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, December 6, 2011

Sam's Safety

All the emotions swirl together, making muddy waters inside of me.  There is no separation, therefore alone, it is very difficult to acknowledge and "deal with" a single emotion and try to understand it.  But, I am not alone.  This week during "my hourly session", our conversation rambled to Shell Beach and my "back porch stranger."  I shared with her my spiritual encounter and the comfort and peace that have been bestowed upon me. Her simple response was, "So, "this" is not about Sam's safety, "it" is about your loss.  Wow, a separation of emotions for me.  Thank you God, for the dotted line that runs down the center of the page, I realize that all of "this" is about what I lost.  I lower my eyes, and tilt my head downward, almost shameful, that I need help with "this."

The flip side of that coin, is Sam's safety, of which I am very convicted.   While pondering this revelation, it became evident, to myself, that I needed to walk backwards and journal what God has said to me, concerning Heaven.  I feel like there are certain things He wants me to know. He has communicated such comfort to me.  Psalms 147:3 tells me that, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."   (That's me!!!! - brokenhearted!!!!!)

LSU and the New Orleans Saints, have each had exemplary seasons of success so far, with a football fanatic like David, every game has garnered his attention.  He wants to participate by watching and reveling with fellow fans. For a particular game, I was to sit with Brooke's friends, David would sit with another friend. I had reserved enough strength to do this and I wanted it to be "good."  For a few hours, I wanted to  be Brooke's mom and enjoy and care for her friends. Anxiety flooded me as I prepared to leave, the threat, the real world.  I desperately needed to be reminded of Sam's safety, of where she was. It was like leaving Sam, all day and all night, and I couldn't find her, before I left. With a child in Heaven, I needed to know more before I left home. I was saying to myself, "Please tell me where she is, I need to know that she is good before I can shift my focus for a few hours." I was desperate for comfort. I called upon my friend.  In tears, I pleaded with her to assure me that Sam was safe.  Her response was, "Elizabeth, I know Sam is good.  Let me send you something I read two nights ago."   These are the words that sank into my heart.

Just like 2 Corinthians 9:8 promises, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." He sent me words, that carried me through that ballgame, allowing me to concentrate on Brooke, driving her friends to and from Baton Rouge, with loud music and lots of laughter.  In early September, without this comfort, I would not have been able to go.

My "vintage" bike, has been truly a lifesaver.  During the early months, when the weather was warmer, I rode daily.  During these rides I would grieve, oh how I would grieve. But, relief would come when I would listen to music.  Using Pandora, I listened to "Mandisa." She is one of my favorite musical artists. Almost always, I would hear the same song, "You Wouldn't Cry for Me Today."  This is a song I had never heard before, but began to hear it over and over. When I listened to the words, I had to stop and get off my bike.  It is so beautiful and descriptive.  I know, that I am to "hear" this song.  It is a musical illustration of Heaven.

It hurts when I have my crying jags.  It upsets the whole apple cart.  David will insist, "But Elizabeth, Sam is good, she is good!!!" One time while emotions were at a peak, he reached for my hands, held them and said to me, "And I love her enough to let her live there.  We have always wanted tthe best for them.  Heaven is the very best."

I know that Samantha is in Heaven; I know that she is safe.  Through song, text and scripture He illustrates what a glorious, peaceful, perfect place Heaven is.
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

1 comment:

Angela Durham said...

Dave's comment about loving Sam enough to let her live in Heaven really hit me. I haven't thought that before but his words are right-on. There is no better gift for her than that. It's a gift to you, too, although it's hard to see because she's gone.