Wash with too many tears.
Does God really collect our tears in a bottle? Are there enough bottles to hold them all?
Megan Coleman wrote an excellent article http://www.wearecolemans.com/10-ways-to-help-the-grieving/ about helping people grieve in which she cited a quote fromWhen People Grieve, “If the bereaved’s inner woundedness could be represented by an outward symbol, he or she would appear in a full body cast. There are many days when everything is hurting.” Many days, but not all days. The intensity of grief comes and goes, but the sadness is deep for a long time. “We grieve all endings on the way to new beginnings. And each grief changes us.”
Sometimes things come at you so sudden and unexpectedly that there is no way to reconcile them, to make sense of them.
The phone rang, a call from my youngest sister. I answered. In that moment, life, as we knew it, completely changed.
I couldn’t make sense of what she was saying, or rather, what she was yelling and sobbing.
The truth is, I still cannot make any of it make sense. It just doesn’t make any sense. This isn’t supposed to make sense.
I’ve been trying to write the next sentence, but no matter which way I spin it, it doesn’t sound right.
Just like that, my sister, the one who came right after me, became a widow with three small children.
How do you explain to your children, to my nephews and niece, that their daddy is gone, never coming home from work again? What do you say to the four year old who asks, “Did the bus die, too?” and the almost two year old who asks, “Daddy?” and a 13 year old on the verge of manhood who is scared and just plain misses his daddy, his buddy?
How do you comfort a sister who is left dazed, trembling, and so so confused as to how this could happen. How does she get through all the million ‘firsts’ before her with out her husband? How does she ever get used to not having her husband, her children’s daddy, there?
How? Just how.
We don’t know exactly what happened. We never will this side of heaven. What we do know is that his little car hit the back of a bus so hard that the bus moved several feet. They say he died instantly. That he never even saw the bus. It’s a very common cause of highway accidents. Lead cars will see danger and make precautions, often moving over without applying their brakes so there is no warning to the cars behind them. This leaves the cars behind with very little or no response time to react to the changed landscape ahead. And in that instant, everything changed.
This is territory we’ve never navigated. This is a pain so different than losing a parent or grandparent – those were painful on a completely different scale. The weight of this loss feels too big to carry. I feel lost in a foreign land of too many unknowns, too many tears, too many steps, and way too many uncountable whys.
As I grapple to understand this unbearable loss, I find myself seeking God, and His timeless Truths. I don’t know how else to get through this.
Things I know:
I know that, in everything, God will be glorified. I’ve seen this time and again through so many hard times.
He always brings good out of what Satan means for evil. Satan is out to kill and devour, it is what he does.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20
I know that God is a good God. All of the time, God is good. He is our shepherd.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.” Psalms 23:1
I know that He sees the bigger picture; what makes no sense to us, makes perfect sense to Him.
“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalms 139:16
I know that God is sovereign. As a believer, I am barely able to grasp the meaning of this. But I know it means that HIS purposes always prevail. Not only does he see the big picture, He IS the big picture. He has a purpose, a plan and will carry it out according to His ways in His perfect timing. His ways are not our ways, his timing is not our timing, and we do not get to control him. He is not a puppet God. How thankful I am for that. As much as we might think we might like to be in control, we could not possibly do it.
“The LORD works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:4
I know that He cares for the widows and has a special place in his heart for the fatherless.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalms 68:5
I know that in the midst of this great and unbearable pain, He is here.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? What can I flee from your presence?” Psalms 139:7
I also know that He cares for our pain, that He sees us in our distress and He loves us and He comforts us.
“Jesus wept” John 11:35
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…’ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I know that He is able to provide for and protect this family. I see him quietly moving, declaring His glory. When we are weak, God is strong. He will be our strength in this time of trouble.
“Now to him is who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
I know that her children will be cared for. He loves them more than we do.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4
When we walked through the valley of cancer, my main fear centered on the well-fare of my children. We saw God raise up an army to fight along side us. He delivered me from ALL my fears, and he cared for my children in sweet ways beyond what I could have done or even thought to ask for.
I know He will do the same for this family.
Seeking Prayer Warriors:
Prayer warriors are needed to stand in the gap for this family, please consider coming alongside us as we pray for them. When pain of this magnitude threatens to overwhelm as if we are drowning in sorrow upon sorrow, He is there to lift us up. We need the Lord’s deliverance and his protection and provision. We need his redemptive love to cover this family in His mercy and grace. We need eyes to see, ears to ear, and a heart that is softened towards him. We need His Spirit to wrap us in the comfort that only comes from him.
“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, oh my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your name.” Daniel 9:18-19
Specific Prayer Requests:
Pray for everyone who is grieving to come to Truthful conclusions as they process this grief. Pray that He would un-root any lies and replace them with His Truth. Pray for the Spirit of Comfort to wrap them in His peace that surpasses all understanding.
Pray for financial provision and guidance. Pray for smooth transition of the paperwork and all the details of transferring and setting up things. There are many logistical and legal details to attend to, please pray for favor, wisdom, guidance and provision.
Pray that she will have space and time to grieve, and that He will guide her in any and all decisions that need to be made.
Pray as the Lord leads you to pray.
“You hem in in – behind and before you have laid your hand upon me.” Psalms 139:5
Practical Ways to Help:
Please prayerfully consider supporting this family however the Lord leads you.
We are working on a long term plan to support this family with the goal being for her to become self(God) sustainable. We hope to set up a widow’s fund for her (suggestions on how to do this are appreciated).
MEALS (so VERY appreciated right now)
South contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 627.3881
Central and North contact: email@example.com or (512) 924.8201
Link to sign up:
gift cards to HEB or COSTCO also helpful.
& wipes! The one year old wears size 3, Costco brand
-toilet paper and paper goods are also helpful.
GAS CARDS & GIFT CARDS for practical items (academy, Kohl’s, chick-fil-a, P Terry’s etc.)
BOOKs (or help) on how to help children grieve
We’ve had some very painful discussions with many heartbreaking moments concerning this. Much prayer covering is needed for their hearts, please.
I also appreciate the recommendations for counseling. If you have an affordable and reliable option for this, please email me. We are not at this point, but if she gets there, I would love to have a list of resources available to offer her.
DONATE to our FUNDRAISING GARAGE SALE (June 2-3)
We would love to take any and all of your CAST OFFS, both big and small! Contact me directly at 512.627.3881 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for drop off or pick up. And of course, come shop our sale! Email me directly for location details!
Finally, if you have any words of encouragement for my sister or her family, please send them to: email@example.com or mail to: 780 FM 1626 #1436 Manchaca, TX 78652
Thank you for your love and support .
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalms 139: 23-24