David Jeremiah wrote, "journalizing, memorializes the blessings of God" in his book, "When Your World Falls Apart, Seeing Past the Pain of the Present." My dear family and myself have recently experienced a terrible tragedy, resulting in the death of my precious daughter, Samantha. This is an unwanted journey, one of the most difficult walks that any parent can experience. It is riddled with extreme grief, profound disorientation, and beautiful graces from God. He holds me close. He has not forsaken me. Even though, my heart is shredded with sadness, I shed buckets of tears, I question my purpose now and I wander astray at times, I know I love God. He is real and present. I know what I know!!! And, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share with you. I have learned that I am at my best when I walk with God, not against Him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Immediate Assault on my Mind

So, there are so many things to share - but the most driving force in my mind is "No, don't do this!" Nobody cares, no one chooses to reads the writings of a desperately sad mom who realizes the inevitable situation is that she must live. And, eventually live a life not full of tears and constant thoughts that my life must be lived without Sam and I need to be ok with that.  But, to be ok with it, means to go on and healthily adjust, to accept this thing.  I feel there is no real way out. My mind races continually with thoughts such as ... What if, I chose the wrong name for this blog?, What if, I write about the wrong thing?,  What if, there comes a day when the pain is so great or there is so many distractions that I can't share/don't see God's blessings, what if there is a day that I just lose it and show my sometimes anger with God on my blog originally intended to highlight His blessings, what if, as I tell my story I offend someone, leave someone out or hurt someone's feelings. What if what I write, no one will believe? What if, Paul finds out I am doing this, reads something posted that would further crush his spirit.  Is the risk worth it?

There is also fear and anxiety concerning whether I am Christian enough to do this.  I have always believed in God and as long as the sunrises and sets, I will acknowledge and praise His presence.  But, wow I have been surrounded with warriors for Christ.  People have prayed with me in stores, I have had people place their hand on my head as they prayed, knelt on one knee in front of me and bowed down on both knees to pray for me, for my family and or all affected.  Their prayers were so eloquent, so reverend, exploding with calls to Jesus for healing and peace.  I don't know if I know how to pray like that.  I ask myself if I could do that for another fellow sufferer?  Also, I feel inferior quoting scripture, I mean I know a few by heart, but, I certainly don't know them all.  The bible stories that I know are ones taught to me during childhood, not as an adult.  What if I mess this up?

On many occasions during the past few months, I have had to do tasks I didn't want to do.  A simple trip to the grocery brought great amounts of fear and anxiety.  I was unable to remember a meal to prepare much less the ingredients needed to prepare it ,other moms shop in stores, so a trip to the grocery brought a chance that I would run into another mom and expose my deep pain and my admission of a broken heart and that now I was different, so very different, I have lost a child.  At one point, the situation called me to shop at a grocery store 45 miles away. That was the best I could do.  Practically, my household needed food and I wanted desperately to fulfill this motherly/wifely duty as I always had. but, this would be my first trip not buying for Sam.  No longer did I need to consider her favorite after-school snacks, what she wanted in her lunchbox, I didn't need to buy the two cartons of strawberries that only she ate.  Needless to say, I cried so in that grocery, down every aisle, during the checkout because she would have inevitably asked for a pack of gum or such.  Then, I drove the 45 miles home wondering how long I was going to have to do this. Just this morning, 4 months later, I shopped at 7:00 am on a Saturday morning.  It wasn't early enough.  Before, I could load the groceries in my car, I cried in the parking lot when I spoke with a friend I haven't seen since Sam's service. I will continue to shop at odd times, going against the grain.  I don't feel as vulnerable. I don't think a single person in my community would intentionally harm my heart, I know this, nevertheless the slightest look, hand gesture, a lowering of their eyes, cheerful but strained "Hello" brings confirmation that Sam is physically gone from my life and she no longer needs my care. At times, I am strapped with fear and anxiety.   

To overcome these chains, daily I pray.  I admit to myself,  that they are there because of my own weaknesses.  I confirm to myself that I impose these feeling on myself and I'm surely always rescued.  My friends will send me declarations of  (2 Timothy 1:7)  "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Or, a text message will be sent that states,  “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). Another scripture that soothes my soul during times like these is, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Sam' story was so public and the duration of the search lengthy that people I know and ones that I don't know became emotionally involved.  I am so sorry about the pain that I represent.  I am sorry that my life has imposed pain into theirs, that pain has invaded their homes, seeped into their lives and has had a affect on their children's lives. But, I know that I have no control over this.  I control nothing.  This whole situation is bigger than me,  there are so many people that need to heal, children that are experiencing death for the first time, that I pray  find comfort in God's word and his promise of healing and joy.     

So today, as I fight the negative voice in my the head, questioning whether this blog "is a good thing", questioning the end result, will it be negative, will I hurt someone, will someone "talk" about me, will everybody think I have gone crazy, I will find refuge with today's devotional in "Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young." This is His instructions for just this day. It states for the day of  November 19:

"Leave outcomes up to me. Follow me wherever I lead you, without worrying about how it will all turn out.  Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and Companion.  Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me.  When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with My help, when we come to a resting place, take time to refresh in My Presence.  Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me.  

You already know the ultimate destination of your journey; your entrance into heaven.  So, keep your focus on the path just before you leaving outcomes up to Me."

"Jesus Calling", by Sarah Young has been profound reading for me.  In the future, I will share, how I believe God has clearly directed me through the printed words on the pages of this book. At times, it has been physical proof that God is present always and that He communicates with us through what we read, what we see, and what we hear.


sheila said...

You keep writing and I will keep reading. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter Sam.

Brandi Lea said...

I SO understand where you are coming from....my "trauma" began almost 2 years ago. For most of my life I was the good Christian girl who had all the answers and knew how to choose the right words and even the right emotions and suddenly...it all failed me. I never walked away from Him, but I sure did struggle. I felt (and continue to feel) pain so deep it takes your breathe away multiple times a day. I screamed at my God. I used language I had never used before. I felt abandoned and unloved in moments of weakness. I begged Him to change my life to take away the pain. At times I simply got mad at Him because I wasn't allowed to just kill myself. And yet, as I dove into scripture and into His presence...I found Him there. In the DIRT. In the ugliness. In my anger. In my fear. He would gently whisper "of course you are afraid, scary things have happened to you". I found Him in the questions. I found Him in my frustration. I found solace in the psalms as I read through David's varying emotions. I continue to find solace in Jesus' story of pain and agony in the Garden of Gethsemene and His question on the cross asking why He'd been abandoned.

All that to say....He is there in the ugliness too. And as I've shared THOSE parts of my journey with people, they have continued to tell me that God used it in their lives. To know that other women were broken, struggled deeply and for LONG periods of time brought them solace.

So at least as far as I'm concerned....share whatever and wherever you are at. He doesn't need you to be strong and pretty all the time...He loves you infinitely...even in the dirt.

Praying He holds you tonight,

Angela Durham said...

I love hearing your thoughts, Liz! You are more wise than you give yourself credit and stronger than you feel.

Jamie said...

God is working through you in a very big way! Don't let negative thoughts creep into your mind about writing this blog. You are an inspiration to many, probably in more ways than you can imagine. Keep sharing, and continue to seek refuge in His Words. You were chosen to be His instrument. God bless you and your family. Your TRUTH and honesty is a blessing.

Matthew 11:25-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Peace and Prayers