Even if my lifeblood is to be poured out like wine as a sacrifice of your faith, I have great reason to celebrate with all of you.
~ Philippians 2:17 VOICE
In many ways I feel like this season of my life is a drink offering-poured out on the ground-unrecoverable except as a sacrifice lifted to the throne of grace.
But my story is not only loss and pain, it is also life and love.
I have to be careful to remember that.
… you may reformulate your story in terms of sadness and pain. Because you lost a child, or experienced a divorce, or killed someone in a car accident, you will never be happy again. Or even worse, you are never allowed to be happy again.
In all of these cases, we must remember that our stories fall under Christ’s story of redemption. Your life is but a chapter in God’s greater narrative of restoring the world. Your Worst is merely a chapter in your own story. If we allow God to write our stories and to carry us through the season of darkness and despair, he will ensure that redemption constitutes the central progression of our stories.
~Cameron Cole, Therefore I Have Hope
Redemption is the overarching theme of my story, of all history.
It doesn’t mean I have to deny the pain and darkness. In fact, if I try, I diminish His glory in redeeming what would otherwise be nothing but brokenness and loss.
I can lift those feelings to the throne of grace as a drink offering.
I can pour them out at Christ’s feet and trust that even though in the natural there is no way to recapture and restore what has been lost, in His power and love it is never, ever wasted.
And I heard a voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
~Revelation 21: 3,4
I cannot bring Dominic back-I cannot have my child once again in my arms. I cannot undo the damage death has wrought and the great gash loss has made in my heart.
And so I am left with my pain and my questions.
“Why?” is not a particularly fruitful question (although I ask it still).
“Why not?” is probably more helpful.
If I consider the lives of all the people God chose as examples of His faithfulness and grace there is not one who escapes heartache.
Read the rest here: Why Not?
My daughter, Fiona, wrote this last year, in the voice of her brother who ran ahead to heaven.
I am so thankful for her and so sorry that she has gained this wisdom at great cost.
Some of the bravest, most loving women I know are those who have suffered one of life’s greatest losses. I hope you know how truly beautiful you are.
Read the rest here: From The Child Not Here on Mother’s Day
I’m not sure when I’ll get the hang of this life after loss.
Five years is long enough to have completed a college degree, so you’d think it would be long enough to explore the edges of how to walk in the world without my son, without the family I used to have, without the confidence I once enjoyed that “every little thing was gonna be alright”.
But it’s not.
I’m still feeling my way in the dark much of the time.
New challenges greet me and I have to navigate them with the profoundly changed “me” that I neither understand nor like.
I make mistakes.
I get upset and I upset others.
If I didn’t believe that there was a Day when all this would be redeemed, I would just give up.
But I DO believe that.
It doesn’t take the pain away. It doesn’t soften the feeling of failure when my sorrow stops me being what others need me to be. It doesn’t blow soft breezes across my weary soul.
It gives me focus and a goal. It gets me out of bed so I persevere. It helps my heart hold on and not give in to despair.
Today is not a good day.
Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.
But one day-
One. Glorious. Day.
Since I’m spending time with my new grandson, I’ll be offering a few more reposts than usual this week. If you haven’t seen them, I hope you enjoy them for the first time. If you have already read them, I hope they are a blessing just the same.
Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement as our family rallies around this new life and helps him fight to gain the strength and size to come home. ❤
Part of my Lenten observance includes reading the book of John.
The words are not new to me, I’ve read them over and over-probably dozens of times in the past 30 years. So I decided to use a different translation this time around in order to shake out some new insights and cause me to pay closer attention to what God might have for me right here, right now.
The very first reading did just that.
Read the rest here: Light Years
There are so many life circumstances that plunge a heart into darkness.
Child loss is certainly one of them, although not the only one.
And when you’re in the dark, stumbling around, trying to avoid the sharp corners and looking, looking, looking for a tiny sliver of light to guide you out, it is terrifying.
If you don’t have a pocket full of matches or a flashlight or a lantern, you are at the mercy of whoever cares enough to come back for you.
I am so thankful for the friends and family who never tire of my fearful cries when I find myself in dark places.
They come running.
They don’t leave me there.
Sometimes all they have is a tiny candle themselves, a sliver of hope they are clinging to. But they raise it high , share its glow with me and together we take a step forward toward the brighter light of day.
I will never, ever forget the ones who come to me with a torch.
They help my heart when I can’t help myself.
They refuse to leave me in the dark.
Photo of man with lantern by Marko Blažević on Unsplash
I remember as a young mother of four working hard to keep my kids safe.
Next to fed and dry (two still in diapers!) that was each day’s goal: No one got hurt.
It never occurred to me THEN to add: No one got killed.
Because the most outlandish thing I could imagine was one of them falling or touching a hot stove and us having to rush to the emergency room.
Then I became a mother of teens and one by one they acquired a driver’s license and motored away from our home.
That’s when I began to beg God to spare their lives.
Read the rest here: What is Safe?