Loss-child

War

“I feel like I’ve been in a war.” This is what I uttered out loud slowly to God one day as I drove in the car somewhat aimlessly and stopped in front of a local bookstore. I felt war-torn, beat up, traumatized, thrown to the ground, shredded to pieces, wounded, barely walking, barely able to get up, dazed, confused, disoriented. I pictured the scene from many war movies—of a hospital with beds lined up right next to one another. There we were like incapacitated soldiers: my husband, my daughter, my son, me-laying in the beds–our heads wrapped, our bodies wrapped—not able to get up—with one empty bed. We were severely wounded, grieving, and it would take time to heal.

At that moment, I looked up verses about fighting through this, asking God to help me continue in the battle. I found 1 Timothy 6:12-Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I discovered Ephesians 6:12-For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

I realized, yes, indeed, we had been in an intense struggle: a spiritual battle with a very serious enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy…and lie and confuse and twist and scare and guilt and shame. But, the ultimate victory for the war belonged to the Lord of hosts. Romans 8:37-No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. We would get up. We would heal. I also knew that after healing, we would need to get up and return to battle. I vowed that I would get up, not give up, and would continue sharing.

Yesterday I needed strength and a friend read this over me in Psalm 27-Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. I have to keep going, trusting God and His ways, seeking healing, and continuing to battle against lies, untruths, and attacks.

Contributor-Liana Vincent

Art credit-Michael Huang

Loss-child · Loss-pandemic · loss-suicide

Loud and Quiet Pain

My journal reads…“I thought about the initial shock last night. The moment I knew (I had lost my son)…and the shudder, shock, horror that burst through my body. I immediately numbed and the tremors of crying and wailing, like nothing else. I fell to the ground, crying out for God’s help. I felt that I couldn’t handle the pain. You scream for the pain to be released, like a pressure cooker, but louder.” My pain was so loud. Contrast this with those whose pain is silent. Silent. Can you hear silence or do anything about silence? Look out for silence. Do some have so much pain inside, all bottled up inside, but they can’t cry out and scream for help. Oh, how I wished they would! Why is some people’s pain deadly quiet and mine was so loud? “I stepped out of my door and cried the loudest guttural cry of my life-from the depths of my soul—echoing down my street—“Help…me…God!” 

Today as I do laundry and clean, little pings of pain hit as memories mottle the mind. I whisper to the Lord, “Help me, Lord” and He does, because I know He hears and cares.

In the midst of this, a dear friend prayed for me that I would have endurance in the pain. Hebrews 12:1-2 reads “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to JESUS, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him ENDURED the cross…” When Jesus endured the cross, Matthew 27 explains that He too cried out in a LOUD voice. Isaiah 41:10 promises,”Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I WILL HELP YOU, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Jesus is our salvation and our help right in the middle of the pain. 

Inevitably, we will have pain in life. Today I read about healthcare workers: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/16/health/coronavirus-ptsd-medical-workers.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20200517&instance_id=18563&nl=the-morning&regi_id=119103292&segment_id=28165&te=1&user_id=17b0d4d5df6a1e8b81955fd8a41cc5be

No one can fully take your pain, but they can help you endure it. Don’t be silent. Whether our pain is great or small, it is more than okay to cry out for HELP to GOD and to OTHERS in a loud or quiet voice. It is good, it is right, it is needed.

Contributor-Liana Vincent

Art credit: Lana Ngo

Loss-child

Why Grief and Glory?

Today is May 11, 2020. Nine months ago, I lost my 15-year old son tragically. For the past months, I have been journeying through a treacherous grieving process. The hurt is deep. I have read tons of books, been to grieving small groups, countless hours of counseling, talked to myriads of friends and family, read my Bible for hours, listened to sermons, walked and exercised to try to grieve in a healthy manner. Gratefully, I have tons of support, but even with all of this, last week I wept and ached and hurt deeply–missing my son–and I talked with my husband for hours, recounting the depths of my heart: questions, regrets, sorrows. This this is part of the WHY on GRIEF.

What about GLORY? As I journey through these sorrows, there is HOPE. After losing my son, we sold our family home. Before it sold, I would go inside and pray for the next family who would live there. One day, while there, I received a letter from my son’s summer camp. He had written a note to himself and it came to our mail about six weeks later. As I read the note, the Lord answered a very specific prayer showing me his commitment to the Lord and I sobbed. I walked outside our home and laid on the ground with the noon day sun on my face. I could see the bright light through my eyelids and as the sun warmed my body; I prayed and told God that this sun reminded me of His glory–a bright light and presence. In that moment, He reassured me that my son was with Him in His glory and an overwhelming peace came over me. I thought of the promise of salvation and was overwhelmed by the idea of MERCY–we do not get what we deserve for our sin and this is truly amazing news.

So, this blog is dedicated to my son and is an effort to comfort those who have loss (there are many kinds of loss) and to encourage you along the journey to continue to have HOPE despite your pain and suffering.

Contributor-Liana Vincent