In the Northeast, summer blooms mingle with the faded colors of late summer.
Already, roadside maple trees are speckled with red and gold.
The morning dew is heavy. The air is chilled.
I love the beginning of new seasons.
Recently, I was driving through the small college town nearby and felt such a sense of love for my community. Where did that come from, I thought. It was a long-ago familiar feeling that is rare these days.
That’s what happens to you when your child dies.
Seasons just come and go without our help. Everything has a time and purpose. Many of life’s situations are not in our control.
So, we just let it be.
Take one day at a time. Hard to do in the world we live in today where we have access to everything in real time.
But that doesn’t change how the universe works.
Summer will end when it is supposed to.
Autumn will begin with all of its freshness, with a wash of vibrant colors brushed upon withering blossoms.
“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”
C. S. Lewis; A Grief Observed
Sometimes it feels like God is playing some kind of sick game with us.
Or we think he is testing us.
Or punishing us.
All of the above are normal feelings.
But the Bible says God’s ways are not like ours; his thoughts are not like ours.
In other words, God does not think the way we do but He has given us the capacity to trust Him.
God teaches us about ourselves and how much we need Him, but it’s more than that. He wants us to be comforted and that can only happen when we trust him.
Even in death, which seems like the absolute end, He is there.
Besides my faith, the one thing that has helped me not stay in a continual state of being a victim is knowing I am not alone.
Countless numbers of mothers have lost their children over the centuries. I think about the mothers who lost 2 and sometimes 3 sons during the Civil War. I think about the fatal diseases that took young lives. The accidents. The premature births.
There has been suffering since the beginning of time.
I wasn’t prepared. Mostly because life today is so different in many ways.
Or else we are busier than ever and don’t have much time to think about the what ifs.
Either way, things happen to other people, right?
And some parts of my faith made me feel insulated. After all, I prayed.
But then it happened on that warm, September afternoon. Death came to the door, knocked it down, and with it came the end of innocence.
We wonder where God is?
Well, where was he when sons bled to death on the fields of Gettysburg?
Where was he when cancer took one child and spared another?
Where was he when a mother labored for hours, only to hold a lifeless baby?
Where was he when my son decided to take his life?
All I know is God sees and he knows. He promises to comfort. He promises one day we will understand.
We have to see beyond here and now or we will be hopeless. Hope sees beyond here and now. And the God of all creation promises he will fix it and make it right. All tears will be wiped away. All sorrow will be turned to joy.
We have to wait. And waiting is very hard sometimes.
If I hate God for what he has allowed to happen, the rest of my life will be bitter misery. It does no good.
So I join with the multitudes since the beginning of time and say, though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.
And I will wait.
No longer a victim. But full of hope and expectation.
Our shortcomings and weaknesses can teach us if we look at it that way. We can’t change what happened.
We are not perfect.
“To have regret is to be disappointed with yourself and your choices. Those who are wise, see their life like stepping stones across a great river. Everyone misses a stone from time to time. No one can cross the river without getting wet. Success is measured by your arrival on the other side, not on how muddy your shoes are. Regrets are only felt by those who do not understand life’s purpose. They become so disillusioned that they stand still in the river and do not take the next leap.” — Colleen Houck
” Emotional pain is the worst pain one can have, there is not an ointment, pill, or an injection that can reach deep enough to heal a broken heart. However, dwelling and negative thinking will only make that pain worse. Exercise is a distraction that can get you to stop thinking those negative thoughts.” – S.C. Rhyne