams.

It’s hard when someone dies by suicide. And when it’s a celebrity it hurts because of the hard and often times hateful things that are said. “You can’t rest in peace if you killed yourself.” “Suicide is the most cowardly, selfish thing anyone could do.” And so on. So many of us are suddenly so self righteous and in a position to judge others motives and state where they are eternally. How did we get that power, that knowledge?

For me personally it’s yet another aspect of learning to live with my sons suicide. The scab ripping off from the little bit of “healing” as the comments and social media frenzy ensues.

It’s hard because I want to defend my son and others who make this dreadful choice.
It’s hard because it’s not fair for us to judge motives or where someone will spend eternity.
Do we believe our sins aren’t as wrong? Aren’t as offensive to our perfect God? And that He judges on a sliding scale? The top 10% get to go to heaven?
On God’s sliding scale do some of these keep us out of heaven while others “aren’t that bad?”

When you overreacted with harsh words.
When you were a toddler and ripped that toy out of your little sisters hands.
When you were jealous of your friend.
When you killed yourself because you were mentally ill.
When you killed yourself even though you weren’t mentally ill.
When you refused to forgive the co-worker who talked about you behind your back.
When you stole that candy bar.
When you said that hateful thing.
When you thought that hateful thing.
When you got that abortion.
When you avoided eye contact with your neighbor because a conversation would’ve disrupted your personal peace.
When you fantasized about your married co-worker.
When you got high.
When you got drunk.
When you gossiped and called it “praying for your struggling friend.”
When you lied to your parents about where you were going.
When you called that stranger “dumb ass” on Facebook in response to their rude comment about Robin Williams death. (Even though it still feels damn good that you said it!)

Or do we become self righteous and judge because we can’t believe in God’s love and mercy that He did ALL the work Himself to give us an eternal relationship with Him? There’s NOTHING for us to do to “earn” our way into heaven except acknowledgeconfess – we are sinful and He came Himself – in the form of a human being – to live perfectly, to die unfairly, and to be resurrected FOR US. He overcame death for us.

Do I believe suicide is wrong? Absolutely. Do I believe all sin is wrong? Absolutely.

James 2:10 “for whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

I don’t know… It’s hard to get my mind around. Why would God love my son enough to die for him? He knew Drey was going to kill himself – it didn’t take God by surprise. He loves Drey that much? He loves me that much? I can’t wrap my finite, judgmental, human mind around it. It takes faith… Not blind wishing, fingers-crossed, “I sure hope it’s true” faith. But genuine biblical faith – something only God can provide.

I’m just going through the motions

As I reflect on past journals and blogs I see a woman who is shattered but is clinging on to hope – the hope she has in Christ. I wonder where she went? I don’t feel hopeful. I haven’t in weeks. Maybe months? I’ve lost track.

I miss my son. I don’t understand why he killed himself. I want God to sit right here next to me and audibly tell me Drey is with Him. I hate my unbelief. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Yes, my son told me he accepted Christ as his savior. But that’s not enough for my broken heart. I’m so sick of reading books about the basics in search of a glimmer of rock solid, beyond a shadow of a doubt proof that my baby is in heaven. The knowledge I’ve acquired is nothing compared to the faith I wish I had. The faith I wish I FELT.

My heart is broken. I don’t know who I am. I’m supposed to be making plans for my boy’s 21st birthday. Instead I’m sleeping for 10 hours straight then waking up exhausted. This is new ground for me. And I hate it. How can I still be confronting new emotions, new levels of apathy and despair after almost 2 years? Isn’t 2 years enough time to wring out every last drop of emotion possible?

I visited a youth grief counseling camp last month and saw the art therapy they were doing. Masks. Painted on the outside and the inside. The outside displaying what they wanted others to see. The inside telling the rest of the story.

That’s how I feel. The one who is confident beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man. He never sinned. He died for us. He rose! He overcame death! I can reference clear, factual proof for these things. Rejoice! Be glad! But the interior of the mask tells more of the story. It shows how little I care about the resurrection. The loss of my son is too heavy. It doesn’t feel like a “light and momentary affliction.” And I am so ashamed of my ungratefulness. God forgive me.

I’m still in the fight but I’m so weary.