Anticipatory death . . . a thousand deaths. I anticipated this – obviously . . .I was told my son had a fatal disease and he most likely would not out live me. The anticipation of my child’s death lead me to seek out other parents who had been through it. This is what I heard . . .
“You’ll never be the same . . .”
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her . . .”
“It’s the worst thing ever!”
“A piece of me died with him . . .”
“She’s the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think of before I go to bed.”
“You don’t ever ‘get over’ it.”
That was unsettling. Surely there had to be hope . . .?
What I didn’t hear was – it’s going to be OK. You’re going to be OK.
nmsters, I’m here to tell you, it’s going to be OK.
You will get through this.
Early on I knew this difficult journey was going to push me beyond anything I could try and imagine. I needed help so I went looking and started to prepare.
One of the things I did to prepare was read the Bible cover to cover.
One thing that stood out to me is that God brought all of us here for a purpose. He loves each and every one of us sooooo much. He created us. We are His. Thinking about this I thought, “Then these children are not really mine . . . they are His.”
Yes, they are His. I am here as their mother to fulfill one of the purposes He has planned for me. But, God is their Father. No one will ever love my children more than I do except their Father.
In view of this, I started to look at our journey a little differently. These little assignments from God are here to bless us. I knew no matter how difficult things got He would see me through it. I learned to rely on God and His blessings.
And difficult it was! I can remember the weeks before my son passed away. The pain was getting unbearable as I watched him struggle and suffer. I can remember at one point as I was walking down the hall toward Mike’s room. . . the hum of the oxygen machine . . . and his dreadful cough. I collapsed against the wall, exhausted mentally, physically, spiritually and I said out loud, “God, is it time for you to take him? Are you coming soon? Are you trying to tell me? Because I know my Mikey is getting so tired . . . Dear God I don’t know how much more I can take . . . please give me strength!”
When my son went to be with his Father, I didn’t die too. Yes, I was in incredible pain. But by this time I had gotten into a pattern . . .when I was in awful pain I laid it at the foot of the cross . . . it took a bit but finally one day the habit kicked back in and I said out loud, “God, I can’t carry this!” As always, my Father was with me and He heard each of my cries for help and answered every one. I was reminded once again about everything I had read. I knew what God wanted me to do. I needed to continue to carry out the other assignments He had given me. I remembered that even in my darkest times He saw me through. I had renewed faith that He would help me survive this as well.
And momsters, he does. I have no other reason for the peace that I have. It is given to me. I do have to work at it. I remember how hard Mike had to fight to stay in the ring of life as he went round to round. I reflected what Mike taught me and began to fight – fight for my peace. The tempter wants to take it away but I fight for it when I need to and God always helps me.
It’s never too late to start to fight. Be good to you. I didn’t start out doing that. I took no time off of work and jumped right back in the day after Mike was buried. Even if it has been years – start right now. When you need something ASK. Don’t do the – well, if they don’t know, then . . . That only hurts you. Believe that you are important enough to have your needs met. Remember, no one will value you more as a person, than you value yourself. Meaning, if you keep taking on all kinds of crap, that’s what you will get. Because that is the message you are sending.
Don’t take on too much (the pot calling the kettle black here). When you need to step back and take a break, take it. Even if it’s been three years! You will be of no use to anyone if you drill yourself into the ground.
If you’ve not been able to do much of anything, take baby steps. Fight. Remember there are other assignments God has for you. If you don’t know what they are – seek them out. We all have our own purpose to fulfill.
In my darkest hours the thing that always helped me was practicing gratitude. While my son was lying there dying before my eyes, my heart and mind went on auto pilot. I had the most overwhelming feelings of gratitude and peace. Even when he went through his restless stage (which, while I anticipated it, I thought surely would push me over the edge) my heart told me to be thankful - God is using this in Mike’s fight. Better for him to want to go home to Jesus then be tormented by fighting with the world to stay here. I wish I could articulate this better. My heart was grateful as I trusted God’s plan for Mike and for me.
After Mike’s death I looked for people who needed help. They are all around us. It helped me to give back and to reach out. Purpose.
|God has given me new|
There is so much more that I want to share with you. I will make this Part I. It is Advent. As we prepare our hearts and our homes for the Christ Child, I hope that you will seek out the peace that only the Christ Child in the manger can give. Peace that goes beyond anything that we can comprehend. It is a wonderful peace.
Please don’t think for one moment that I have this all figured out. I don’t. I stumble and fall but then I get back up and I try again – even after 3 years. More to come in Part II. I just really want to share with you what has worked for me because seriously, most of the time I have peace. These same things are what get me through every time. Trust God. Rely on His promises. Be good to you. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Don’t take on too much. Know when enough is enough. Stop pretending everything is fine. Practice gratitude. There are many, many hurting people out there that need your help. Fight. When you have a bad day let it go. Forgive yourself and get back up for “One More Round!” Look for the little assignments God has in store to bless you with.
Please know this . . .this journey of peace is not a destination that we are trying to get to so we can say we are “over it” as some might seem to imply. It’s a guide of how to survive and maybe even thrive while we finish our walk toward home.
Love, love, love,