Today marks the fourth month anniversary of my son’s passing. That is a sentence that I would have never dreamed I would be typing. After I typed it, it looked strange to me. It was as if I were looking at something someone else had written.
Over the past four months I have had so many people say, “You are so strong.” or “Your strength is amazing.”. The funny thing is I don’t feel strong at all. I feel functional. I feel capable. I am able to get dressed every day, feed myself, take care of my home and my family. But I do not feel that I possess any strength that is more than the average woman my age. Nothing before four months ago could have prepared me for this.
I was reading a devotional online the other day and I came across a quote by Charles Spurgeon on the subject of strength. I will share the portion that jumped out at me.
“Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.”
– Charles Spurgeon
I am not a theologian so I will not even try to get all fancy with what this means, but I will share what it inspired in me as it has to do with my current situation. I am not supposed to be capable of handling all of this all by myself. I don’t have to pretend I have it figured out. I don’t have to ‘fake it until I make it’. I can completely crumple to the ground, completely drained of ideas and solutions. All I have to do is say , “Lord, I am too weak to do this by myself. I don’t know what to do. Please help me do what I must. Pick me up off the ground and carry me where you want me.” I must be completely drained in order to realize that the only way that I can move forward is to ask for Your strength. Doesn’t that sound like the simplest thing in the world to do? I mean literally, the simplest. “I can’t do it, would You give me strength?”
So, in my situation, the phone rings. My husband and I receive Bad News at 11:15 pm on a Sunday night. We wonder if we just dreamed that. No, we didn’t. This is real. We have no idea what to do. We sat in the bed looking at each other having no idea what to do with this Bad News. I told my husband that we needed adult supervision. In the most literal way possible, we felt like small children, completely helpless. I have a memory of asking, “God, what do we do?” Apparently, God told me to call my little sister because that’s what I did and she sent her husband from Memphis while she stayed on the phone with me.
I feel like God sent angels in the form of family, friends, and strangers to pick us up and carry us the entire first week. They fed us. We slept. They fed us again. They told us what to do and what time we needed to be ready. They drove us. We were like toddlers. Isn’t that the very description of being a child of God?
So anything that I may have been exhibiting that has looked like strength up to now, has been completely coming from Someone Else. I sleep, wake up, get dressed, eat, do what I need to do all day, talk to the people God puts in front of me, and go to bed. I have been doing that every day for four months. Every day I feel a little more capable than the day before but it is only because of the people God has been placing in front of me. It is only because of the encouragement and strength that He gives me.
Just like a child, I don’t need to know why this happened, I don’t need to understand it. I just need to put on my shoes and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have hope that every day I will walk with a little more confidence than the day before. But for now, He is sending angels and giving me the strength to go one day at a time.
I am so thankful to all of the family, friends, and strangers who have given their gifts of time and service to us and have helped us on this journey.
Peace and Love.
She writes about life, death, grief, and recovery.