Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Fear in Love

The agonizing loss that the Chapman's have endured with the death of their sweet Maria Sue has once again opened the flood gates in me. Literally and figuratively. I've been "teary", but also been talking with the Lord about it. Sometimes people say, "I could never do that." and I guess they mean they couldn't survive it. Whatever "it" may be - cancer, death, loss. But it really has nothing to do with doing does it? It has to do with being. You have to keep being. You have to keep breathing in and out and trusting the Lord in the midst of the most mind numbing pain you coud ever imagine.

In the past when I learned of someone losing a child I shut down. I pushed it away and just prayed, "Lord, not me. Please!" I couldn't even let it in hypothetically, much less imagine dealing with the reality. But this time, especially after watching the interview with Larry King I knew I needed to let it in. Steven said that as he held his daughter in the driveway he said something like, "Lord, not this. You can't ask this of us. It's too much." And I realized that is exactly what I have done. I have said, Lord you can have me, you can have my life, but please leave my kids out of it. That is a pain I cannot bear. When I heard Steven say that, the tears started to flow. I looked at that amazing man of God and his God-serving, God-loving family and I FELT their pain. I went there with them. I sobbed and heaved and let it in.

It occurred to me that as the Body of Christ this is how it is supposed to be. We are to bear each others burdens, mourn with those who mourn. The walls we put up to protect us from feeling it come from fear. Fear that it could happen to us, fear that we would not be able to stand under the pain. But, if we are the body, then it HAS happened to us. Steven and Mary Beth are our brother and sister in the Lord. To say that it is their pain, their burden, is not fair. Their faith and honesty are such a powerful testimony of God's sustaining grace. How much more so if we let ourselves feel their pain and atleast try to understand where they are.

There have been, throughout my walk with the Lord, pockets of my life that I did not give to Him. Since my children have come along, THEY are my biggest "pocket". I surrender them to the Lord in word, but my heart still holds them tightly. I say God holds them in His hands, but I still think it is my job to protect them. The fear that something could happen to them can be overwhelming. And what if something did happen? Would God be smaller? Would He be less trustworthy? I can say "no" with my head. My heart may wonder. So, for me to grieve with the Chapman's, and so many others who have lost a child, is a gift I need to embrace. I need to let the pain in, to go there with them, holding my daughter in the driveway as she breathes her last breath. And I need to let God come. I need to let Him take the fear. I need to surrender that moment to Him. Whether or not I will ever grieve the loss of a child I need to know that God is bigger than that moment, than those days that follow, than that pit of darkness and grief and loss. I need to know that NOW. Not when or if, but now.

Even now, just writing it feels wrong. There is a twinge of superstition. I shouldn't say these things. What if it happens? As though my words have power over the almighty creator of the universe's plan for all of his creation. Seriously.

Lord, please take the fear. I am yours. My children are yours. I know that you are all loving and all knowing. I cannot say that I have fully surrendered this "pocket" to you. I am so human. I ask that you give me your eyes to see. Fill me with faith in your love and hope in your peace.


Lindsay said...

Wow, Heather, your posts have such depth. Hate to confess it but the Chapman videos have been put on hold. This weekend I plan to watch them.

Anonymous said...

This is truly every parent's deepest fear. And it does not lessen as time goes by and then you add "Lord, not my grandchildren." It is a pocket I do not know that we ever truly surrender, but that somehow he carries us through when we must endure it. I love you, Mom