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|"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen." I Peter 5:10|
November 13, 2002 was a dark day for my family. I remember that day as if it just happened yesterday. It was a beautiful autumn day in the high desert in Arizona. No one had an inkling that our lives were about to change forever. I was eating lunch with my family when the phone rang. It was fire department asking me if my son-n-law was there. They told me that there was an emergency at his house and his wife needed him to come home. I handed the phone to him. I saw his face go from laughter to utter shock. He hung up the phone and said that Neshelle committed suicide. She had used his policed issued gun and ended her beautiful life at the tender age of seventeen. My heart aches even as write this... I know she is gone but somehow it doesn't seem real. It's like a bad dream and I am hoping to wake up soon. She was just a baby who had only just begun to live ~ gone too soon. Her death tore my family apart. It was like we all died a little bit that cold autumn day.
"Life is depicted as a race. How we choose to run the race determines our quality of life, and whom or what we choose to run towards determines our peace and joy" (Cynthia Heald) There are no guarantees that our race will be a smooth one. We will hit bumps in the road or ditches and find that we have detoured off the course. God is faithful and is always there even when we think he's not. Barbara Johnson says it best. When she lost a child, she said that she was making a deposit into heaven. She also explains in a story about giving our pain and loss to God like giving him a gift. To understand that more, let's look at 1 Peter 5:6-11. It says "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen
Think about it in this way. See yourself getting a box and putting your pain, broken hearts, worry, & anxieties in it. Now, find the most beautiful wrapping paper you can find and see you wrapping the box. Find the prettiest bow and ribbon to decorate it with. Now pick it up and see a flight of stairs leading to the throne of God. The place where Jesus sits. Look at him. He is smiling and those eyes filled with love and comfort for you and for me. He sits there waiting for us to come unto him with all our pain and questions of WHY? Now, start to walk up those stairs with your gift for him in your hands. With every step you take, you are getting a little bit closer to healing. With every step you climb, you are one step close to restoration. Now, you are at the top of the stairs. There He is! Our Papa! Arms out wide and love in his eyes. You hand him your gift and say this: This gift is precious and priceless. It is a part of me that I want to give to you. I don't understand the whys but I trust that you do. I place my love ones and all my hurt and pain in your hands Papa! I can't do this any more. I can't breathe because the pain is so consuming. My heart is captivated by what was and what is now. Here! This is for you... Give him your gift. Then He takes it from you and says to you: "My beloved, How I have been waiting for this gift. I will restore you, make you strong again, firm and stead fast. I will turn your tears into laughter. I will set you free from this prison of grief you now live in. I have heard your cries and I am close to your broken heart, though you don't understand now, perhaps someday you will. My joy will be your strength to carry on". Now turn around and go down knowing that Jesus will be with you. He picks us up when we fall or get detoured off course and puts us back on. He gives us the energy to run the race again. Jesus does not forget about our loss or our pain. He gives us the ability to breathe once again. He gives us a gift of living.
I am not going to claim that I know all the answers because I don't. I know that my grand-daughter made a choice, one I will never agree with, but I made one too ~ To live life! I am crazy about life. I am pugnacious about life
Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal" Unknown
If you like reading, there is a really good book called "The Shack". It is a fictional read but it deals with loss. This book ministered to me so much. I pray my story helps someone and my prayers and support are with those who are grieving.
"The righteous cry out, and the lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken." Psalms 34:17-20
Neshelle Carol Watkins
September 5, 1985
Entered the Holy of Holies:
November 13, 2002