by Julie Wright
I spent part of the afternoon scanning through the comments on our Facebook page. I was reading post after post of the stories of families who are hurting, sad, broken, yet all looking up and trying to find that hope and peace that can only come from God. I was amazed at how perfect strangers were reaching out to one another and just saying, “Yeah. I get it. I’ve felt the same way. I’ve struggled with the same emotions. I’ve had the same battles and talks with my children. I understand.”
Some of the posts are dealing with children. The struggles that they are having with their faith and the battle they have with trying to understand why a God who is suppose to be so loving and good, would “take” their daddy from them so soon. Some deal with the “why” question. Why did we fight the illness for so long to lose it? Why did the accident happen? Why did he feel he couldn’t be here anymore with us? What did I do to deserve this?
I recently went to a concert of one of my favorite bands. Mercy Me. If you haven’t heard of them, look them up on Google. They’ve got some great songs and even more powerful lyrics. Their newest album is called The Hurt & The Healer. The title track was what the concert opened with. It was the first time that I had the lyrics right in front of me on a huge screen. The tears poured from my eyes as I raised my hands in surrender to my healer.
Take a listen to it…
Why? The question that is never far away. But healing doesn’t come from the explained. Jesus please don’t let this go in vain. You’re all I have. All that remains.
We are on a collision course with our Healer. The place where the healing and the hurt collide and healing can begin. Nothing says our grief has to be this way or that way. There was no memo from God on how we should handle this or what we need to do. There is no timetable. We are all crushed, broken, devastated by our loss, but we need to be honest. We need to allow the One who can provide the healing to come along side us and pull us from the wreckage.
Three years ago when my first husband and father in law both died in a boating accident, my son was headed down a dark and anger filled path. He had just started middle school and was struggling to find his way on a new campus, with new friends, and new expectations. A week into school, his daddy and grandpa passed away. His world was crumbling around him. I remember him telling me that “Daddy was the axle to our family’s world” and wondering how we would keep on moving without him.
My son struggled for years with anger and sadness. He missed the time he spent with his daddy at the lake fishing. He was disappointed time and time again when friends had promised to do something special with him and not follow through. He was angry with me for moving pictures, sorting clothes, cleaning out the garage…for “moving on” as if I didn’t care.
I remember sitting outside his bedroom door listening to him cry and knowing I couldn’t help him. Knowing he didn’t really want me to. He would talk with me some and he would ask questions and pretend that he was okay, but as his mom, I knew better. I would sit on the floor just outside and pray for him. Asking God to fill that hole and take the anger from him. Asking God to fill my son with hope and healing. Tears would be flowing on both sides of the door, but I doubt he even knew I was there.
I knew he had a hole in his heart that I could never fill or even patch for that matter.
But, something has changed over time. In the last 6 months or so, my son is filled with joy again. He’s joined the school football team and really enjoys working out with his buddies and the connections he’s made there. His grades are great and he works hard to keep them there. Something is just different about him, besides the fact that he towers over me now and has his driver’s license.
I pulled him aside and asked him what had changed. Why did he seem so much better this past year. His answer was so sweet and real…just like a child. Okay, a young man! Give this momma some grace.
“Well, mom. It’s simple. Daddy was the axle to our family’s world. He was the center that we always counted on, for everything. When daddy died, I felt like our family was falling apart. That we were going to crash and that the parts of the car would be shattered all over the place. I knew that God was still in charge. I knew that daddy and grandpa were in heaven, but I was really mad that they weren’t here with us anymore.”
“I completely understand. I felt the exact same way”, I replied.
“I heard that song a few months ago. The one with the hurt and the healer. The one you keep playing in the car on the drive to school. It said that even if the healing never comes…God is still in control. That’s when I got it. I understood that God didn’t want my sadness and anger to be for nothing. He wanted me to lean on him for the answers and for everything. He wants to be our axle. He should be our axle. You’ve always had God at the center, but I was just a kid. I didn’t know any better. Now, I do. The hurt and the healer collided and I’m feeling okay with it. Even if I had the answer to the “why” question, it wouldn’t bring daddy or grandpa back. God, you, Jessie and Bobby are my new family. But, this time, God is the axle and it makes me happy again to know he’s in control.”
“Wow, honey. I’m amazed that you got so much out of that song and that God has begun to heal you from your sadness and anger. I’m so proud of you. I’m so honored to be your mom,” I said as I gave him the biggest, longest, most embarrassing hug a momma could muster.
The hurt and the healer collided. The healer won. God is working on an eternal spectrum, not our human one. Go to the healer. Surrender it all to him…the good, the bad, the ugly. He’s got this. He wants to be that solid center that never falters or changes.
That’s the one resounding answer on almost all of the responses to the posts I read. God. The ultimate healer. The One constant. The One who is filled with promises and provision when we can’t go on. Our widowhood journey has placed us on a collision course…where the hurt and the healer will collide. All that remains is God…and luckily that’s all we need.