Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving coaster

Exodus 14:14
"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Its the most wonderful time of the year right? It's a time for family and friends and getting ready for Christmas. Most of us are shopping, decorating, being thankful, eating good food, and spending much needed time off work with family.
Some of us are not, some of us are struggling to be okay while the huge elephant in the room continues to remind us of what we are NOT thankful for.
Today I am trying to focus on what God has given me, and not what has been taken from me. That looks so much better as I type it than it actually feels. Its the old roller coaster ride that just won't stop (picture space mountain at Disney World) , right when I know I'm about to get sick from the ride it levels out and I think " I can do this" and then it steams ahead into that dreaded dark tunnel where I can't SEE to anticipate the twist and turns or the drop off's I know are waiting ahead. The unknown is terrifying yet I know the tunnel has an ending, I have been on this coaster before....every season that has passed without my son I board the roller coaster wanted or not it takes me on this ride.

Today I have decided to look around me instead of focusing on the paralyzing fear and sickness the ride causes, yes the tunnel is dark but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of tiny lights like stars shining all around me. I can't look forward searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, it's not visible yet and doing so only makes me more fearful of what is ahead. When I close my eyes and SEE the tiny stars I see what all those tiny lights in the dark represent. I see that my mom is here to spend time with us and cook the most wonderful dinners every night for us. I see my baby son, Jett growing from a baby to a little man with his  birthday coming in less than 5 days he will be 2 ! I see my daughter Jenna Claire making dinner with my mom so beautiful and full of light.  I see my husband, hard working and handsome the best partner I could ask for. I see my sister decorating my house for Christmas because God knew he did not give me the crafty gene in the family (seriously). I see my Dad and sister headed back to Wynne, Arkansas from Texas to spend Thanksgiving with us. I see Jackson innocent and beautiful waiting for me in Heaven. Most importantly I I SEE and FEEL my savior sitting in the seat next to me on this ride and I know I will get off soon, He will stop the roller coaster, he always does.

The holidays are so hard when your brain is is foggy and you see so many people who seem so happy and so blessed. We have to try so hard to focus on the blessings WE have been given. Its the hardest thing I have ever had to do, to seek happiness when my heart aches so badly. It feels so very wrong to go on without Jackson but we were not given the choice, however we were given hope. Its a long road and it makes us beyond miserable at times and that is so okay! Eventually though, we absolutely must get back up and continue to be the light of Christ. I will continue to praise in the storms of the holidays and in the hurricanes that come with no warning even with no holiday in sight. The pain of living will forever be part of me as long as I'm separated from my son. I will say its hard, its harder than anything a human should have to do but as my mom always said "It is what it is" we can't change it, we have to trust and wait with Hope that maybe next Thanksgiving we will be with the Lord and our loved ones....ALL of them.

I know I have mentioned that everyday I wake up with a song in my heart. This morning it was a sad song, reminding me of the quiet loneliness that is now part of me. Just now, as I sat down to write this post God changed the song in my heart as I wrote. He changed it to Josh Wilsons "Pushing back the dark". Here are the lyrics to the song I sing as I write this.

"Pushing Back The Dark"

One million reasons why, you shouldn't even try.
After all you're just one heart, a single candle in the dark.
And there are shadows here, feeding on your fears,
That you don't have what it takes - who are you to make a change?

But oh, oh, don't underestimate the God you follow.

Whatever you do, just don't look back.
Oh somebody needs the light you have.
Whatever you do, just don't lose heart.
Keep on pushing back the dark,
Keep on pushing back the dark.

The city on a hill, it should be shining still.
Every sinner saved by grace, has a purpose, has a place
Inside the bigger plan, we might not understand.
But if we just keep walking on, we will see the Kingdom come, yeah

None of us are alone in this, we have to keep pushing back the darkness in that horrible roller coaster tunnel. Look for the stars (our blessings) in that tunnel, they are there and thank the God who put them there. Just breath. I love each and everyone of you, I'm so sorry that some of us are destined to hurt like we do. There is an end, just keep pushing and remind me to keep pushing as well. Cry and be mad, but get up and push back and please pray that I can do the same. 

Deut. 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you

                         A few of my blessing shining in the darkness this Thanksgiving. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Waiting out "the fog"

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Have you ever driven in super dense fog and just had to pull over because it was so thick you could not see in front or behind you? That is how I feel lately, like I'm in a fog that has compromised my vision and it's closing in like the darkest night. I know it's just fog and it will lift, but pulling over to wait it out I think I got stuck. The fog will clear, it always does but when?
The feeling like life or this "fog" is closing in around me never comes on over night, its a slow process that I usually feel coming on. It starts with an extreme anxiety that things are just "not right" and slowly moves to the realization that things will never "be right" because my son is gone from this Earth. Next I start to envy happy people and begin to close them off because quite frankly I don't want to talk and honestly have nothing to say. I am not oblivious to the fog I am stuck in, I'm just stuck or paralyzed for the moment. I used to try and fight my way out, now I really believe I have to pray and wait to out. The struggle exhausts me and leaves me even more emotionally drained than just waiting and being still. I believe that grief has to take it toll on us when it rears it's ugly head. Fighting it and trying to pretend everything is okay is just not healthy for any of us who struggle for breath. I suppose its really just back to the basic's of the stages of grief, you don't just go through them and then its over. It happens over and over, probably until we die or Jesus comes to save us all.
I'm only sharing this current struggle because I feel pushed to share, maybe because the Lord thinks it will help me to write it down, or maybe someone else needs to know they are not alone in this heavy fog. You may not see me or any other person in the fog but we are here too. None of us are here alone.
Its hard for me to describe the emotions that come with this current fog because its more like being emotionless. Just numb and paralyzed forced to be still and be quiet. There is no rushing fog to lift, you have no choice but to wait it out. If you try to drive in it you will not get very far, or worse you may crash for lack of vision.
I guess a mothers heart will continue to go back through the motions of the grief process as long as her heart beats and her child is not here. It's the most un natural thing that can occur in life so I suppose its only natural to feel so out of sorts at the strangest times. That feeling of forgetting something, the feeling of bitterness at other peoples happiness, the guilt and frustration at not being able to keep your child safe, the urge to just lay it all down and be done fighting. These feelings are our "new normal", but we as long as we realize that the fog will lift eventually and Jesus will make a clearing we will make it through.
As a mom living life here while my son in living in Heaven I can say this, I do have joy. My life is not always wandering in the fog waiting for it to lift or paralyzed with bitterness and guilt. I laugh and joke with my friends and family, I am not lost in the fog. The fog will lift when I allow Jesus to lift me out of it. It will become less thick until I can SEE again and am able to start moving forward again. I will finish this race and I will hear my savior's voice saying "you made it, you finished and your home." Until that day I will spin my wheels in the fog when it hits and I will laugh and play when the sky is clear. I will wait, not always with patience but I will wait. I am forced to wait out this fog and then pray the next one will be less dense.
Psalm 130:5-6
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.

I will end with the lyrics of the song in my heart today. I wake every single morning with a new song in my heart, as soon as I wake I hear it in my head and I pray. Here is today's.

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn
                                                             Me and my sweet boy