Signs

 

When my kids went anywhere, I would always ask them to send a text just to let me know they had safely arrived at their destination.  They honored that request (most of the time!) and it eased my mind.

My mama heart wanted to know they were OK.

My living children still send me texts when traveling.  It’s an easy way to relieve anxious thoughts and I appreciate it.

But my son, who has made the last great journey, is silent.

And that’s exactly what I expected.

I think Dominic is so enthralled with the beauty of Heaven, with the communion of saints gone before and with the fullness of joy at the right hand of his Savior that he does not look with longing at the life he left.

He is in possession of the promise.  He knows fully, even as he is fully known.

At present we are men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror. The time will come when we shall see reality whole and face to face! At present all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me!

I Corinthians 13:12 PHILLIPS

He has the ultimate assurance that God is faithful and that His lovingkindness endures forever.  Dominic (if he even thinks of it at all) has no concern that the same Savior who rescued him won’t also rescue me.

“You must not let yourselves be distressed—you must hold on to your faith in God and to your faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s House. If there were not, should I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? It is true that I am going away to prepare a place for you, but it is just as true that I am coming again to welcome you into my own home, so that you may be where I am. You know where I am going and you know the road I am going to take.”

~Jesus ( John 14:1-4 PHILLIPS)

My faith has been tested in ways I never thought it would be.  And it has been, and continues to be, HARD. 

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]

Hebrews 11:1 AM

The same God who made a donkey speak and sent ravens to feed Elijah can use the birds of the air and the beasts of the field to encourage me.

And He does- I have found a dozen perfect bird’s nests since Dominic left us.  I believe they are signs from my Savior, not my son-tokens of hope sent to bless my broken heart from the Father who loves me.

God still speaks-He makes Himself known through His Word, through people, through nature and in still, small whispers to my heart through His Spirit.

He doesn’t answer all my questions.  But I don’t feel abandoned.  

Dominic is with Jesus and Jesus is with me.

Jesus Christ is always the same, yesterday, today and for ever.

Hebrews 13:8 PHILLIPS

I don’t feel close to Dominic at his grave. I go to honor him, to give voice to his memory but the essence of who he was and who he still is, lies in my heart and in the hearts of those who loved him and love him still.

And the witness of that enduring love is the sign to which I cling. 

Faith is to believe when you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

~Augustine

 

 

 

 

 

Broken Hearts, Beating Still

The events of this past week have thrown my body into a tailspin-like muscle memory acquired through repetitive action-I feel the terror of parents hearing the awful news that their child is gone.

It’s as if I am the one hearing the knock on the door.

As if I am the one absorbing the terrible blow.  

And I know what they don’t yet understand-there is no wonder drug or magic pill that can erase the pain.

There is no miraculous cure for a broken heart.  

I wrote this months ago, but this week has made it fresh again: 

When Dominic was born by c-section, they placed the epidural too high and I was unable to feel my chest rise and fall even though I continued to breathe.

It was a frightening experience. I WANTED to keep breathing-because I wanted to touch this new life coming into the world and into our family.

But when the deputy brought the news that Dominic had been killed, it felt like I stopped breathing and my heart stopped beating-and I would have welcomed both.

I wanted to escape the pain that filled my heart, my soul, my bones.

I think most bereaved mothers will tell you they have absolutely NO IDEA how their bodies continue to live and carry this heavy burden.

I do it for those still here and, having felt the pain of being left behind, my mama heart wants to spare the ones I love as long as I can.

But rest assured, it is a daily struggle to decide to go on.

heart_640

“Broken Hearts Still Beat”

BIRTH

I’m not breathing.
They assure me that I am.
My heartbeat thumps the truth for all to hear.
A welcome wail ushers his life into the spotlight of this wide world.

DEATH
I’m not breathing.
They assure me that I am.
My lungs draw air against my will and my better judgment.
An anguished cry marks the end of his earthly life.
I am breathing.
My body refusing to keep pace with my broken heart.

melanie desimone, november 7, 2014

June Challenge: Haiku

Day Seventeen of Kathleen Duncan’s  June 1-30 challenge.

The prompt: Write a Haiku (Seventeen Syllables)

It was an interesting challenge to distill a message to just 17 syllables.

I have long believed that each life is also a song.

This is mine:

 

sings with song

 

 

I am a song bird.

I sing love, grace, mercy, peace-

I learned the hard way.

 

 

 

 

My Cup Overflows

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5b

I remember standing in our field with my husband at sundown one day, thankfulness and grace and mercy and wonder flooding my heart-and I whispered, “surely my cup overflows!”

Surely, God’s hand is in this, is on our lives-He has brought us to this place of blessing.

And that’s how I used to always think of that verse-the cup overflowing with goodness and blessing.

But what about when the cup overflows with sorrow?  

With pain?

With tragedy, trials and temptations?

jesus in the garden

Jesus knew about that cup.  That’s the cup He begged the Father to take from Him.

The cup that was bitter and hard to swallow.

He prayed three times, He sweat blood and He battled His flesh so that His spirit could conform to the Father’s will.

And in the end, He submitted Himself to the Father’s plan.

He was obedient, even to death, even to death that He did not deserve, did not HAVE to suffer, did not WANT to suffer.

I have buried a son.

And it is the most painful thing I have ever had to bear.

It’s a burden I never anticipated and it’s a burden of which I will not be free until I join him in Heaven.

There are some parents who have suffered the loss of multiple children. Or who have suffered child loss and other difficult life circumstances.

If my cup is full and overflowing, theirs is overflowing still more.

Where to take that full cup?

Where to find the strength to carry it, to drink it to the dregs?

When my heart screams, “No more!” and my body cries, “I can’t do this!”, I look to my Savior for the model of how to carry on.

Only in Christ, Who Himself bore the cup and Who drank its bitter fullness can I hope for strength and redemption.

The One Who knows my pain can carry my pain.

The One Who lives again will breathe life into my heart.  

The One Who redeems what the enemy has stolen will turn my mourning to dancing.  

cup of blessing

This cup will not always overflow with sorrow.  Around the banquet table at the wedding supper of the Lamb, it will once again be full of joy.

You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight.

Psalm 16:11 CJB

 

 

Stronger?

These past days have been harder than some.  

Many, unrelated events conspired to draw my heart’s attention more pointedly to Dominic’s absence.  The hot mid-day sun keeps me inside when I’m usually outside and working hard-which keeps my hands and mind busy.

Summer used to be the time when more flexible schedules opened wide the possiblity for barbecues and lazy evenings watching fireflies and chatting in the dark.  

Now it’s just one more season where nothing will ever be the same.

So I was reminded again that though I am stonger, I still carry a heavy load.

Read more here: Stronger

Heart Wide Open

Grief and loss broke my heart and life wide open-no more hidden corners, no more walled-off spaces.

And the vast expanse left by Dominic’s absence will be filled.

Nature hates a vacuum.

What I pour into my heart or allow God to pour into it determines whether I am changed in a way that blesses me and others or not.

I don’t have a choice in being broken.

But I have a choice in being filled.  I can position my heart to hear from God and to dwell on His promises and Person or invite bitterness to move in.

I pray that you will have greater understanding in your heart. Then you will know the hope that God has chosen to give us. I pray that you will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.

Ephesians 1:18 ICB

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