June 11th changed my life. A moment in time that at times for me stands still. It’s funny that the world still turns around even when we cannot. I remember thinking back a year ago from today, “Things will never be normal. I will never move forward. I cannot survive this…” . And in the moment in time I couldn’t. In that moment in time, my heart was shattered in a million pieces and stopped beating all together. As cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth. Time was non existent, breathing wasn’t possible, and speaking- words would not form… In that moment in time, everything I prayed for, dreamed of, longed for, disappeared.
They say when you have a child, it’s like having your heart on the outside of you body. That is true in every way imaginable. How do you survive when your heart gets broken? How do you get up and sort through the rumble you once called life? How do you survive?
When you walk this journey Many will stop and say, “Your so strong! I don’t know how you do it.”. Truth is you don’t have a choice. It’s either keep crawling or stop breathing. Either one is painful. When you walk this mangled road of grief, you meet a few people along the way. Some people meet your where you are. They see you coming through the gate and they wrap their arms around you. Others you slowly stumble upon down the road, but however you meet people – it’s a blessing. No other person on earth can imagine the pain like they can. And to those women I’ve met; I thank you. Your prayers & support have kept me going when I thought I couldn’t make it.
Since Rhett’s birth and passing I have been digging into God’s word for answers. If you seek him, he will seek you; however his words may not be what you want to hear from time to time. I have and do still go through many stages. For example; complete disarray, unable to focus, or unable to comprehend. Some days I get angry, frustrated with people or even God, and feel guilty. Some days you feel ok, normal even, and then you feel horrible for feeling better with yourself. I remember a friend of mine telling me, “It’s ok to smile. Rhett would want you too.”. A simple task…yet it seems so difficult to do. You have to unfortunately go through these steps to get to Gods healing.
Why does it take so long for God to heal us?
Well… I feel like it’s because we push him away. He always wants to heal us ASAP, but we want to be mad at him. Slam the door in his face, kinda mad. We want dwell upon it, drag it out per-say, point fingers and tell everyone it’s not fair. And it’s not! It never will be; but there comes a time when we have to stop pointing fingers at God and start looking in the mirror.
He plainly tells us that the devil comes to “Kill, Steal, & Destroy.” -( I’ve written about that in a past blog.)- He told us that we will always have problems. You maybe a christian and think- “Well I’m supposed to be exempt from every bad thing of this world.”. I wish that was true…. And if I was honest I thought that way too. At one point I told God how I thought this should have went. How Rhett’s story should have went. I wanted to “re-write” it my way. That’s not how the story was supposed to go. I remember praying to God telling him things like: “But I’ve went on mission trips, told others about you. I’ve fed hungry children. I’ve witnessed to others. I’ve been to church my whole life. I sing in church. I volunteer when needed. I teach Sunday school. I’ve taught VBS. I help in the nursery . What bad have I done!”…. Seems logical right? Well rich or poor- your house can still burn. Why? Because fire doesn’t discriminate and neither does the devil.
So how do you find peace in the storm?
It’s not easy; but you have to start a system. You have to get into a habit of waking up, reading your Bible, actually being real with God about your feelings, and trying to stand on his promises. It’s not easy, because the waves will hit and you will fall. I have fallen so many times that if I had spiritual scars you could see I’d be covered in them. And then you have to realize that sometimes you have to be Still and let God carry you and do the work. I’m a hands on person, so for me it was hard to let go and let God…but when you have nowhere to look but up; you don’t argue.
While on my search for answers; I went to the normal people you think of… Job. He was tormented for God, and if you read the book of Job it’s depressing. Job was real with God. He told him how he felt; he even asked the hard questions. So I decided to as well. When you ask God the hard things, you get real answers.
So I began to dig deeper. I found King David, Sarah, Elizabeth, Hannah, and some other people who wasn’t named but their story was told… They all lost children or was barren. They all had the same questions I did… “Why me?” …. Their stories was for me at this point in time… My story, will be for someone else in time…. My suffering will one day be looked at as a victory, I hope, from God. David laid his child to rest and then threw a party. Seems crazy…but his response was true. “If I go too him he still will not come back. Yet I will rejoice that he is in heaven.” (I’m paraphrasing 2 Samuel 12:22-23.)
Sarah had a child at the age of 90,(Genesis 17). Elizabeth had a child in her old age,(Luke 1). Hannah had to give her son back to God after she prayed so hard for him, ( 1Samuel 1.). And last but not least the woman who was so deep in grief she stole a child to claim as her own, ( 1 Kings 16:22-38.).
Their stories, their storms, was to help me thousands of years down the road. They never would have imagined that; yet neither do I.
When we first told the world about Rhett, I used a verse (Isaiah 49:16) “For I have your name written on the palm of my hand.” . Little did I know how true that would be. You see; he seen what was to come- when we couldn’t. He knew Rhett’s purpose in this world, on this day of June 11th. I still don’t know what it is, but in Psalms 119, it tells us that even if we could understand we wouldn’t. His ways of thinking are so much greater than ours that on Earth we cannot wrap our minds around it. There will come a day when we get to heaven that we will see what he sees, but today we have to walk by faith.
Trusting in the Lord is hard. It was hard even for the disciples and they had Jesus in front of them. I read this morning (Luke 6:46 or so) about two houses that was built. One was upon a rock- Sturdy and firm. The other built upon the sand-looked fine, yet shaky. The storms of life came and house on the rock stood firm. Yet the house on the sand fell. Looking back I didn’t realize that building a house on the rock was important. Sure some walls fell, the roof caved in, but the structure stood. I’m glad to know , looking back- that God was within the storm. If my house was on the sand, I can’t even imagine what else could have happened. Where I would be today. How I would have survived… But I’m here today because God has carried me through the valley of the shadow of death. He has held my hand in the rain. He had told me it’s ok to sit and be still when I’m hurting to bad. It is ok to smile and rejoice because there is a season for everything. You see God is real. And although you look at me and may say, “but your child is still gone.” – I agree. He is gone from this world. A world of sin, pain, and tears. However like every parent here wants a perfect child, wants them to know Christ, I can say mine does. He is perfect, free from sin, free from pain. Yes, I hurt still- But isn’t it our jobs as parents to protect our children from the pain of this world? So here I am…Standing… God has my son, and I have done my job as a mom. I carry the pain so he never has to. I cry his tears so he never had to hurt. I gave him life, yet he showed me how to live mine. So as the quote says, “and yet here you are living despite it all.”. Here I am, living, because God cares.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with grief, you can reach out to me through my blog page, personal, or Remembering Rhett’s Love Facebook page. Prayer changes people and situations. Believe in him for he is greater than our worst fears. Please pass this along.
God bless you,
Marli Wright (Angel Mother of Rhett Alec)