I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13, NIV
I have posted the story I will share in Part 2 in a previous blog, but if you’re like me and you leak a little . . . we need refilling often. My heart needs reminding of the hope within God’s Word. Yours too?
Scripture may not be where you go when you hurt, but today’s message may be an encouragement to do so. These texts included are my “bread and butter”. They remind me that God will fulfill his promises even if they were originally given way back in Old Testament times. For me, they are more soothing to my spirit than any words given by a writer from this generation.
The story began this way. In order to explain it fully I need to go back many years to the tragic death of my firstborn. Part 1 sets the stage. Part 2, like Paul Harvey says, will give you the rest of the story.
After my son’s death I was beyond broken. I cried until I was dry. All I could do was moan. I wanted answers. Actually I wanted my son back that very instant, but in time reality was inclusive. I would not see him again in this life.
In my core beliefs I turned to God, begging for his mercy. I also had sources I could contact to get some comfort. So I wrote emails and made phone calls which eventually led someone to share this story with me. It was about a mom, like many of us, who had lost her son to suicide a few years before. I cherished the story. It grabbed my heart in a grip of hope. I scribbled it down as the person relayed it to me over the phone. I reread the story often and even shared it with others who were blind sided by death.
Eventually God got my attention. He encouraged me to journal my pain to him. I resisted. How in the world could that help? But God continued to “bug” me until I finally gave in. In a grumpy mood I sat down at the computer and stared at a blank screen and said out loud, “And now what?” First it was a trickle then a stream and then words came to mind faster than I could type them. Many nights I was awakened by thoughts that demanded that I write them that instant.
The process of writing to God soothed me. Healing had begun within without me even realizing it. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but somehow I knew that what I considered my private thoughts were to be shared with others for the greater good. God seemed to whisper, “I want you to share your heart to help others in pain. I have so many who need a friend.”
The thought of my private journal becoming a manuscript for publishing meant venturing into unknown territory and I shuddered at the thought. I had no writing skills or experience under my belt. But if God wanted it done, he would have to do it. I would be his scribe, but all the thoughts and stories would be from him. Letting go and letting God have his way was daunting to say the least. Now the memory of that dear story surfaced. I knew it had to be included, but didn’t I need permission? Eventually I was given a phone number and I dialed a perfect stranger. Once she knew I had her story and wanted to include it in my book she was so eager for it to be shared. Across the miles we each had suffered a similar loss which took us from perfect strangers to friends.
Eventually the book, “Shattered By Suicide, My Conversations With God After The Tragic Death Of My Son” became a reality. My hands trembled as I held the book for the first time. It was an awesome moment.
Part 2 next week.