Today is December 22nd-30 years ago today- 28 year old Tim, 9 and a half month old Lisa, and 27 month old Michael- went to Heaven. Without me! And from that point on, my life changed in ways I never could possibly had imagined. Like all bereaved moms, I never knew heart pain that deep even existed. As extensive as my physical injuries and pain were-they were minuscule- compared to the pain of separating physically from my family.
After the wreck, my physical rehabilitation therapist was direct and stressed how important it was to work hard-to prevent loss of function. That approach worked for my body. But it was directly the opposite when it came to healing my broken spirit…The more opinionated and direct "consolers" were…the more I wanted them to leave me alone! Only the gentle, quiet and compassionate could help to heal my suffering spirit. I did have to "work" at it with God's help…but it had to be in my time, and on my terms...
I wasn't able to really understand how God was "found in the details"-until enough time had passed for me to stand back and then to "survey the big picture". You just can't see how details add to the whole composition of a canvas, until you stand back far enough. When enough time went by, I could finally let go of the "frame" and then, physically separated from my near stranglehold, I was able to look forward and really see.
"Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. "And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand." (Romans 14:4) NIV
I appreciate much more now, the talented artistry of our Creator, viewing details now so plainly seen...
This morning when I first got up and was standing by my kitchen window, coffee in hand, I noticed my neighbor's tree. It's branches were mostly barren. It didn't look anything like it does in full bloom. It looked really dead-But it was only dead by appearance only... Come Spring, and it will again be lush and green and in full flower. Mere appearances do really deceive.
"Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." (John 7:24) NIV
I think that's the key to surviving child bereavement. Knowing that our children are not really dead. "Sleeping" (as Jesus describes the little deceased girl He brought back to life- amidst much laughter and derision), is really more descriptive. Because Michael and Lisa (and Dad Tim) are not completely dead. Only the physical shell has been cast off-their souls are vibrantly more alive than ever. That's such a pivotal point I think-the most important in my humble opinion.
"...it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." (1 Corinthians 15:44) NIV
They are still alive and so we will be able to see them and be with them again! Bereaved moms do have a future with their children! Reunion is coming!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) NIV
Michael told me shortly before he (physically) died, "Going Home…to be with Jesus!" And now, after 30 years, I feel like I'm finally in the "Home stretch". And "stretch"-I sure have had to do all these years on this walk. Through Jesus' help, stretching has kept me limber and able.
Tim, Michael and Lisa, give the Birthday Boy a hug for me!
Love you always! and "Merry Christmas!"