It's a privilege to introduce you to two more of my new Survivor sisters...
"...The first post I read of yours was about you Missing Katherine. Missing has become a great part of my life. I don’t think it was a word I had ever really thought about before. Missing always seemed so temporary.
That is until my earthquake...
My earthquake happened December 7, 2003. That’s when I was initiated into the sorority. Of suffering. My 20-year-old son suffered a TBI as the result of a drug overdose. It still shocks me that I actually wrote that last sentence. A traumatic brain injury. My son. A drug overdose.
However, what shocks me the most is that I can write it without the shame I felt for such a long time. Only God, through Jesus Christ, can take away that kind of shame.
Yes, an earthquake, that’s a good way to describe it. Unexpected. Devastating. You can’t stand. You don’t know when it will stop. You reach to hold on to someone else but they are falling, too. Is it real? Is it really happening or has something you saw on television found its way into your mind and into your dreams? But, as things start to crumble, you know it’s real. And you soon realize that, even though all you had, God created in the first place, when He puts things back together again, it will all be different. Good, as He can only do good, but different. Scars, cracks, brokenness, at least until we see Him face to face. We are still finding parts of ourselves in the rubble. Six years later, we still find broken dreams, crazy out of control emotions, memories that have been hidden under piles and piles of a former life. Most of the time, I would rather it all stayed buried. I get tired of dealing, of hurting, of remembering. But God calls us to go through it all. Finding the brokenness so it can be healed.
I am reminded over and over again, especially hearing about Katherine’s faith before the AVM, of God’s grace. Only Our God could show the same grace to my son who messed up so badly, who made such a stupid choice, who was running away from God, (just like his mother) and your daughter who loved God and was sharing Him with others. Only Our God could love them both so completely. So perfectly. Only Our God could give two broken mothers the same strength, comfort and peace that trusting in His goodness brings. Only Our God could give us both the assurance that even though this isn’t what we wanted for our children and at times we absolutely hate it, we know. We know that as much as we love them, as much as our heart cries out to have our babies back, for their lives to be as if we dreamed and planned, we know. We know that His plans for them are better than ours. We know that they are much safer with Him than with us and we know that the part of them we miss, that He’s not missing it at all. He knows right where it is. He’s holding it tighter than we ever could."
Thank you for your precious words, Cheri. No one understands as well as someone who's walked in the same shoes...down the same long hospital hallway. You and your family will stay in our prayers.
Check out Cheri's wonderful blog at:
"...It was very shortly after beginning my employment here that my "earthquake" hit...
It was discovered that my husband of 20+ years had been involved in an on-going adulterous relationship with a co-worker. He eventually walked away from our family, including our then 15 and 19-year-old sons, the eldest was a freshman here at S. My life was turned upside down and inside out in an instant. But that was only the beginning. The eruptions and tremors continued to occur through the many more unbelieveable discoveries over time. Even now, eight years later, they continue. He has refused any involvement with our sons - has not seen nor communicated with either son in that eight years. He completely walked out on his life, including all our friends, to start over with the other woman and her sons as if he had no other past. A man who had worked faithfully with one employer for 20 years, has now lost 3 jobs since leaving causing alimony to be intermittent at best and creating further economic disruptions, all while continuing to send hateful mail blaming me for the circumstances of his life.
While those are the details of the disruption of the volcanic explosion, there is so much more. God surrounded me with wonderful godly support as only He can - family, friends, counsellor, attorney - all believers who walked me through every phase. And even though I'd rather not have to continue to deal with things of the past, God remains faithful! As you have testified in your circumstances, there is victory - praise Him!!! My eldest son graduated from S. and is working in his dream job - the place that as a young boy he knew he wanted to be - Associate Recreation Minister on staff at the church of his childhood. My youngest is a senior majoring in Engineering - which is what he has always wanted to do!! God is so good!! And I will walk here at S. on May 15 to receive my B.S. Life is truly good!!
However, there were times I thought that life would never hold meaning ever again. I had been involved in Women's Ministry through my church and those doors had closed. But God has opened new doors in another community of faith, and He has renewed His call on my life of ministry to women. It looks very different than before, but it is an amazing journey! He is the source of renewal and restoration!!
Even as I share with great joy the victories, there are still great challenges. That's what I hear in your writing - they just don't ever seem to stop. Yet that's life here on planet earth. Not until we are in Paradise for all eternity will the suffering and sorrow cease. Until then, the heart of flesh that He continues to grow in me feels with great enormity all the pain around me. And it is precisely that heart of flesh that is actually a portion of God's heart given to me so that as I submit, becomes the avenue to minister to others. Oh how hard that is. Some days I simply want to withdraw into "my own little corner of my own little room". But then, my Jesus takes my chin and lifts it up to gaze into His loving eyes, and I feel His loving arms holding me securely.
Kim, the reason your words resonate with so many, is because we humans have or will at some point experience explosions, earthquakes, volcanoes and the accompanying pain and sorrow. We are held up by each other knowing we are not in this alone. And it's not the misery that comes our way that we gravitate toward, but rather the words of vulnerability from others sharing their angst over our very same struggles. But we don't stop and tarry there - we grow closer to those who share the victories in the midst of all the suffering - the HOPE that we all cling to! That's what your blog has done for each one of us - it continues to spread HOPE!!
And even as we are ministered to through your writings, we listen to your heart as if we are sitting across the table over a cup of tea bearing your burdens with you! You are not alone! We are here with you!!
Thank you for sharing your life and your love with each one of us!! You remain in my prayers!"
As you remain in mine, L. during this next challenge. I agree... "We are held up by each other knowing we are not in this alone." What a gift that is! Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.
"Carry each others burdens..." (Galatians 6:2)