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Whence Comes Spring

No. It's not spring, we are still in the midst of summer and what a summer it has been. The weather has actually continued to be sunny and mild (thank you Lord!) and trips to the pool have been at a maximum. I've gained new freckles along with new perspective and my world seems the brighter for it. Each day brings a unique experience, I know I'm not alone in this revelation, it's called "life". There is a beauty to experiencing hardship and loss in that your own personal world slows down to a snails pace and your eyes are open to the simple things that make up everyday. I am reminded to slow down and breathe, to lay back and let my Father do the work of orchestrating my life. I can't see my future, but He has each step laid out before me, and He has done this because He loves me.

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him,
and show him my salvation." Psalm 91:14-16

So where does this fit in when you are hurting? I want to share something Dustin wrote after Edyth passed away. It reminds me of what it means to love God and be loved by God, yet live this life, not exempt from any of the pain and hardship, but also not exempt from the joys and triumphs, that make up this human existence: 


"I've heard it said before that God "does not make our lives crisis-free, he makes us crisis-proof." He doesn't remove the bullets from my life, but He is the bullet-proof jacket that I need when those bullets of heart-break come my way. And that doesn't mean that I am numb to the pain and ignore what has happened, but it does mean that there is a way through this dark tunnel."


It is not my intention that this blog be dedicated to grief, but if this process of mourning has tought Dustin and I anything it's that many people grieve and they grieve without hope and they grieve in loneliness. The range of normal for grieving is so vast and so broad, I really don't know how anyone can pin-point each stage accurately. We are all created as unique individuals, I truly believe God reaches each of us in a unique way in our grief. My hope is that through documenting and sharing our journey of grief and hope, others can see that they are not alone. They are never alone. You are never alone.

I was seventeen years old and had just come home from what was supposed to be a fun day of mini golf with my youth group. On the car ride to my house, my cousin Ben told me why we had to leave so abrubtly, my grandma and step grandpa had been killed in a car accident and my uncle, who had been driving the car when a truck came into his lane and hit their vehicle head on, was seriously injured. My first reaction was dis-belief, my second reaction was, "not again." and then I was just pissed. Only the year before, one of my cousin's had killed himself and the year before that my best friend's little brothers, who I saw everyday, were killed in a fire. This just felt too cruel. 

As soon as we got home I ran to the backyard and started throwing rocks as hard as I could, and kicking the fence until my toes hurt. While I was in the middle of venting my anger, my mom came looking for me and as soon as she saw me she just held me and cried. To this day I am blown away by my mom. She had just lost her own mother and her first thought was to comfort me in my grief. This is part of that exquisite pain I was talking about. The beauty in the midst of sorrow. 
Later on that day my dad and I were sitting at the kitchen table, quiet and in shock. Neither one of us was talking, we were both a little lost in our numb-ness. As we were sitting there, we got a call that my cousin Corina was going into labor with with her first child. The first child to mark the next generation in our family. I remember looking into my dad's eyes and we both just lost it. Words cannot express what it feels like to have death on the one hand, squeezing our hearts  with the loss of someone we loved so much, and life on the other hand, gently holding our hearts with the beauty and hope of another generation of life so precious. 

There are moments in the midst of grief that I will never forget, moments like the one I just shared. It was a moment where time did that slow motion thing and I had that instant revelation of how precious and beautiful life is, and what a waste to spend any of it on anger and bitterness. 

I have so many friends who are pregnant and having babies right now, and of course part of me is aching with the loss of my daughter and the sorrow of not getting to experience with her what I see my friends getting to experience with their children, but the other part of me is so stoked that life is so very tenacious and beautiful. Life keeps spreading her fingers out and groping and stretching and moving forward, just like Spring's fresh flowers in bloom and squawking birds in their nests. Life, in every way, is a miracle.


Comments

  1. Mariam, I love your blog. You express things in such a beautiful way. The words are about true and honest pain, yet at the same time, it brings wonderful, amazing hope!

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  2. Mariam, thank you for sharing. Dan and I were struggling with infertility for a while and almost had to go to a specialist for treatment. I really struggled with all the pregnancy and birth announcements and wasn't sure how to proceed when I did get pregnant. Each time I would get angry and upset over another pregnancy announcement, Dan would hold me and remind me of how much we love our friends and pray over us and our future children. Edyth was so incredibly lucky to have you and you her.
    Kim

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    Replies
    1. Kim, thank you for sharing that! I am so happy for you and Dan and I can tell from your FB posts that you are super stoked to be a mommy! It's so beautiful.

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    2. Agh! They should notify you when someone responds. I'm so sorry, I just saw this after reading your latest post.
      I love reading your writings. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  3. My dear Miriam,
    You are wise beyond your years. You are blessed with the gift to express so beautifly. I have been grieving for the past five years and your words bring me release. I wish I could articulate what I mean but it just doesn't flow. Thank you for sharing.

    Robyn

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    Replies
    1. Robyn,
      I don't know if you know this, but you and Allen were the most solid influences during my tween years in the youth group. You were the only leaders who seemed truly kind to me. I loved your quiet and gentle approach with us...., and I have some pretty good memories of surf camp and Allen letting me borrow one of his boards. He was also the only one who didn't ditch me in the water when I was learning to surf. Haha! I say all this just cause I think you are a pretty special family and you have blessed more people than you know. Thank you.

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  4. Mariam,
    I'm so proud of you for doing this! It's brilliant, beautiful, and much needed. Not just for you, but for all of us. The collision between life and death wreaks havoc on our emotions and plans but becomes the catalyst for the very change our hearts have always longed for. I used to always think these things were separate and should be kept that way, but then my life had too many moments like the one's you describe here to continue to believe that was "how it was supposed to be." Then I began to read the following verses, not as separate events, but as hot and cold fronts that come together and create the most amazing lightening and thunder my soul has ever seen:
    1 There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven. 2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to rebuild. 4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. 5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. 6 A time to search and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away. 7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up. 8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. 9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have thought about this in connection with the various kinds of work God has given people to do. 11 God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. 14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God's purpose in this is that people should fear him. 15 Whatever exists today and whatever will exist in the future has already existed in the past. For God calls each event back in its turn. Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

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  5. I praise God for your blog and will view it time and agai for encouragement and hope as I pray for my daughter's baby heart to grow and beat stronger each week. Thank you so much. Love, Lieolani

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    1. Lieolani, I pray that God gives you a crazy hope for your daughter. I pray that you will see your prayers answered and that God would capture your girl's heart. I will continue to pray for God's covering over your family.

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