Thursday, March 21, 2013

Learning To Fish....Without a Net

So, life is fast paced again, the new has worn off of being home, chores pile up regularly again, bills are due, schedule is full, and in the few rare moments where I am by myself and it's quiet, all I want is to be back in that hospital, holding a baby boy leashed to the bed by oxygen tube, iv cables, and a feeding tube. what I would give to have just a couple of hours to just be with him. I know I know. I can't live like that, wishing for things that aren't going to happen. I am completely aware that grieving is different for everyone and part of my grieving is going through a time of deep "missing" and needing the tangible to be available. There are so many sweet babies in our church and I just love them all and I'm so thankful for them and I know each of their mommies would be completely fine with me loving on them and holding them, but they aren't mine. They aren't Noah. They are sweet, beautiful, perfect little ones and they aren't him. Even Ava isn't him. I love that she keeps me active, happy, busy and going. As soon as she's gone from me for a matter of time, I feel that I should be with Noah. There is so much adjusting going on and it is wearing on me. I feel like since we've gone through the last 6 months of hospital life, etc that I could endure anything and do anything. I wonder some days if I can do this grief thing. I know the statement that "God only gives you what you can handle" is bull. It is not Biblical and I do not like it.  I CANNOT handle this. I CANNOT deal with this. I CANNOT live with the fact that my son is no longer here. BUT, I CAN live, even thrive and more than conquer this time in my life WITH HIM. I can't handle any of it. I can't handle leading songs about faith and trust and hope when my heart aches. I can't play with Ava, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, run errands, pay the bills etc and do my job as a wife and mother when all I want to do is drive to fort worth and somehow find Noah laying in his bed with Floyd or Robin or Niki or someone taking great care of him, Dr J or Dr. M coming in and updating me and then sitting with Noah for hours, just the two of us. With Christ, I am finding that I can plow through the toughest times, not always with grace, but through them at all. I can get through the sobs, the tears, the longings and the empty arms. I can get through the questions when people I don't know, ask how many kids I have. I can get through the "how are you doing?" conversations when I run into people at the grocery store. I can somehow even pray for and keep up with our heart friends without being jealous that their babies are still here, hard life or not. (I know you girls know my heart and I love your babies dearly, as well as each of you)

 So it brings me to Wednesday night.

Our dear friend Briar is now the youth intern at our church and he brought the word Wednesday night for the youth and Nick and I decided to go and listen. We've known Briar since he was 11. Time has flown by us and now he is a young adult and has a passion for God and spreading his word and his love. He was preaching on being fishers of men, a word I've heard a million times. Nick wears the bracelet, Dad has the bracelet tattooed on his wrist, mom wears it. I get it. I know it. Fishers of men. Get up and follow me and I will make you fishers of men. la la la. Ya, I know, we put it all down and follow him. We don't go do this or wait for that and then follow God. We follow him now and lay it down. So, I was just going along listening to Briar preach and agreeing that our youth need to hear this and hear it often. I am proud that he has such a strong passion to preach this message and be real with the students. He brought up the worship song they sang at the end of praise and worship and it says,

Love unfailing
Overtaking my heart
You take me in
Finding peace again
Fear is lost in all you are

And I would give the world to tell your story
'Cause I know that you've called me
I know that you've called me
I've lost myself for good within your promise
And I won't hide it
I won't hide it

Jesus, I believe in You
And I would go, to the ends of the earth
To the ends of the earth
For you alone are the son of God
And all the world will see
That You are God
You are God

He had a lot of great points about dropping it all, going to the ends of the earth to share God's love, his word and salvation. 
It got me thinking.... "and I would give the world to tell your story". Perhaps, working through this grieving process continues to mean, taking up my cross daily, giving my world to tell His story, not just Noah's story. Surely there is growth in that. For such a special and certain time, Noah was my world. Surely there is peace and purpose in that. The days where I feel more empty than ever in my life, I can rely on the fact that I am being obedient by praising him and that if I continually give Noah and his life back to the Lord, even when it hurts my core, surely there is obedience in that. "I've lost myself for good within your promise". The days I feel lost, the days I don't feel like myself, or that I even know who I am anymore, the days where working out or eating right seem like a stupid waste, when getting out of bed seems pointless or when every little thing reminds me of my son, I'm STILL within his promise. Then it says, "I won't hide it". So, here I am, not hiding it. I know some have probably been waiting for this post where it all comes out, all the grief and hurt and missing him. Well, here it is, but it is so much more than that. so much more than missing him. It is so much deeper than wanting to hold him or watch him grow up. It is the fact that in order to be obedient in this part of my life, I had to allow God to take my son to heaven and find a way to trust him each day since. 

So my challenge for myself and for you is: when we sing words like, "we fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus", when we cry out, "All of you is more than enough for all of me", as we lift our hands and just love to sing, "You give and take away, blessed be the name of the Lord". Do you mean it? If God asked you to do the unthinkable for him, could you? Would you? What is God teaching you today, asking you to give him today, commanding you repent of today? He may not ask you to give him your son, I pray that never has to happen to you, but what is it that he is asking you to be obedient in? Do you need to respect your husband more? Do you need to turn off the TV? Do you need to tell your wife you love her and take out the stinking trash before she asks you? Do you need to volunteer for the ministry that you keep avoiding? Do you need to turn off the computer or your phone (pointing the fingers at myself you know). Do you need to lay off some of the extra curricular activities so you can focus on your children and their academic, social and most importantly spiritual needs? Do you need to put down the trashy book? Maybe quit watching such dirty movies? I don't know what God is doing in you, but being fishers of men starts with the "laying down the net".

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

If you look at verse 18 it says "at once, they left their nets and followed him." Today. Whatever net you are gripping, with white knuckles, let it go. Whatever is in your way of trusting God, turn it loose. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that this week, in all its hurt, grief, frustration, giving in and giving up on, the tears, sobs and under eye bags has taught me that, first of all, it's ok to grieve a lot. It's ok to cry, miss him, long for him and be upset about it, So I don't need reassurance of that,  but I can't stay in that place for long because I cannot thrive there, I cannot do God's work there and I cannot truly be a fisher of men there. I can be there for a moment, for quite a few moments, in fact, but I must always come out of those times of sorrow, with loosened grips of those nets, with a readiness to follow him. You willing to let go of your net? It's scary. It is terrifying. You can't tell me that holding my son as he took his last breath wasn't the most petrifying moment of  my life, but when the Word clearly says, "you can do all things through Christ who gives me strength", he's not talking about running a marathon or passing a test. I mean, it can mean that to you in those moments, but He is encouraging us as believers that even the most grim, hard, detestable, frustrating and scary times are passable through him. we can get through the death of a child, we can get through a heartbreak, we can get through the death of a parent or best friend, we can get through a job loss, marriage pains and hurts, health issues and the like, only by his blood and in His power. Rest in that (speaking to myself) and let is push you further, deeper, and heavier into God's plan for you.

Did any of that make any sense? Thanks Briar for sharing your heart. It helped to heal my hurt this week and push me out of self pity and destruction. I love you, sweet friend. Nick and I are so thankful and proud of you. Thank you to my husband, who loves me at my worst, gives me a few days to recover from deep emotional outpouring without feeling guilty or like I'm giving up on all God is doing in us. Thank you for family and friends who spur me on, pray me through and keep putting up with all my random needs and crazy ideas. Thank you to all of you strangers who read this and tell me how encouraging I am. I truly know that this is all of God's hand and his doing. I am thankful for an outlet to teach myself, encourage myself and love God more. It is icing on the cake that people are benefiting and learning as well. Praise Him.

Thanks for the support and love as always.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I am glad you put in the part about God not giving you more than you can handle being unbiblical. Grates on Brent and I every time someone says it.