An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finally ... A Post

It's March 28th, and I've spent the afternoon wandering the back woods with the kids watching the goats graze on green grass. I am wondering if the last two round bales will be enough to get us through until the pastures alone can sustain the animals. I have already fertilized the fruit trees and the berry bushes, and have questioned Rob about the lawn mower status. I remind myself ... it is March 28th, not May 28th.

What a strange winter we have had. Not that I am complaining or anything, I really could get used to this warm weather and little snow.

Sorry to those who have checked in on me to mention that I haven't been blogging. I guess I just ran out of words to say. There seems to be a depth of pain that there are no words for: not for comfort, or peace, or even for prayers.

It seems as if this past year has hit me all at once, and I am exhausted by being on display. My Mom was right the other day when she pointed out that we must feel like we are wearing a scarlet letter every time we go out in public; as Grandma, she feels it too. After a year I don't know how to answer the "How are you doing?" question anymore, and honestly, I think people don't quite know what to do with how I am doing. I am tired of missing my son. I am tired of grieving. I am tired of the pain. I am tired of the tears. I am tired of making everybody else cry. So I smile at them, and I stay home, and I wander the woods with my kids and my goats.

I read the other day that in the second year of grief you enter a stage where you respond by either fight, flight or freeze. I have tried to avoid a whole lot of grief advice, but this resonated with where I am.

Grace has been praying for my joy to come back. It's been a tall order lately. I have overwhelmed myself with busyness these past few weeks rather than looking intently for the majestic God behind all of this. Her ten-year-old questions stirred in me some of my own again. She was so relieved to hear that we will have clothes to wear in heaven, and that we won't just be standing around singing for eternity. We wondered aloud together what Trent was doing right now without a body, we laughed about how he always did want to be first at everything, we talked about Jesus' horse and if He would let us ride it when we got there, and we tried to envision just what God would look like. We were pretty sure that He wouldn't even come close to resembling a squid, and were both glad for it. Probably no hairy arms either, but being I can't begin to fathom His glory, I had no further offer of how to explain Him in a way that would do justice.

Loving these kids this deep is so hard. My heart wants to protect itself from hurting anymore.

The loss of Trent threatens to crush me. I fight, flee, or freeze in various forms.

Watching Micah read this past week has amazed me. I wonder how my baby is nearly done with first grade. I wonder when he learned /sh/ and that periods mean to stop. Home school has been survival of the fittest around here this past year. It has also been a saving structure to fill our days. Somehow everybody is thriving, even though we haven't done many extra's. Everybody is reading', ritin', and doing 'rithmetic, and the Bible is a daily standard, as well as bedtime prayers and talking with Dad at night. What a legacy this man is leaving to his children: the son of alcoholic parents, saved by grace, raising his children for the glory of God.

Another twelve year old boy has me taking second glances. For an instant I want to replace him in my mind and pretend that he is his brother walking by as he grows into the same lanky form and wears the same shade of t-shirt. But I don't allow myself to go there. I force myself back to reality. I look again for God's good plans. I look forward to eternity. I pray that they'll all be there; all my kids, God. I pray that they'll all know Jesus as their Savior. A day doesn't go by that my heart isn't pleading for their souls; barely hours go by without the pleas being on my lips.

I have begun building again. It dawned on me the other day that Trent is enjoying heaven without us. I picked up my hammer and swung harder. Lord willing, by the time the mosquitoes come out in full force there will be a recycled screen porch in the flower garden. It's even fairly level, and it passed Rob's inspection. We've had many opportunities already to sit in it and giggle and fight over laps, even without a roof or screen, so I anticipate it will be well worth the effort.

Isaiah 30:15 says that in repentance and rest is my salvation, in quietness and trust is my strength. In this season of quietness I am learning to trust. In my weakness I am learning about God's strength. I continue to rest, and I realize that God already knows my heart; there is no need for forcing eloquent words. As much as I have never wanted to learn perseverance, I am coming to terms with the fact that I probably have a long, long way to go. And, like Steven Curtis Chapman has recently penned, it's just a long way home.


pilgrimscottage said...

Because I understand your deep grief, truly I can say, be patient. God will heal your grief. I've been there. He is giving you a learning time and someday, He will take away the dark clouds of such grief. You will never stop missing Trent and his earthly absence will always be felt, but God will bring sunshine when it is time. This is a journey through high waters and fire but, the Lord will bring you through it as purified silver. Just keep waiting patiently on Him.

Misty said...

Missed you.. Praying for you and your family!!

Shoshannah said...

Dear Teri,

Thank you for speaking my heart today. I feel so much like giving up sometimes and the journey (race) to Heaven seems so long and what will I bring to my Father? It seems so little. I am praying for joy and peace for you today.

Dicky Bird said...

Nice to read a post from you. Love your little spotted goats. Understanding the "scarlet letter" thing....when Anna was in treatment, we felt like everything we did, said or went was under a microscope. "Did we put Jesus first?" "I have to be strong so people don't think I'm losing my faith" "I can't get mad, or I can't do this or that" We felt that living through cancer, we needed to show some kind of an example of how Jesus healed Anna and how to "do" cancer. It was overwhelming! I can only imagine how you must feel. I hope you know that us bloggers to not expect a post full of "meat" - those of us who follow you - just want you to know we support you - no matter how you are feeling that day.... Blessings from Ringle.

OurCrazyFarm said...

Feeling the love, girlfriends, and lovin' you right back.

Anne said...

Terri, it is so good to see you being able to post again. When we don't hear from you I imagine pain too deep to write and I want to help you carry that pain in whatever tiny way I can. And if the only thing you post is pictures of your goofball children and pets, that is just fine too! Joy or tears, we are all here for you because we love you.

Sherry Sutherby said...

You've been in my heart and prayers, dear friend. Thank you for posting. Thank you for continuing to love deeply. Dicky Bird nailed it...we just want to be along side you, as you enter this next year, and beyond. No expectations...just connecting through the love of Jesus. Take your time...we'll wait for you to check in. We are with you for the long haul... (And thank you for the comment on my your mail...I was thinking of you also.) Hugs to all, including those adorable goats, and Boaz the pup. And a special hello to your Mother. Sometimes it is so hard to imagine all the folks who are impacted by Trent's "going home"...

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

Oh and I love the goatie pics!! They are all so pretty!!

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

I ranted to God about our current situation... Then I come here and read this.. I have no reason to complain.. You make my heart hurt just imagining the what ifs.. Makes me want to go check my teen girls in their beds just because.. I pray for you and your family still..

Anonymous said...

"Better than I deserve." That is one of the things I tell people when I get asked the same question. My son died February 17, 2011. Sometimes I wonder if the tears will ever stop. I think, how can I cry so much when I know he is in heaven. How is that glorifying the Lord? He was 31. His daughter is having a hard with it. I keep praying for her, first for salvation, and for the Lord's healing and that his will be done. She is sometimes so angry. She is 8 now.