When my son was young, he had a very vivid imagination. He entertained himself for hours by just pretending he was something or someone other than he was. In those days, Star Wars, Bionic Man and Bionic Woman were very popular and everyone, including adults, were enamored by the superhero story line. On any given day David could be a jedi, storm trooper marching around the house or yard, Han Solo flying spacecraft, or Luke Skywalker. He had memorized all the character lines from the first Star Wars movie.
Then along came The Bionic Man. Again, Lee Majors was an idol and David wanted to be just like him. He would draw pictures of bionics on his arm. He even later got a tattoo of bionics. He was convinced his body parts were bionic and could lift anything, run many miles an hour, and able to save people who were in distress. Trying to accomplish some of his “powerful acts” got him into a few predicaments.
One of our family stories we told over and over was about the day David spent all day digging a hole in the backyard. He dug down until he met up with a big rock he couldn’t budge. My dad happened to stop by to visit and I asked him to help David get the rock out of the hole. As my dad is bent over the hole to grab it….David stopped him and said, “wait grandpa. Let me do it. I’m bionic and you are only plain.” Even though he had spent a day trying to move it, he was still certain he could handle it with his bionic powers. Grandpa just didn’t have what it took. He was ordinary or “plain.”
As funny as we all thought “being plain” was over the years, I am realizing I must think I am bionic and not plain these days. That I possess the power and strength to have all the answers, stay strong in hard times, always available to help everyone, and still keep my hope and spiritual life intact, all on my own.
For the past couple of months, I have been up and down the grief road to the point my feelings were making me fearful and anxious. I felt I should be further along in this season of grief that was so exhausting and painful, but I couldn’t get there. I had many days that I couldn’t find energy enough to go out of the house, let alone seeing friends without feeling guilty that I just wasn’t myself. My biggest fear became that I would never be normal again. I would ask my husband several times a week if he thought I would ever be normal.
I was struggling trying to make sense out of why God chose to take my 49-year-old son, who I still felt was MY little boy. Memories of this blond-headed, smart, very happy and active boy hurt so much. The mommy instinct was so wanting to have him here to make sure he was okay. There were also questions in my mind of why David was taken before he knew of wonderful things that were coming up in his life which we did not know about until after his death. All of these feelings and thoughts are a normal part of the grief process.
However, I was trying to work through it alone. Expecting bionic abilities of myself. I was also dealing with knowing I needed to get back into our trailer which was where we were when I received the call of Dave’s passing. I did not want to let that fear win so I took the scary step and made reservations for us for four days, knowing there was the possibility I would have to relive that terrible night. Again, I was struggling and getting frustrated with myself because I couldn’t quell my feelings and fears. I was now in a state of panic and I turned to my pastor/counselor for help. Not an easy thing for a bionic-thinking woman to do. ☹
I know I have written many times about the many blessings I have received since Dave’s death, many more than I deserve. However, in light of my writing above, I felt prompted to share God’s latest mercies. The first day I was at the beach was anxiety ridden until that evening I began to feel less anxious. I asked myself what was different.
One difference was I begged God for help and admitted I could not do this alone. It was then I realized God was giving me the healing gift of permission to be “plain.” I did not have to understand or make sense of things; I did not have to be in control (even though I never was in control); and I didn’t have to be the old me; and surprisingly, I liked being “plain.”
I rejoiced at the burden I felt being lifted from my heart and mind. So, I nestled down in my recliner and opened up a new book on heaven written by David Jeremiah. I can honestly say I could not put the book down and read 140 pages in one evening and morning.
Reading and hearing scriptures about heaven made me weep for joy knowing David is experiencing things so beautiful and wonderful. He is experiencing the thing’s he taught while he was here. I found peace knowing I will be worshipping by his side in the future. (Come Lord Jesus, Come). This “plain” mom began the process of not fighting to hang onto David and releasing him back to who David really belongs to. Not that I don’t still have memories and sadness, but there was a relief and a settling.
But God, (David’s favorite words) was not done showing me His kindness and love. Yesterday David’s wife and I were given a link to the virtual graduation of Western Seminary. Unbeknownst to any of us, David was given an award for outstanding leadership at the seminary and in ministry posthumously. It was a special honor and meant so much to us.
Again….my thoughts last night replayed the words spoken about him from the presenter of the award and questioned why David wasn’t allowed to be here to receive it. It was as though God was speaking out loud to me and He answered my question…..”Because I loved him more.” I am still in awe this morning of God’s answer to my question and feeling the OBVIOUS presence of God in such a real way.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that God loves David and all of us with a love that is deeper and greater than anything that can be described in this life. He knows the best for us and He promises to give us all we need. He answers our prayers even if our prayers are telling Him we just don’t understand what or why He does what He does.
Please do not hear me say I am through grieving and missing him. I will continue to have good and bad days. However, my goal in this writing is to assure you that whether you are grieving the death of someone, death of a marriage, or any other circumstances in your life….God is working and moving you through a process that in the end will bring joy. I was not sure I would ever be able to say I felt joy again! But I am joyful we are loved so much that circumstances we are coping with in this life, including death, are in God’s hands and we can rest and be “plain” and knowing He carries our burdens with us and for us.
My friends, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us, to bring peace, joy, and hope. David Jeremiah, in his book “Facing the Giants in Your Life” says this: “We go with God Himself, who always makes four promises before sending us out to grapple with giants: 1) He will be with us; 2) He will empower us; 3) We will never walk alone; and 4) Never walk in weakness.”
We must let Him lead….trusting nothing is too hard for Him while we wait for His return. He has the healing salve for our hearts and troubles. Find joy in knowing that the day we will be reunited with loved ones and see Jesus face-to-face, there will be no more pain and suffering! We are all in His mighty hands. Let yourself cry out, ask questions, ask for help and wait for all He has instore for you. Every journey He takes us on will grow us, strengthen us, and be used to bless someone else he brings into our lives. God bless each of you.