Heart of Esther

"And who knows but that you have come to this position for such a time as this?" –Esther 4:14

The Burden of Grief October 11, 2012

For those of you, like me, who are burdened by the heaviness of grief…and rest for your soul is hard to find in the tears and sadness, the anger and questions not answered…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
-Matthew 11:28-30

 

Picking up the pieces December 15, 2011

I feel sometimes like a vortex.  A big black hole inside of me is sucking all of me into oblivion.

But, I see so clearly two roads before me…  

The first is heavy with the ugliness of grief-animosity, anger, anxiety and depression. This road makes us bitter and hard and unable to really be filled with faith, have peace, or love deeply.

The other still has the burden of sadness but is heading down a path of healing and hope.  This one is harder.  It makes us vulnerable.  But it softens us, helps us appreciate life and the blessings we have, and makes us better friends, parents, people.  It gives us perspective into another’s struggles.  It gives us compassion, mercy. 

Grace.

I know in my heart that I can choose to surrender to the entrapment of grief  or rise above and accept His peace.  Jesus talks of a becoming like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven.  A little child doesn’t always understand but fully trusts his parents.  I guess I need to fully rest in His grace.  I know I can trust my pulverized heart in His hands.  I never imagined going through the unthinkable of losing a child and having my very heart ripped from my chest and being able to somehow still breathe, still carry on.  Though I’m not quite sure what carrying on looks like yet.  In Him, lies my only hope.  I know I can only do this with Him.  I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Him to bring hope to my despair and healing to this deep and intense pain.

There is such vulnerability in grief.  There is such liability in vulnerability.  And yet there is power in vulnerability.  

In knowing that I am not too hard-hearted to let love wash over me.  That in this weakness, strength will be there.  Not my strength.  But my dependence on Him and His strength.  I want to make it through this to the other side.  I want to finish the race set before me.  I don’t want life and pain to conquer me.  I want to beat this.  

I want to be a survivor.

So here I am, picking up the pieces…

 

ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER… November 23, 2011

Today, I am despondent.

Some days I feel almost alright, some days horrible, and everything in between.  Even at night, I often wake in anxiousness and sadness…

There are days like today when I am so heavyhearted its difficult to function in everyday tasks.  But I must.  There are chores to be done and other children to love.

I’m trudging on.  I want to close the blinds crawl in bed and exit from life for a while.  Even from my own family.  Grief is strange.  Some moments I want to smother the children with love and cuddles which I cannot give Andrew.  Other times, I want to be far away from them because their demands are too much for my soul and my body (I am still so incredibly exhausted and weak) right now.  There are moments now when the tears have dried.  At least, for some of the day.  And when the tears dry up, I feel emptied out.  There’s nothing left to feel at all.  

I guess my feelings are so raw and so tumultuous; the wound so fresh, that the only reprieve is silence from them. Just a breath of not feeling anything.  And then I feel checked out.  Most of the time I cannot make sense of my own heart.  There are so many different feelings and sometimes all at once.  I feel that I’ve hit rock bottom but I have yet to reach upward for The Hand that I know is there waiting for me to grasp.  

Is it because I know I need this process?  Have I pushed Him away and built another wall because of the pain He has allowed me to feel?  I am angry at myself because I think of the million ways its MY fault that God allowed this.  The million ways I have failed.  I know in my head the Truth and that all have fallen short and yet my heart does not feel it.

So I know I must go on.  I must keep going.  I must keep pouring out that which I do not have within me to give.

It seems while He is there to comfort me; there is still silence to my questions.  It brings me some reconciliation to think of Andrew’s peaceful face and perfect little form-fingers, toes, mouth and all-with Jesus.  I know He can somehow give him the love from my heart and tell him it’s from his mommy.  Somehow, knowing that Andrew is being taken care of-that Jesus is holding him instead of me-is okay.  Even though I don’t know why and my heart screams to have him here with me, I have no choice but to take peace in that image in my head.  

I realize there is nothing else to do but make myself get up again today and put one foot in front of the other…

 

JILL MCCLOGHRY SPEAKS ON THE LOSS OF HER CHILD November 14, 2011

A few weeks ago I posted a link to “Desert Song” by Hillsong United.  It is a song I’ve listened to for years and it has sustained me through so many seasons.  Little did I know the significance it would play in my life this week.  

After losing our little Andrew, I looked up this song on YouTube.  I knew I needed something encouraging to hold me back from this black hole of despair and grief.  I’ve been so angry at God for allowing my precious baby to die!  Bitterness and anger have threatened to swallow me up.  I want to hate God. My heart screamed at Him…  

Its a long story, but I happened across this interview by Hillsong United regarding the recording of this song that had seen me through so many times before.  I had NEVER seen this interview before!  I know it was the Holy Spirit who led me to see this.  Thank you God for this interview-it gave me hope and put things in perspective for me.  I knew if Jill McCloghry could survive, somehow, I would, too.  Thank you, Jill, for speaking LIFE into my death and hope in my pain.  

Please take a moment to watch this interview:  Desert Song Interview

 

LAMENTATIONS November 10, 2011

“My soul is deprived of peace. I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord…BUT I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is His faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him.”

(Lamentations 3:17-18, 21-24)

 

DESERT SONG November 3, 2011

DESERT SONG by Hillsong United

This song has seen me through so many season in my life.  It has become a theme song for my life.  

LYRICS

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

Chorus:
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

Bridge:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve recieved I will sow

 

HE MEETS ME WHERE I AM November 2, 2011

To my harsh heart, He is soft and gentle.  He is my “enough” in my inadequacy.  His forgiveness pours into my bitterness and disappointment.  My deformities and ugliness are traded for loveliness and beauty.  He brings instant calm to the storm of anger that rages inside me.  When fear, doubt and worry swell within me, the soft wind of His Peace rushes over my soul and I know I can rest in trust.  When the enemy has stolen my joy, His laughter and joy bubble over.    He is the anchor to my double mindedness and restlessness.  It is ME who gets in the way of His nature, of the sweet flow of His Love. 

But He never punishes me for being the opposite of Him.  Instead, He constantly showers me in His grace by meeting me where I am.  He gently takes my head and turns it.  He blows His sweet Spirit on me and causes me to breathe in His goodness; His love washes over me and cleanses me from every worry, every habit, and every part of my old, dead nature and restores me.  He somehow shows me in that instant that my struggle to make myself “better” is no longer an issue when His Spirit is rising up within me. 

Often I care more about myself than those around me.  I have let bitterness and unforgiveness stifle the outpouring of His grace and mercy.  I have allowed anger to steal the soft words.  Pride has come between me and many relationships.  I stumble and fall and my pride drags me to the ground, but He will always meet me where I am.  His Love continues within ME-every moment that I allow-to pick me up where I am and bring me under His wing.

And then He makes me soar.

 

 
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