I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His rightness and justice, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. Psalm 7:17
I realize that I don’t thank God enough. I owe everything to Him: myself, my family, everything. Each new day, whatever transpires, I should give thanks. I should also thank Him for the hard stuff. Hard stuff takes me back to life changing loss. When my son died, I died in every way but physical and, like Elijah of old, I asked God to let me die. I would have gladly traded my life for his, but that didn’t happen. So how could life be of value anymore?
Somewhere around the 2-year mark . . . I have a fuzzy memory about many things in association with the loss of my son. Somewhere about this time, I distinctly heard the thought in my mind, “Why don’t you write to Me about your pain?” I was stunned. What thought was that? I don’t write . . . yes, I do have a computer. But I ignored the thought. Preposterous. What good would journaling do? It wouldn’t bring back my son so why bother?
But I found God to be as persistent as He is gentle. Every soak in a warm bath, that question would “goad” me. He wasn’t pushy, just gently suggesting the idea over and over until I gave in and sat down in front of a blank computer screen. Now what? There were lots of hurts that needed words. Lots of rage and pain that needed purging so that my heart could begin to be reborn. And so began an off-shoot path into publishing, “Shattered by Suicide; My Conversations With God After the Tragic Death of My Son” which became the outcome of this experience with God. And I might add, it was a precious time when I never felt closer to Him. Writing was cathartic. Writing was for my healing, but God hinted that it was also intended to help others heal. It wasn’t just about me.
I have blogged about my writing beginnings before, but what hit me as I woke up this morning is that I don’t give thanks to God as often as I should. No, He did not spare my son. Yes, He knows I have pain as the result, but He has promised to never leave me (Hebrews 13:5). He has also suggested that I try to see the bigger picture ~ the one that says there are so many aching hearts who need to hear my story. I leave the details to Him, but I promised Him that I would share my story with “the world” to help others realize they are not alone. We travel our grief journeys together.
You see, we who have suffered suicide [may] think that we are exempt from healing after loss. Death of a parent or friend we may recover more easily. Death from other causes such as disease, we may recover more easily. Recover from suicide death? Impossible, you say? Yes. I agree. I don’t know if God agrees, but what I feel at this juncture in my journey is that I will carry the memory of my son in my heart until it stops beating. I will ache for him all of my days. But how I suffer and what I suffer may be a choice. You see, if I let God take over the pain, it is a game changer. It is an every-moment decision. I can so easily take back the wheel, essentially saying to God, “I’ll drive now. You can hop in the back until I need you again and then I will holler for you to drive.”
Actually, God is a better driver than I will ever be. God knows my life ~ all of my days are known to Him. I don’t know the next minute. All I know is the past ~ what I can remember. I may be able to line the ducks in a row from my past and make some sense out of it. But when I try to line up the ducks after the death of my child, I still can only speculate. That picture is not clear. Again, only God has the power to know the life of my son. Only He knows the why. I know the when, how and where. But the why . . . Don’t we just hate the “why”? We want to know what God knows. WHY DOESN’T HE SHARE WHAT HE KNOWS AND GIVE US SOME PEACE?
When I scream out these words above, I get no satisfaction. To wallow in this question makes me gulp too much salty sorrow. For me, I can’t stay there and survive. If I choose to “thrive” one day, I just can’t wallow too long. The days and weeks and months becomes years. It’s to the years that I speak, not the freshly wounded. As the years have passed, these thoughts continue to percolate. It is at the 7+ years that these thoughts came to me today to share. So take heart those of you who are “newbies”. Perhaps you can get a glimpse of where your thoughts can be in the years to come.
Back to the idea of thanking God. Let’s share a few love texts about Him. If the Bible is not your thing, that’s okay. But it is the best source to find out about His love which I believe is reliable and trustworthy. As I read them, my hope is revived. As I ponder them in my heart, I am reminded that even as my days are numbered as was my firstborn child’s, I will see him again. Therein lies my hope and it is “this” hope that I share.
*God loved the world this way: he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. John 3:16, version
*The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
*God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
*We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
You can add to this list. There are so many good ones.