Wednesday, August 11, 2010

working through my thoughts

I'm sitting here listening to the hymn "I Surrender All". Listening to the words, I take a deep breath.

All to Jesus I surrender;
all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.

Sometimes it is hard to surrender. I give my pain over to the Lord and then I take it back, as if holding onto the hurt that is seizing my heart will somehow make Christian more alive to me.

Each day that passes further cements our "new normal".

And my whole being fights it.

Can't I hold on to the old normal a little while longer? To my orange kitchen, a carseat in the middle row of the van, Batman pj's, red Power Ranger underwear, fwogs in the fridge, and Christian's little voice piping up with "Dwink pwease!" when he's vying with his brothers for a sip of the Icee?

I am truly pained that another school year is starting and I don't have a third student to add to my plans. We were both looking forward to Christian learning to read and graduate from Kindergarten, doing all those fun hands-on things that little guys get to do. Our current curriculum is so... grown up. I am very proud of Austin and Noah's growth this past year, but it is a little bittersweet since our old plans were never fully realized.

(I wonder how I'll feel this time next year?)

I want to hold on to the chapter of my life that is forever marked as "Before Christian..."

I can't even bring myself to finish that phrase out loud.

Before Christian what?

Before Christian died.

That sounds so harsh and ugly, doesn't it? I suppose that's because it is. Death is ugly, brought into this world as a result of sin. There is nothing pretty about it, especially when it's your own child. They are supposed to mourn the loss of us, it's not supposed to be the other way around!

And now the song on the radio is "Jesus Paid It All"... I stop crying to listen more closely to the words.

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

He carries me when I am weak (which is often). Others might see me as strong, but it really is His strength, not mine. He brings me back once more to where my focus should be-- on Jesus' finished, redemptive work on the Cross of Calvary!

He encourages me throughout the day and lightens my burden. It is His grace alone that allows me to smile, laugh, and find joy while a piece of my heart is missing.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

If I didn't have eternity to look forward to, I would be a real basketcase right now. This world is so dark and depressing, full of heartache and emptiness, even when you don't have "big" troubles. If it weren't for the loving grace of God and His constant reminders that He cares for me, I would most likely be depressed, divorced and distant from everyone I know. It would be all the more tragic to mourn the loss of our marriage or the destruction of our family on top of it all. (Thank you, Lord for keeping us together!)

Once you allow a little ugly or bitterness take root, it has a way of growing like a weed, quickly choking out all that is good in your life.

Choking is never a good thing, y'all.

And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.

I WILL stand at Jesus' feet. I will stand where Christian has already stood before me. And the One who suffered greatly will extend His arms and nail scarred hands to embrace me.

(I'm sure Christian wouldn't be too far away either, probably standing really close by with a giant grin on his face.) :-)

I really need to quit being amazed at how God will sort my thoughts and walk me through my tears and worries. He is so good to bring me from tears to thankfulness-- all in the span of writing this post.

Okay, I'm going to stop now and go to bed thinking... about what it will be like to see Jesus with my eyes for the first time... about what things will sound like in Heaven... about Christian's big grin and excited laugh...

It will be a joy *huge understatement!* to hear the voices of my three boys laughing in Heaven together. Even better to hear David laughing with them.

And I bet Jesus would join in on their laughter too.

{I am so thankful that they have all believed on the name of Jesus and asked Him into their hearts. Do you believe?}


Susan said...

My heart hurts for you. I am so glad you have the HOPE of JESUS. I also couldn't imagine life on earth without that. My daughter says that for nonbelievers, this life is the best they will get, but for believers this life is the worst one they will have. Makes so much sense huh. Praying you have a good night sleep and that he mercies come to you in the morning. Goodnight.

Deedee said...

Sweet Dreams my friend! And a HUGE ((((((HUG))))))) coming at you from across 'the pond'. Of course you are allowed weak times - you are human! And of our weakness HE is strong! Yeah! - Deedee

Lainie said...

We are here with you.. in your tears and in your joy.

Much love...

Oh, and just so you know-- we can't wait to meet him too :)

Annemarie said...

I was telling Jen the other day, that what I was struggling with the most was mourning my expectations, dreams and thoughts for the future. All of which, through one event, were demolished. It left me angry. Like the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. And, to be very honest, I did not want to get up. I wanted to lay there and wallow. I can't tell you the number of times that Mark would ask me to talk about it and I would hold up my hand and say "no", and walk out of the room.

Then, it happened that Mark preached our Wed. night service on Hebrews 11. I *almost* didn't go because when he told me what he was preaching on I thought "great, the hall of faith, heard a billion messages on that", but being the dutiful preacher's wife, I went.

And I wept. He went through those listed in chapter 11 and showed how they set examples for us, that it is possible to live the life of faith here on earth through any circumstances. How? By keeping our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.

I think that I almost fell out of my chair with the realization of what I was doing. My eyes were turned back, and more than that, I had turned them back and then somehow stayed back there to look ahead to a future that was never meant to be. Never. It was my plan, but not His.

As Mark expounded on what it meant to look to Jesus, he touched on how when we stay focused on Him, those things to the side fade. They don't disappear, but they become less distinct. Oh Marsha, that cut me to the heart to realize that is the ONLY way that I can function. Distraction isn't an option.

I am so glad to hear this post. It is the reminder I needed to hear. My strength indeed is small. I feel like the one of those sheep that gets it's leg broken so that it is forced to hang around the Master's neck to be kept from wandering.

Still praying for you all, and so happy that God is answering my prayers!


Sam said...

Your honest words pain and bring joy. I feel like I know you, and I pray for you, and your family. You are a wonderful example of faith.

KarenW said...

Thank you for your honest thoughts. Your testimony is an encouragement to me. Thank you for reminding me that my focus should be on our Saviour!

Anonymous said...

You are such a blessing, Marsha. I have struggled with bitterness from a harsh divorce. Nothing in comparison to the loss of a child but I mourned so. I couldn't help but cry as I read your post. I would have those same feelings. I am so thankful that we have a Savior whose arms never tire and awaits for that day when we can see Him face to face. No more pain, no more tears and no more sorrow.

Be encouraged, sister and stay close to Him.

Angie said...

Thank u Marsha for sharing your heart with us/ me. It gave me a window to your soul. I thank Jesus for you and for your great example to me.

Be blessed dear sister

Gottjoy! said...

I always love seeing pictures of Christian. Thank you for sharing them with us!

Many times God has brought that song, "I Surrender All," to my mind when I feel like I have been depleted and deflated and I am so overwhelmed with what lies ahead. Then I remember and sing those verses: "All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.." This last verse reminds me that 'in His presence is fullness of joy.' We need to live daily in His presence. And it also reminds me the joy that Christian and little Rebekah is experiencing now because they are truly in His presence!

God is so good to take my humble thoughts and singing and in return shower me with His comfort and grace. I am so glad we have those 'old' hymns to recall and refocus our perspective.

I will pray that God will continue to cushion your heart as the season starts to change and your boys experiences new changes. And I'll remember to pray for them.

Much love and prayers...Karen

Carrie said...

Beautifully written, Marsha. I am so sorry for your loss.

Our oldest son (Noah) lived just 2 1/2 short days, and I can relate to so much of your post and how God is now carrying you. Why do we seem surprised when we see His promises coming true all around us? His peace. His comfort. His joy.

Praying for you this morning, friend. Let me know if you ever need to chat, and I'll give you my number. ;)

Christine said...

I love you, my beautiful sister! Especially being your older sister, sometimes I wish *I* could fill that empty spot in your heart. I know only Jesus can do that. I'm so glad that instead of living in helplessness, you live in hopefulness and I'm OH SO THANKFUL that you feel God's comfort daily. I miss Christian soooooooooo very much. :( This is such a beautiful post. I love you!!!!

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

All I can offer is a big virtual (HUG) and some prayers. Thank you for being so willing to share your heart. And for reminding us all that our Jesus is big enough and strong enough to bear all of this for us.

hsmomma said...

Oh Marsha, I just wish I could hug you right now and help you cry (though technically I am from miles and miles away.)

I dreamed about you last night--kind of strange since we have never actually met.....

amy in peru said...

such good thinking girl! :)

you are right spot on to turn the focus of your feelings right over to the God who cares...

love you.

I'm thinking about a hymn today too... will be posting in a few minutes. Great minds think alike ;)

amy in peru

amy in peru said...

oh and...

Annemarie's post is beautiful! thank you both for sharing your hearts :)

Debbie said...

I love you, Marshy...such a beautiful post. I should know better than to read your posts at work! I'm so thankful for my family--we are blessed!

Gwen T said...

I'm crying with you, Marsha.... And thankful too for your example and that you have the secure hope of seeing Christian again some day.

Unknown said...

I would leave you a comment....but I can't see through the tears. Knowing it was no "accident" even if it wasn't my plans is a comforting thought. Knowing my God picked the day for them to go home....home. WOW...that word is something. Love ya

Dapoppins said...


Laura Warren said...

All so perfectly said Mrs. Marsha Drews. What a comfort you are with words to so many in need. Love you Laura

Anonymous said...

Oh are such a gifted and transparent writer. I just love you and am still just pained by your loss...but amazed by God's way of using your loss to cement the faith I have...that once teetered back and forth when the wind blew. On Christ the solid rock I stand....and I will be overjoyed to see Christian in heaven someday. I will leave it at that...but I just thank you for your posts...and you and the family are in my prayers. Love you girl. - Donna M

H-Mama said...

no words, just tears... and (((((hugs)))))

Beckypdj said...

We do have a great hope don't we. It's better than hope, it's a guarantee!! We will see them again, but sometimes I am tired of waiting.

I too, mark time by, before Peyton... or after Peyton...Sometimes I say died, sometimes I say "went to Heaven", sometimes I say "accident". It all means the same. He is not here.

Christian is so cute sitting on that barstool. I love when you put pics of him on here :)

Love & hugs to you.

Melissa Stover said...

i read this yesterday and stewed over it and felt so sad for you. but your words stuck with me and the words of the song and some words from one of our vbs songs. something like: every blessing you pour on us let it turn back in praise. and that is exactly what you are doing. you turn all your blessings back in praise and it blesses us!

Cindy said...

You've been popping up in my mind a lot lately. Probably God's nudging for me to pray for you during this difficult time. And I have been.

Anonymous said...

Your name post brought tears streaming down my face and I couldn't even read on....

Wow, this post is just as powerful and you truly are a gift to me (a grieving mom) who just didn't have the eloquence to say what you say and many times, I can almost guarantee what I would have said was probably better off never being said.

I treasure your gift of being able to share your heart and faith AND sweet Christian.

Umm...choked up again, but thank you for sharing the pieces of your most tender heart.