From Kim – Please join me as my friend and guest blogger Christine Potts shares part 2 of her story of the loss of her son Matt and how God has brought healing and hope to her life. If you haven’t read part 1, I encourage you to go to recent posts and start from the beginning of this courageous woman’s story.
When the looming gray sky drips, and your heart drips
Your soul leaks, and everything is wet
You stand in the downpour and you cry out “enough, enough”…
And you don’t know which way is up
All around turns sour and even sweetness turns to gall
Salty tears meet dreary raindrops and floods rise to the brim
The heart tips and spills out, pours out,
unable to contain another blasted drop
and swells rise and tides rise and overtake and breech the boundaries –
causing comfort to run, so you shut down. – too much. You are too much.
And lead walls rise to break the tide and quell the flood
Salty tears, now inward flow
Wet from grief, wet from life,
dry mutedly, out of sight.
All is well, at least it seems
and quietly, yes quietly,
peace comes to comfort in her dreams.
In the darkness waves do rise
and beat upon her heart at night
and silently, her heart does break
In the silence, there, she cries…
Coming home after Dave’s treatment was finished was so much harder than I expected. Our home had become a house while we were away and it was stone cold silent, empty… Getting back on the merry-go-round of life felt more like being dragged, foot stuck in the stirrup of the pretty horse as it spun round and round with me dangling, bumping along, trying with all my might to pull myself back up in the saddle. I was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. My anxiety had grown. Something had to change. I knew God wanted more for me, from me. He works all things for the good of those who love Him. I loved Him, that had not changed. I knew better than to raise my voice and rage against the Lover of my soul, the only One who could save me. I just didn’t know how to get out of that place. I knew if I stayed there, His light in my life would dwindle and that I’d fall into myself. Though the world would laud the magnitude of my grief, the Hope which Christ came, and died Himself to give us would be lost in my life and I could never live with that.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.“
1 Thessalonians 4:13
I take comfort in the Truth of God’s Word. Platitudes frankly, tick me off. It is only the Truth, no matter how hard it may be, that brings real and eternal comfort that changes the very soul. It brings supernatural peace that surpasses all human understanding that stands guard over my heart and my mind.
December 4, 2015 was a day that God ordained before the beginning of time. He met me right where I was, stuck on the shores of grief, waves pounding me, still unsure of how to get through it. Sitting in my office trying to focus on what to share for an upcoming event and, as is grief’s way, it infiltrated and took over my mind and consumed me. So instead, I began writing to God, letting Him know my fears and regret for being in this place. It was then that I realized that these words, penned months ago, read over and over and cherished since Matt’s death, were in fact, for this very moment.
“Courage – ruling out fear as an
influence on your decisions.”
This was the last written message from my son – written in his slanted hand, on the whiteboard in my office. It stared me in the face, convicting and encouraging me at the same time. God would use my son to help me move from the grief of his own death… Only God could orchestrate a gift like that. In that moment I chose courage and decided that it would be my last day on these shores. As I waded out into the sea, the waves grew fierce and once again it felt as though I’d drown. Memories, regrets, fear, sorrow, pain-sheer pain slammed against me from without and within. No matter how hard I tried, they wouldn’t relent. I cried out to God that I couldn’t get through it, and it was in that moment that I heard “You never asked Me to part the sea.” What?!? I literally jumped up out of my chair! I didn’t know I could ask! God’s tender response “You can ask Me anything” caused me to jump with joy like a child. I saw before me the raging sea, but this time I could see the other side. “Then part it, part it!” I cried. Before my eyes those black waters of death were retrained and a path opened dry before me. I ran for dear life, only to pause for a moment to take in all the LORD was saving me from. I wanted to remember this moment forever! As I strained my head back, I gasped at the height and the depth of it all, but thought it was best to keep moving! As soon as my feet hit the Shores of Life, the waters came crashing down behind me. I turned in victory, to face the enemy, only to find the waters smooth as glass. Stilled. The sea, now impotent of of its power, tamed by the Master. My Loving Father, my God, had made a way where there was no way – through the impossible.
“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.”
I walked to the edge of the sea and waded into the quiet waters. Memories came gently and peacefully, I could breath easy and I smiled. But I also knew I had a choice, I could plunge back into the waters and stir it all up again…
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
If I had stayed where I was, I wouldn’t be here today, the pain was too much. I’d have either checked out, or let death have the victory, robbing me of life with those still living. No, here in this place, the Joy of the LORD is my strength. Here, in this place, death has lost its sting. Here, Hope reigns! And here, God will bring beauty from the ashes. Here, God’s Light will shine through my brokenness. And here, God will use the story of Matt’s life to reveal His Goodness and Faithfulness. His great Love for us brings us to Hope, and remind us – nothing, nothing is impossible for our God! Just ask.
I just want to thank Christine for allowing us to get a glimpse into her journey through the sea of grief. I know her words will bring encouragement and hope.
You can follow Christine on her blog http://www.brokenpitcher.com