Before Justin's death I could only sympathize with someone who had lost a love one. Watching them grieve and trying to identify with their pain so that I could be some sort comfort along their journey, was a difficult task. Well today, I wish I was still the outsider looking into someone else life but that dreadful found me. Unfortunately, today I understand that feeling that makes you want to run from the heaviness and the extremely painful dart that pierces your heart. There was no escape, that dart confronted me everyday for a long time. As a minister accepting my son's death meant facing grief. I had conditioned my mind for twenty-two years to cast away every thought that was contrary to the Faith I had in God. I feared grief! I recognized that there is no faith in grief, only fear. I felt I might fall captive to my hearts pain so much so that I would want to give up. Therefore, I fought it as long as I could. But, I was reminded that God was not done with me yet. So I turned to Him knowing He was the only one who could help me survive this horrible life experience.
I prayed, "Lord, help me! I know I must grieve, but please God help me grieve your way.
You never begin a relationship thinking that you will precede that person in death. Loosing my youngest son at the tender age of twenty-two has been beyond the worst experience I have ever been through. I can surely see how easy it would be to fall into a deep depression not wanting to rise out of it. You had to know my Justin. He was lighthearted and funny, he lived to see you smile. Justin was cleaver and good with his hands. Justin excelled at every sport he played, basketball, football and boxing. He was so likable, everyone who knew him loved him dearly. The things you question, the memories good and bad. The aching empty feeling, and the list goes on, are all heavily weighing you down. The lack of desire to eat, to cook, to clean...everyday task are unbelievably difficult to do, in my case I couldn't do any of those things at first. Just lifting my hand was hard to do for a while. God surrounded me with the most self sacrificing friends, who never left my side, they were all there in some way.
Many Christian's take the position that they are untouchable when things hit hard or deeply cut into the fiber of there being. Many believe that when they got saved, they were saved from the human emotion of sadness. They can embrace emotions such as anger and joy but sadness, is looked upon as having a lack of faith. Therefore, many shy away from showing their sadness. I thank God that I had friends who constantly reminded me that what I am going through is normal. Just in case someone is reading this who struggles with allowing themselves to work through feelings of sadness you should know that there is a scripture that encourages, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God delivers us out of them all."(Psalms 34:19) Affliction is pain and where there is pain, there is some level of sadness. I don't believe that it is the will of God for us to bury our feelings; all you get with that is a compounded situation, which can lead to "an ulcer." God's way is that we work our way to lay our burdens down before Him. Which at times is a process. Which may be easier for some than for others.
My closest friends know that I have suffered many different types of painful experiences throughout my life but, never, have I ever, experienced anything like this. I fought off guilt, sorrow, depression, despair, and I find that I still have a huge void in my heart that God will have to fill. Yet, I believe that I have bounced back remarkably only through the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I am learning just what it takes to win the fight for my life. For me, knowing and understanding the heart of God for my every life situations is where the real healing begins.
A Few Nuggets to Offer Strength on your Journey From Pain to Purpose.
I would like to close this blog by saying, if you find yourself suffering through a painful grieving experience know that you do not have to be alone in the journey. I have found that spending quiet time with God early in the morning, intimately, (before the sun rises, to cry out your pain, to lay your burdens on Him and to ask Him for what you need) is the best medicine to make it through the day.
Many people try many things to overcome their suffering, and as a result, many suffer long, because they suffer wrong. Knowing the heart of God towards you and your family and spending quality time with him places Him in a position to fix your suffering heart. Intimacy with God is he key, it is the only way to find true peace.
Many times I may tear up, or show signs of sorrow, but my closes friends can tell you that I am growing everyday with a greater peace in God over this whole devastating experience. I pray that someone finds peace in something they read here, for I receive healing through helping others be healed. I love you and ask that you pray for me as I lift you up as well. Stay Bless