Monday, February 1, 2010

Checking in...

I'm just sitting here thinking... about lots of things, but needed to say this: it's all going to be fine. This new year, this new shot at another life (trying soon-- a couple of things on my to-do list before actually trying again), this new way of seeing everything... all of this newness has got me thinking.

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

Many seeds.

Before my son died, I didn't know grief. I knew sadness. I knew disappointment. I knew anger and pity and fear and joy and triumph and hardship and trial, but I didn't know grief.

And I've been thinking about grief. How it sometimes feels like whatever rot it is that gets to the root of a tree and makes it fall over all of a sudden. A tree that has stood there for over a hundred years-- rotten all the way into the ground, and suddenly a couple of days of rain and a little push of wind and blammo, that thing is laid across two yards and a garage. Grief, rot, soaked all the way through, weakening the strongest part. The top of the tree looked fine... but beneath it....

That's why I have to cry out to the Lord to keep pouring the oil of His Spirit into this wound, cleaning it and letting it deepen me, but not allowing it to fester. Letting the process go on and on, but not staying stuck in it.

Thing is, it's so hard to navigate your way through sometimes, you know? I mean, it's only been 9 months. Not even a whole year. Precious friends tell me that: "Honey, it hasn't even been a year." I have permission to still have messy days (I had about 14 of them in a row a few weeks ago!). Tuesdays are no longer the day from hell. Sometimes I forget whether he died on the 27th or the 28th. I can say his name and not wince. I can see pregnant students and not cry out, "WHY?" as much as I used to....

It's important that grief not turn into a rotten stump in our hearts. It's important that we not let a root of bitterness spring up, poisoning everyone we touch.

The root wants to creep like kudzu.

I wrote my tithe check this week with a decision for more faith than I have in a very long time. I was determined to be obedient. Every dime is His. And I love Him. But I'm in the midst of a battle and I was struggling. I knew that I needed to think about the tithe after worship-- after my heart had been poured out before Him and was tender, and my faith had been stoked. I wrote that check, saying, "In faith, Lord. I'm writing this check in faith."

My faith took a hit when my son died. There. I've said it.

And my Father has been more faithful than ever, carrying me through this. Showing me His goodness. Leading me gently.

... He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. ... Isaiah 40:11

That verse was so brand new to me, even though I had grown up with it my whole life, when I was pregnant and always worried. "[He] shall gently lead those that are with young." He knew my worries. He knew my heart. He knew to lead me gently.

And now, it still applies. Only now, maybe, it would read, "who were with young." He has been so gentle with me. So patient. Never harsh or angry.

I have felt nursed by Him this season.

Friends, here is my testimony:

My God is faithful and kind
Open-eyed and watchful
He sees my wounds and
Weeps with me.
His tears have been my balm
And He keeps my tears.
I know it.
My God is holy and just
And that never changes.
My God wept with me
When I held my beautiful baby son,
And His anger burned at the fallen nature of His creation--
we weren't made to know this kind of sorrow.
It was never His plan that my heart should ache with this loss.
But He is good.
And He doesn't require me to understand.
And He doesn't get angry with my short-sightedness.
And He sings over me.
And cries with me.
My God is good in all His ways
And He is the gardener who will weed my heart
and keep it free of rot and disease.
He is the vinedresser who will sear the damaged boughs.
He is the winemaker who will press and press and press
until the best is squeezed out of me
and I will worship Him with it.

And He will still weep with me when my heart grieves over the loss of this little boy of mine, but He makes it more bearable every day. He just does. He is good. Only Him.


Jonathan Andersen said...

Amazing Poem! - "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

blessedjourney said...

Wow--beautiful testimony Sam.

Mary said...

You and your words MOVE ME! Thanks for this inspiration. I was especially touched by this:
"That's why I have to cry out to the Lord to keep pouring the oil of His Spirit into this wound, cleaning it and letting it deepen me, but not allowing it to fester. Letting the process go on and on, but not staying stuck in it."
Love you so!

Frontera Girl said...

Sweetheart, you have all the time in the world to walk this path, with its twists and turns and peaks and valleys. There will be more to come too. Sometimes, even the best of us get tired, and we try to reassure ourselves that we are staying strong, that Spirit is with us, that we can endure and then bloom, all of which is so true. But let yourself be where you are. Allow. I say this as much to myself as I say it to you. You write so beautifully of grief. I don't think I have ever heard anyone write of it as you do, with such heart rending longing and purity of faith. God is healing your heart. But this process is a journey, not a destination. You are doing a marvelous job of paying attention to your journey, staying awake, chronicling, reflecting. Just make sure you are resting too. (Now I think I am saying this more to me than to you, but who knows, I'm just writing what is coming out). You words just compel me to remind us both of self care and nurturance, rest and patience. God is still carrying you and has not put you down yet, so allow yourself to rest a little in his arms my friend.

Samantha said...

oh you guys... thank you so much. i dearly love each of you...