Friday, June 27, 2008

Not Afraid

It's been almost six months since Midi and Nathan died. I used to wonder when the pain will go away and when I would be left with just scars. I don't anymore. I've come to a place where I know and accept that for the rest of my life, I will feel my loss. And when I do, it will hurt. There will never be a time of remembering them that my heart will not ache. And yet I am not afraid of the pain. I am not afraid that it will rip me apart or sink me into an unsalvageable despair. I have a relationship with my pain. I am glad for it in some ways. It keeps my heart connected to these two souls that I love so much.

There is a reason why I am not afraid. I have a relationship with God. It has made all the difference. In my darkest hours, He has been with me. He has answered my prayers. He has taught me so much in these six months. I am thankful that I've had eyes to see, ears to hear, and the heart to perceive what He has been doing. I suppose I've made some good choices. I've chosen to cling to the Truth. I've chosen to walk through my suffering with those who love me. I've chosen to love others, not focusing on my own tough circumstances. But it is God who is sustaining me. So much of what I've learned in the past about God I am now experiencing. He is the Living Water. "...those who drink of the water that I give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." (John 4.14). "I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6.35) We need water and food to live. We need it every day. I am learning this these past six months.

The three key moments that the living God intervened to rescue me from complete despair:

1. When at the mortuary, looking at their bodies in the caskets, weeping uncontrollably I asked Him to give me a sign that would give me assurance that they were with Him and that heaven was real. Instead of a sign, He gave me himself - through the Holy Spirit in the form of supernatural peace.

2. When going through the heaviest wave of grief, crying almost continuously for several days I asked Him to temporarily take the pain away because I didn't feel that I could survive much more. He did.

3. The week leading up to Mother's Day, I was anticipating an extremely heavy weekend of pain. God preemptively eased my fears by allowing me to partner with Him. It was my most significant week of ministry in the workplace in 12 years - Two students and one friend for whom God used me to speak comforting truth. Though I still had a difficult weekend, seeing how God was freeing others gave me assurance that my faith in Him was not futile, that my tears were collected, that I would not be forgotten, that Midi and Nathan were fulfilled in Him.

I will remember these ways that God has been ever present. They are powerful memorials that will help me fight unbelief. As powerful as they are, it is the daily relationship with Him that will keep me hydrated and fed. I love abiding in the Truth. I need God. I have no shame in declaring this. He loves me. I don't deserve His love, but I accept it with open arms.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for these words, Mark. They bring comfort to us all.

Rachel Mc said...

I think you are a very brave, caring, spiritual, righteous man...Midi chose wisely when she chose you for her husband and the father of her children.
You are in my prayers.

Mrs. U said...

I "stumbled" upon your blog and have been praying for God's grace for you and your family. What a precious thought to know that you will see your loved ones again in eternity.


Mark I always check in on you thru your postings and I what to tell you that you are on of the strongest men I have the honor of calling my friend. I am so glad that Midi found you and became part of your life, you made such an impact to hers, just as you feel she has to yours. keep up the strength that god gives you, I get my strength from you when I think of Midi and weep over your loss.
God Bless you and Lucas

Anonymous said...

I linked to your blog from Jesus Creed. Your thoughts sound a lot like a book I recently read that you might find helpful...A Grace Disguised: How The Soul Grows Through Loss by Jerry Sitser. He lost a child, his wife and his mother all at the same time in an accident involving a drunk driver. The cover says, "This book is not about one man's sorrow. Rather it is a moving meditation on the losses we suffer and the grace that can transform us." May God's peace that passes all understanding be with you and you continue to grieve.