Sunday, February 26, 2012

Forever In My Heart

Every year I think it will be different. I really do. But here I am again with that restlessness in my heart that longs for reunion. The feelings are nothing new ~ they have been my companion along life's journey for almost 20 years. Perhaps it is because February is the month of love. Most likely it is because this short month is characterized by separation and loss for me. I am well aware that if you choose to love, you choose to grief.  

And I chose to love, so my heart still grieves the losses marked in these short days of February. I look forward with hope to the blessed reunion with my son, my mother and my father, all of whom entered their eternal rest during the month of love.

I find great comfort in the words of Scripture. The passages which are truly a healing salve to my hurting heart are those that embrace the pain of separation and the reality of loss as part of our journey. As this month draws to a close, I drink deeply from the following words of comfort.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle;
are they not in your book?
Psalm 56:8

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:19-23

Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
Hosea 6:1

Perhaps the words of St. Paul speak best for me today. It is true these precious losses are part of who I am. Although I grieve the fact that my precious family members are no longer here in person, I know that it is indeed a short time before we will see them again, face to face.

Since we were torn away from you 
for a short time ~ in person not in heart ~ 
we endeavor all the more eagerly and 
with great desire to see you face to face.
I Thessalonians 2:17

Until then, they remain forever in my heart.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Clinging to Hope

Bye Scott. I love you. See you at the game.

Bye Mom. Love you too.

I woke this morning with these words echoing in my head. Little did I know on that rushed morning in February 1996 that these words would be our last conversation. Just a little over four hours later, Scott was airlifted to the regional trauma center, and sixteen short years became the length of his days.

Today begins a hallowed time for our family. Although sixteen years have passed, we remember every detail of these dark days with great clarity ~ as if it were yesterday.

Today I feel my grief in every cell of my body.

Today I long to hear Scott say ~ Love you too.

Today I am reminded that no matter how dark and difficult the journey, the God of all Comfort has been my faithful companion. It is He who draws near to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit. It is He who replaces ashes with garlands and clothes me with a garment of praise. It is He who has placed eternity in my heart so I have a hope.

Today I cling to hope ~ hope that made it possible for me to take my first steps along this journey of grief. Hope that is rooted in the confidence that God will use my deep pain to glorify Himself and draw others to His Kingdom. Hope that promises to redeem the future.

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, 
but the certainty that something makes sense 
regardless of how it turns out. 
~ Vaclav Havel