I started thinking (of course) about how that applies to my life. On Easter Sunday, it will mark three years since Trey joined Jesus in Heaven. The date lies ahead, foreboding, telling of a terrible tragedy that leaves a searing hole in my heart. It's like a fire that destroys, kills, and leaves you feeling charred and helpless. It stinks, it hurts, it makes you feel like you have some fiery scarlet letter tattooed on your chest that screams, "I've joined the club that no one wants to be a part of!"
At first, all you can think about is what has been taken from you. The words "dead" and "death", when spoken, stop your heart. You can't breathe, as if you are being choked by some unknown force. You want to smother any flames of happiness and roll around in the ashes. I still feel like getting all of Trey's pictures out and just rolling around on them to soak up more of him.
As time passes by, you stumble around in the smoke, the fog of having to go about your daily life, even when you don't feel like it. You wonder how the rest of the world gets to move on, and wonder if they know your heart still feels as if it is being enveloped and choked out by the haze of disbelief and grief.
Anger flares up at anyone who dares to tell you they know how you feel. No one knows how I feel, except another mother of a son whose life has been snuffed out. Then the atrophy begins. Just as a fire makes everything brittle, my body becomes a shell, my inner self dead. I function because I know I have to. I do the everyday things that a wife and mother does. I try to be "normal", but I only go through the motions because my senses are numb. I get angry with myself because I want to be "better". I pray and plead with God to help me. But I don't let Him help me, because in some twisted way, I feel that if I get better, that means I won't miss Trey as much. I don't want to forget anything about Him, and I don't want anyone else to either. I am saddened that no one really wants to talk about Trey. It seems awkward and makes people uncomfortable.
As time has gone on, I feel God's presence more and am thankful that Trey is safe with Him. I allow God to enter my heart and breathe life into this shell. I still yearn for Trey's physical presence, his voice, the smell of his cologne, that crazy laugh...I slowly begin to learn that it's alright to laugh again, to have fun. I don't even realize the slow progression of joy creeping back into my life. I continue to listen to my Christian radio station, I claim gratitude, and start to notice the green "sprouts" in my life. I unwittingly become a counselor for other mothers. I discover that my burned body can feel love, desire, joy, and and a new awakening. I have strength I never knew I had, God-given, mercy, grace-touched strength.
The new life in the burned-out area and and in my spirit mirror one another. I am thankful for the parallelism. Do I still stumble and choke and look back at the "fire" that scarred my life? Yes, but do I stay and let the flames of despair totally engulf me? No, because God has shown me His mercy and reassured me that I am His child. Trey is His child as well, and already experiences the eternal kingdom I will someday enter with thanksgiving.
Fire represents many things, including bringing renewal and new growth. Thank you, God, for reminding me of your great mercies!
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Proverbs 40:31