Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Clay taking shape

I remember the day clearly… I remember every emotion I felt with such incredible intensity that it seemed anyone within distance of me should be able to feel it as well. My heart was in a million pieces, my soul filled with physical ache. I was watching the most precious person my life slipping away from this world, leaving my sisters and me here alone… having to learn how to live without her to lean on as we continue our journey. I didn’t want to keep going without her. I wanted to go home with her. I walked around in a daze for weeks… as the reality slowly began to sink in I became more aware of the very real tenderness that still hasn’t subsided. I had to remind myself to breathe, push myself to get out of bed each morning, and put up a front so that people wouldn’t know the depth to which I had fallen. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as alone as I did the day my mom died. So often we take for granted the people in our lives… not fully comprehending that they may not be here the next minute, for the next birthday or Christmas celebration. I knew that I wouldn’t get to hold onto her forever, but I surely thought that she would get to experience the most cherished moments of my life with me – finding my future mate, marriage, and childbirth. I know that we are supposed to out live our parents… I just wish we had lessons on how to do that.

The last two years have been the most difficult of my life, but also contained the most growth. I let go of two people that had some of the biggest influence in my life. I realized for the first time that I was dependent on other people to support me and encourage me, and that I didn’t trust myself to make some of my own decisions. I learned that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely, and that you can be in a room surrounded by people and still feel as though you are by yourself. I learned that there is one, only one, who can sustain you in the darkest hours. He will raise you up out of the ash and carry you until you can physically walk on your own. I learned that He is big enough to handle my hurts and my complaints, and that in due time He will show you what came from all you endured. He will stand next to you as you look back over your time in the wilderness and smile proudly because you came through it… you came through it with Him. Your relationship is forever changed and deeply rooted. The process of refinement has begun. You have accepted that you can only continue on with Him by your side, and that you need Him to make you whole once again. Slowly your heart begins to change – the things that once mattered don’t carry much weight, and your perspective has changed, forming a new purpose for your life. You are His, in title and trust, and He is within you. He won’t leave you, but He will guide you, put up shield for you, and love you like you’ve never been loved before. Yes… He is yours and you are His.

I would do almost anything to have my mom back here, even for just a few minutes so that I could hold her and hear her tell me that she loves me. But I can now recognize the distance that I have come, and the character that is building. He’s not finished with me yet, that is certain. But the hardest part is done… I’ve given my life to Him, entrusting Him to hold me for the rest of my time on this earth.

I will always have a tender heart for those that have lost a loved one to cancer. I pray that I will have a sensitive heart and that I can respond in love for those in need. Even though it feels like we are left here unattended, He hasn’t forgotten us, and He never will.

“... He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”
~ Titus 3:5, NLT
“Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.”
~ Ephesians 3:17, NLT
I praise you, Lord, for giving me new life and renewing my spirit. I’m confident that I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you and the love you have given to me. You have provided for me every day since you took my mom home, and I’m so grateful for your very real and obvious presence in my life. Thank you for my sisters, each friend, sister in Christ, smiling stranger, and gentle touch that you have given me. Thank you for placing spiritual moms directly in my path, that I may still receive the tender loving touch that I’ve come to miss so much. I give you honor and glory today, and humbly turn over this life you created. Use it, Jesus… every day, in any way possible.


Annelies Dease said...

Sweet girl.....I remember so well the anniversary of my Dad's passing. It was such a deep grief and confusion in my life. As I wrote in my blog, there were silver linings to come. You are right, that we are not alone. God has a plan for you that is so wonderful. What a blessing you are to all of us who know you and love you. I pray for you, for your peace and for continued understanding of His will. And I miss you... Anne

Meghan Hein said...

I can't even imagine the pain you have faced. But it is just amazing to see how God is shining through you. You have the most amazing heart and I can only imagine how proud your mom is of you today... and for all your days ahead.