When Time Marches On

May 31, 2012

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At small group last night, I talked with my friends about how surreal life feels right now…how it seems like a lifetime ago that we lost sweet Mary, and how difficult it is at times to see things going back to “normal” when, in reality, things aren’t normal at all anymore. I wrote this poem in lieu of that conversation and wanted to share it with you all. I don’t know that I’ve ever written a poem apart from homework assignments in high school, so forgive me if it doesn’t make much literary sense or follow a specific format :).

When Time Marches On

What do you do when time marches on?
When all that’s left are memories of a time too short,
When pictures and blankets are the only thing to which you can point?

What do you do when time marches on?
When others around you seem to forget,
But the pain inside is still so real your heart might split?

What do you do when time marches on?
When grass grows tall where her sweet body lays,
When from your mind the feel and smell of her skin begin to stray?

What do you do when time marches on?
You cling to Him who is the Resurrection and the Life;
       who conquered the grave and set us free,
You fight for faith and beg for eyes to see Him clearly.

What do you do when time marches on?
You set your eyes on things above,
Knowing she is complete and safe in the arms of Love.

What do you do when time marches on?
Even though you don’t hold her now,
You hope in Him and wait expectantly for the day when you will again kiss her precious brow.

I love you, Mary.

Love,
Mommy

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Sitting at His Feet

May 21, 2012

It’s crazy how quickly time passes, and nowadays, I often feel like I’m just floating through the day. It’s weird…it’s not like I’m sitting around doing nothing. Most of the time my days are jam-packed with activities with the kids, cleaning, cooking, disciplining children, and cleaning some more. But half of the time when Hayden comes home from work and asks me how my day was, it takes me a minute to even remember what I did! I’m pretty sure I’m losing massive amounts of brain cells right now because I’m always so tired…oh well. Who needs ’em? 

Needless to say, I was so very thankful this past weekend when my parents came and stayed with the kids, so Hayden and I could get away for a few days. We stayed at my parents’ land in west texas, and let me tell you…there is nothing like the silence of a west texas ranch to make you miss your baby. I miss Mary all of the time, but something about being out in the middle of nowhere makes it much more difficult to ignore the achiness inside. When I’m home with three rambunctious toddlers and a messy house, there’s little to no time to reflect on how I feel or how my heart is towards God. I think that sometimes being busy and distracted is a blessing in times of grief, and for me, is part of God’s way of helping me move forward. However, it can also become very problematic. When I don’t take time to daily sit alone with my Father–to let him shed light on the dark parts of my heart, to replace the sadness with joy, the hardened places with soft places, and the lies of the world with the truth of his word–then the yucky stuff inside just sits and festers. And most often, it takes root and starts to manifest in the way I live, and the way I think about God and about everything around me.

While I was at the ranch with unlimited time to read and talk to God, I had to ask myself: why don’t I daily sit at his feet? Am I indifferent? Am I hiding from him? Am I running from the sadness and hurt I feel when I think about Mary? Even feelings of betrayal sometimes. And God graciously led me to the beginning of Judges 6, when the Lord appears to Gideon and says, “‘The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.'” and Gideon responds, “‘Please sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.'” I know that in reality he has never left us or forsaken us, but those are the kinds of things I begin to feel when I don’t consciously fight them with the truth.

Then, a few verses down Gideon asks the angel of the Lord (most people agree this is the pre-incarnate Christ) for a sign that he was actually talking to God. So Gideon makes him food and the angel of the Lord touches it with his staff and it’s consumed with fire, and then he disappears. “Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, ‘Alas, O LORD GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.’ But the LORD said to him, ‘Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.’ Then Gideon built an altar there and called it, The LORD Is Peace.”

Gideon’s encounter with Christ is such a beautiful reminder to me that when we do our part to come to God in honesty, with our questions and doubts, asking to see him as he truly is, He will show us (James 1:5). It can be terrifying because he is glorious, an all-consuming fire, and holy…and we have so much junk to bring to him. But in the end, like Gideon, we are left with his peace and more of him. And really, that’s all we need.

I’m finding that the very best thing, and yet sometimes one of the most painful things, is to allow God to flay open my heart to expose all that is within, and to trust in him as He turns the carnage into something beautiful. Only he can do that. We can try to patch ourselves up with other things…but only he can take the brokenness and make it glorious.

So may we all sit at his feet, and lay our hearts on his altar trusting him to do what’s best. Trusting him to heal us, even if it means we have to be broken again first. He won’t fail us, even though we fail him. He won’t abandon us, even though we abandon him a hundred times a day. He will fight for us, even when we don’t fight for him. And may the truth of his might and love move us to worship, adore and serve him always.

In His love,
Amanda