Healing---just what does that look like----Is that when you can smile again, or maybe even laugh now and then, is it when you can look at pictures and not fall into a puddle of tears, or maybe when memories don't rip your heart out anymore, or maybe still when you can take their clothes out of the closet and dressers and put then in boxes? Healing for me will most likely be a constant long term process til the day we are together again. Some days, I can look at pictures, and smile and other days, it is just too painful to even look at pictures at all. Memories are all very bittersweet. I can't even think about putting his things away yet. I sometimes wonder if the journey of grief is closely related to a chronic pain. At first it is very painful and you are searching for ways to ease the pain, and then you begin wondering is this how I will always feel, how will I ever be able to live with this the rest of my life----all you want is for this pain to go away, for it to go back to the way it was, but you know in your heart that door to normalcy is closed forever and you have to find a new path. I am thankful the acute ache does start to ease somewhat, but that chronic pain is always there---sometimes you can get busy and maybe don't notice it quite as much, but as soon as you get quite it comes right back. You wonder does the day ever come, when you just get use to that pain? No, nobody ever gets use to pain, pain always hurts. I had to think with a physical pain, you can go to the medicine cabinet and take some pain killers to at least dull it for a while, but with a heart pain, you can take as many painkillers as you want but it will not touch the pain that is soaring through your heart. There is only one thing that can dull the pain, or even remove it at least for a while and that is hanging onto God with both hands----His mercies are new each and every day. Even thought i can feel I have used them all up by the time I lay my head on the pillow, the next morning there is more than enough to get me through the day. I am thankful for the Grace that God provides---it is always just the right amount.
I went home to visit mom and dad---I went by myself, so I had many hours while driving to spend with God and just thinking. I am not sure if this was a good thing or not, but I decided to take Taylor's funeral CD with me to listen too. I was somewhat hesitant to put it in, because I knew it would bring back many many memories, but also knew Ron said alot of things that I did not remember but knew most likely i could draw encouragement from. As it started and i heard them start to sing "Precious Memories"---I did think there is nothing "Precious" about this moment, but anyway, I could in my mind see the flashes of that morning all of us gathering around the casket, all the emotion and then lining up behind the casket to go in. As I listened to Ron speak, I realized I did not remember very much of what he said that day----He said things that were so true such as, satan is just waiting to knock you flat, drag you down the lane of despair, anger, discouragement. He related it to us walking down the streets of a beautiful city with tall buildings on each side and satan and his demons in each of those buildings trying to lure us inside. As I thought about that, I realized how true that is. As I am walking down these streets trying to keep my focus on Jesus which is in front of me, satan is standing off to my side waving his arms trying to get my attention to come in and visit his building---he says, no I don't have to stay long, just come visit---he wants me to let my mind just ask a few simple questions, he is saying---no, there is nothing wrong with questions--why should i not be able to ask these questions---, but the problem is-- on this side of heaven there are no answers to many of those questions---and satan knows that. Satan knows if he can get me to come in, maybe even just to the door, he will have me. Like Ron said, never, and I mean never go inside, not even for a little bit, it will be a very hard and a dangerous road back, so focus---focus on Jesus's face. Then he used this Psalm--91. In part it says--"He (Jesus) will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge: His faithfulness will be your shield. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you" Ron said, satan can try to get me to ask all the questions he and his demons want to, but if I am focused on Jesus-- Jesus will block every one of those questions from ever entering my mind. Jesus will stand as my shield. If it was not for Jesus standing in for my shield, I would never make it. Also, he used the verse Exodus 14:13-14 that says the same thing--"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU; YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL" It sounds so easy, just stand behind Jesus, but in all reality it is not as easy as it sounds. I had to think there is spiritual warfare going on all around us every day, probably every minute. These are promises God has given us, and even if at times I don't feel them, I just have to believe them in my heart---that is what faith is all about. Even knowing all this, I still find myself slipping not into the buildings of satan, but taking my eyes off of Jesus and maybe slipping off into the grass instead of staying on the narrow sidewalk. As Ron was speaking and saying to the young kids, what if this was your casket up here instead of taylor where would you be. Oh, I thought--how I wish that was true, Taylor would be sitting out in the congregation with his friends and would come home that night for dinner. Ron said God wanted to shake up the community and He picked Taylor-----I had to think all the people that live in Wayne Co, God picks Taylor---Why??, but as I am asking each question in my heart, I find I am getting closer and closer to satan doorway. As satan is waving his arms trying to get and keep my attention on his lies, Jesus is quietly saying in my ear, Look at Me---Get behind Me---I will fight these battles. So, now the choice is up to me. Where is my focus going to be. It is so easy to say "I trust God" or My God is so faithful" but when God takes away one of the most precious things in life, can I still say that and mean it. In adversity there is only one way to go and that is to move though it with Jesus at your side, standing still will only cripple you and eventually cause death. I can truly say, God has been faithful and yes I trust Him with all my heart---if Taylor is going to be taken, what better hands would I ever want him in. Yes, I would like for this pain to stop, wish there was a pill to take to ease it all away, but that is not possible. God is the only one that can ease the pain.
I have only had one dream of Taylor until last night, I was dreaming that we were all together and taylor was there too. The thing was, we all knew this was Taylor's last day, but he was clueless. He was so happy, smiling and yes, he was driving his four wheeler, in fact he was giving little kids rides around the yard. All I could do was stare at his face and kept thinking-- is there any way I can stop this from happening. We really could not touch or even speak with him, but we all knew what was ahead. When I woke up, it was like satan was once again, waving his arms and calling my name to just come visit him again, he had alittle more discouragement, and sadness to happily give me. Jesus was saying quietly look over here at me, I will help you through this dark night---the verse He brought to mind was Isa. 41:13 "For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you---Do Not Fear, I will Help You." After repeating this verse many times, i felt His peace come over me and I could go back to sleep. He did take my hand and walk me through the night. So, yes, I believe grieving a child is like a chronic condition--you learn to live with the pain, but know where your comfort, relieve, and Grace are found. I heard somebody say, that when they lost their child some of the most comforting words were ---I will personalize it for me---"Taylor is much more a part of my future than he was of my past"---how true, i had him for twenty years--yes it feels way to short of time, but when I look at the the whole picture, twenty years will only be a tiny tiny spec in the line of eternity and yes, I get to spend all eternity with him and Jesus our King. So yes, I have a choice and I choose to believe and trust even when I don't feel like it. This chronic pain will not last forever, only a spec of time.