In one aspect I never really stopped living....I mean how could I with five living kids to take care of. On the other hand to really live fully and love with all of my heart took a while. I guess for many months I went through the motions, numb except for the sadness. I did not want to be around people because they seemed to say the most ridiculously hurtful things. I tried to tell myself they could not help it they did not know better, but at night their words would haunt me . So I stayed away as much as possible.
When we had our annual pastors conference in June I did not really want to go. I was only sleeping two hours a night and Was exhausted most of the time. I was faced with many days of being around A LOT of people and seeing my new nephew that was the same age as Jonathan. This was my breaking point and what propelled me to step back into life. I went with a lot of fear that things would go terribly wrong and to some degree they did.
Some things that I thought I could do with ease ripped my heart out and some things that griped me with fear were not so bad. By far the worst feeling was my desperate need for someone to understand, to love me and show compassion for the deep anguish in my heart. At bible conference Jesus once again became that someone.
I also came to a place of true thankfulness for Jonathan. I was thankful that Jesus asked me to carry him for as long as I did. I was thankful that I got to hold him and spend time with him. Most of all I was so thankful I did indeed have another son waiting for me and Jesus has provided a way for us to spend eternity together.
I had the revelation that this is a path I would mostly walk alone with Jesus. I could share Jonathan's story but in truth very few people would understand. Many people would say foolish and hurtful things and I would have to forgive them and love them over and over again. Sermons spoke to my heart and I let go and began to recklessly forgive and give grace to those that did not deserve it. After all many had showered me with grace that I did not deserve over the last six months.
One of the quotes that really spoke to me at conference was from our head pastor he said,
" Do not get caught in the dark world of introspection."
This is from man that became paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident when he was a very young pastor. He easily could of became trapped in an introspective world, asking why and wallowing in grief for the rest of his life. Living without his legs is a life sentence just as living without Jonathan in our family is a life sentence for me. God gives us a time to grieve, he gives us grace during that time to deeply mourn but we can not remain in that place. Comfort and healing is the purpose of grieving.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted
I knew that Jesus was calling me from mourning to dancing once again. I faced the fear that joy would take me far away from Jonathan and I realized healing would not end my love for him. In the last months I have healed and Jonathan is never far from my heart. When deep grief threatens to settle in I start thanking and praising for God for my son in Heaven.
I feel compelled to add at that time I did have the assistance of my doctor to break the patter of sleeplessness. After much prayer and contemplation I went on a prescribed amount of sleep aid for one month and then tapered it off. It worked like the doctor said and my sleep pattern returned to normal. This really improved my outlook and my attitude. True sleeplessness is devastating to the body and mind in so many ways. I have been criticized for being a Christian and resorting to medication but I have to say it what was best for me at the time. With my sleep restored everything got better and my heart and mind felt clear after living in a thick fog. I also started attending a local support group and did not need so much online support.
Around July I began to feel true joy instead of just pain. I went to Tenn and then we took a family vacation and spent countless hours at the beach. The smile in my eyes returned and joy began to outweigh the sadness.
As I approach Jonathan's Birthday there have moments of great pain. The sting in my heart of living without him can be brutal. I still have to forgive foolish comments because I choose to share Jonathan with the world. I know Jesus will carry me through, just as he has in the past. I need not fear the grief or the healing there is a time for both and Jesus is faithful to see me through it all.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
5 a time to mourn and a time to dance,
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time
Ecclesiastes 3 1,4,5,and 11