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.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grace Given

The month of May didn't allow much time to relax, reflect and write.  I knew these days were coming and it was pure survival! There were several of those dreadful dates, the passing of each isn't just a day.  I have learned to expect prior anxious days, the day, and a few days for recovery. Samantha's birthday causing the highest level of disorientation, followed by a graceful endurance of Mother's Day, and yet a peaceful passing of remembrance for the life of my mother.  In addition, we have had to withstand the shifting and switching of legal obligations, of which I have no control; yet it involves my family and my children.  The closing of a school year and the beginning of a "new" kind of summer; changes are still constant.  As well, life and living has somehow seeped into my story.  So, finally, a day to be still.  I am very grateful to stop.

Samantha's 1st Birthday
I find it difficult to record all the nasty, narly details of each passing problem.  They happened! I was so mad Brooke had to experience another early, a.m.,  knuckle - knock on the front door, to serve yet another subpoena, causing fear and anxiety within her, more tears, more trauma!!!  Back on my bike, I  screamed and yelled at my God for having to live through the day of Sam's birth and not have her here to hold and hug!! I was a mess!! (I am learning why I ride my bike so often and more so, at times of great stress.  No one can see me while I'm am out there alone; sometimes it is not pretty.  I don't want anyone to see me like that, it won't do anyone, any good.  It happens, but I feel like I need to hide it!!  It's ok! ) After that particular bike ride, I was so sorry for my anger.  I confessed my actions and thoughts to a friend and she knowingly shared her perspective, teaching me that "it is cleansing and healthy "to go there" and brings new healing and a new depth of wisdom." I am so grateful to the guiding hands given to me! It made me sad to know Brooke sat, while David cried as they watched the movie, "Mama Mia", together. One of Samantha's favorite movies. That is what David did to remember Sam on her birthday, doing something they would have done together.  I will never forget the profound confusion of that day.  I think I thought, I could just tip-toe through it! Not too much emotion, not too much thought! She wasn't here, we didn't have to celebrate.  NOT!!!!!  As for Mother's Day, to prevent from having to go all in, I told myself it was just another Hallmark holiday!!! Allowing myself some wiggle room; enjoying the activities but not surrendering the part of myself that could be hurt, to the day. Emotionally, I kept at a safe distance, still in recovery mode from the birthday beating.  Remembering  the life of my mother this year was different.  I know she greeted Samantha in Heaven.  Part of me is grateful she was there to show Sam around, if that's how it happens.  As for the start of summer, I knew it would bring yet another adjustment period.  A summer with no Sam.  It is surreal and sad, still! There is no denying the swiss cheese sensation that I feel.   The month of May brought many holes to my heart.

Laced between all of the daunting days has been a little bit of life.  Somehow, it happened and I didn't know it.  I certainly didn't plan it. The season of Spring has beckoned me to life, and I have tried to respond. Gardening, walking, riding, by nature, I love to be outside.  Graduations, gatherings and girlfriends have given me a reason to get up and get going. Projects, people and purpose have rendered reason to respond. Even problems of a normal life have distracted me and required my performance.  All these things reducing my writing.  That's ok, too.  The Bible tell us there is a season for everything.

At one time, I thought of writing a blog titled, "Learning a New Language."  Quickly, without any initiation of my own, I was hurled into many new worlds;  grief, maritime law, psychological counseling, search and rescue, trauma, medical, religious, spiritual, insurance and attorneys. I walked in a language minefield for quite a time; not fully understanding the vocabulary associated with each field. However, sometimes having to make lasting decisions concerning them all. I like words and want to understand.  One of the words on that list was Grace, I needed to grasp the true meaning. I have heard, spoken, read and said this word. It was printed on just about every sympathy card I received. However, I knew I didn't truly get what it meant for me and my life, with respect to sympathy and Samantha.  I mean really get it!! ( I took a poll, I am not the only one ignorant of a true understanding) I was fortified when I cleaned a bookshelf and laid my hands on one of my old books, If Life is a Game, These are the Rules by Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph. D. She starts off describing grace as, "One of those intangible qualities that is difficult to describe but easy to recognize." There you go, it is difficult to describe; making it hard to understand. I'm feeling better.  Jesus Lives by Sarah Young confirmed for me that grace is God's provision in my life.  Towards the end of May, James preached a sermon on grace; further reinforcing my growing knowledge. He explained there were different types of grace. As well, he recited the lyrics of "Amazing Grace",

T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.

I sat there and thought about that; trying to recall how that looked in my life. Well, I couldn't ignore the overwhelming joy I felt at that moment, as I peered down the pew at Brooke and four of her friends.  Yes, 4 teenage guests on one day. For no single "reason" at all, there they sat with us.  I was thrilled - my heart was happy! I was happy for them - I was happy for myself.  I was so grateful and thankful for the presence of those kids; and not feeling suffocated with the absence of Samantha.  Sweet, sweet grace!  God's provision in my life! That's how it looks! As this day came to a close, I wandered outside to water; the evening was still and I could hear within myself.  I marveled at James' message and my mother's moment.  My soul stirred, I clearly realized at that moment, that I would be given everything I need to get through this unthinkable tragedy. It won't be easy, it won't always be pretty or "right", nor will I know what to expect. But, what I do know is, His Grace has brought me safe thus far and His Grace will lead me home.



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