Friday, February 27, 2009


I began this post a few days ago...... I was writing to tell you I was feeling better.... and then before I could get this published, another wave of my emotions hit. I have often likened my grief to waves hitting on the seashore. Lately there seems to be a storm as the waves are coming one behind the other. Grief is strange in that some days it takes you all the way back to the beginning. The emotions are the same.... but different. In the beginning I was "out of life" as so many people were taking care of all my needs. I had the time to just sit and process or give in to the wave when it would hit. Now that I have returned to the busy flow of life and obligations, it is sometimes harder when those waves hit as I am standing up, not sitting down. Not sure exactly what has caused the roughness of the water lately except possibly grief itself. So, thank you for praying...I still really need it.

I originally started this post with this: We have all been well this week. I am feeling better emotionally also. (You would think I would learn to quickly hit 'Publish' before my emotions change.) Anyway....

My upward swing was prompted with this thought, so I will focus today on these same principles. A few days ago in my favorite devotional book, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young, I was reminded that it is good to give thanks. Thanksgiving is what the Lord wants me to do.

I remembered how last year in those really dark weeks following Brock's death, Drew and I were astonished at how many times we were coming across the words "give thanks" in our Bible reading. Over and over we would read these words. How strange that at such a time as this ,we were coming across the idea of thanksgiving? We would find that on those days where sadness seems to make the beam of hope really small, that if we could find something to utter praise about, God would begin to transform our mind. Our darkness would turn to light. We had so much to praise the Lord about from the kindness of His people to the comfort of His righteous right hand, it was just that sometimes our heart felt so burdened with grief. In Jesus Calling, Sarah describes it like this, "Your prayers and petitions are winged into heaven's throne room when they are permeated with thanksgiving." What a beautiful picture!

I took a look back in my journal to see when I first started to notice this word. I found that on the day of Brock's funeral, I had written that morning from my devotion this quote of "let thankfulness and trust be your guide through this day."

The words "give thanks" are all through the Old and New Testaments. I am sure I had read them before, but in the time after Brock's death, the words seemed to leap off the page at me. I love how God's word is "living" and so relevant to my life today. For this is what I needed, and it was good for me. Somehow in the mystery of finding something to be thankful for, God would change the focus of my mind. He did not ask me to thank Him that Brock died, just to find something in my circumstances for which to thank Him. When I did, my heaviness did not seem so overbearing.

There were so many times when this was so clear. One of those came when I began to worry and fret about the homeschooling of my children in the midst of my grief. I worried they would get behind. I questioned every feeling I had about God's call for us to homeschool. I wondered how in the world this could be good at this time.

Then one day as I was reading with Barrett, he came across the word Rock. He said, "Rock, if you put a B in front of that, it spells Brock. It would be good if he were here right now, and we were talking to him." I said, "I know Barrett. I miss him so much." Barrett said, "Me too." He began to cry. I pushed aside the book and just held him as we both cried. I found myself in that moment saying to the Lord, "I am so thankful I homeschool." I was so glad that I was the one there with him that day when he needed to cry. God began to break away at my fears about our homeschooling as He reminded me that because we homeschooled, Asa and Mason knew Brock so well. The bittersweet thought was that because we homeschooled the boys each had a "time with Brock" on their schedule. This was their time to play with him during our school hours so that I could help the others without distraction. Once I acknowledged my thankfulness, my mind was transformed, and those worrisome thoughts were gone.

Another time was when I was really struggling with some guilt over Brock's death. I would call my days of struggling with this a feeling of torment. It would physically get a hold of me. Mentally, I could think of nothing else but these terrible thoughts. I was pouring out my heart to the Lord, or rather "fussing" at the Lord with these thoughts.... If it had to happen, couldn't it have been on a day that Drew and I were both home? Why did I have to be the one that laid Brock down for his nap?

I was feeling so sorry for myself. Then I remembered that Drew had been struggling with not being able to remember his last words to Brock that morning. All of the sudden, I strangely found myself saying, "Thank you Lord that I was the one to lay Brock down." I knew when I had last held him...when I had rocked him...when I had kissed him. I knew exactly my last words of saying, "I love you Brockie" and him saying, "I uv jou Mommy." In that moment my mind was transformed, and the grip of this guilt began to loosen.

God inhabits our praise! Today I am thankful for His word that reminds me to give thanks. I am also thankful that when I do get down, I think of all you sweet people praying for me and for us. You know what...I feel my focus being transformed already!

...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:17-19


Henley on the Horn said...

As always, Nita, thank you for sharing your heart. I know these days are still so very tough. I am thankful you have three beautiful boys to comfort you and bring you joy!! You also have a wonderful husband and a LORD who does not fail!

Meredith said...

Wow! Nita, this post was so transparently honest and powerful. Thank you so much for sharing these hard lessons. May God richly bless you for it.