In a dream I had, I was walking on a frozen pond. It was a cold, cloudy, and frigid winter day. Suddenly the ice began to crack beneath my feet. Fear gripped me throughout my entire body. There was no way to make it back to the shore. The muddy darkness was moving in waves beneath me and sucking me slowly into the depths of the freezing cold waters. I had never felt so alone and so hopeless. I kept telling myself I had to move. I was drowning. Move, keep going, don’t stop! The water was enveloping me. The air was being sucked right from my lungs. I cried out to the one true God, fight this battle for me! I can’t go on I can’t do it! Somehow, unexpectedly, I found myself crawling out of the frozen pond and gasping for air. I grabbed onto the lifeline the Father threw me. He breathed new life into my soul.
I think many times in a person’s life when finding themselves submerged in a tragedy, they forget to breathe — hanging at a point in time, often feeling the wind being sucked from their lungs and wanting to die right there. But God…says, “I’ll be right there with you.”
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!”
The following is an excerpt from my journal in the first year after Nick left us;
“Here I am again going through the endless days and nights. Facing the Holidays. It all means nothing without you here to celebrate. All the families are together, and mine will never be together again. The pain never stops, nor does the tears. I can’t believe this is happening! I will never be the same. Terry says I have so much pain in my face. How awful I must be to talk to and watch. Others don’t know! They can’t understand how I feel!
My soul is wounded, broken, and destroyed. I will never be whole again. There is no joy. I feel as if I am in a box, and I can’t get out. Screams of anguish! PAIN, HURT, PAIN! Help me! And I love you, my son! I miss that beautiful smile of yours — the close love we had, talking every day. I can’t even take your number out of my phone. I cannot accept that you are gone! I keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare!”
I am sure there are many out there that can relate to my words from fifteen years ago. I can remember feeling like I was in a surreal world. Sort of like I was watching my life from the other side of a window. Looking into the different faces of others when they didn’t know what to say. I felt as if people didn’t want to touch my world. That it scared them to death, and they didn’t want to walk near it. Perhaps they had a fear they may have to experience it one day themselves.
However, God will always send someone into your life to walk beside you, to hold you up when you can’t go on. Someone who knows what you are going through, who walked those same paths herself years before you. Another mother with no specialized training, but she had such a strong belief in what she was speaking. I could tell she had been with Jesus. I knew without a doubt where she drew her strength. She wasn’t the least bit showy, didn’t recite scriptures over and over to me. She stood shoulder to shoulder with me full of empathy and compassion. She was just confident enough in it that I saw, and I believed, and that my friend is how I started my journey to be set free from the bondage and captivity of darkness and death.
It is so easy to become self-centered, angry, hold grudges, and filled with envy after experiencing a devastating loss. Tragically, our hearts become hardened.
I have learned in the years since my son left that the best way to honor him is to love others in the same way I am loved.
I have moved forward with God’s plan. Over the years, He has sent many people to pour into my life and bring me to where I am today.
The Holiday season can be difficult. I can clearly remember not wanting to engage for years. The Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations kicked me right in the gut. I wanted to go to bed in November and wake up in January. It wasn’t that I didn’t love the rest of my family. It was just too hard.
Like a butterfly, I finally emerged from my cocoon and began to embrace the joy of the season with those I dearly cherish.
This year, the Lord has put it upon my heart to have a Community Holiday Dinner on
Sunday the 8th of December, for Mothers who found themselves in this journey of devastating loss.
If you have experienced the loss of a child in any way, we invite you to join us. We are going to lock arms, stand shoulder to shoulder, break bread, and get through this season together.
And… I’ll be right there with you.