Ever notice how there are people who seem to fall apart at the first sign of struggle, let alone tragedy? They just can’t seem to keep their feet on the ground and flail helplessly when the winds of trouble blow. They live on the surface of life – and as such are pretty much victims of circumstance, or so it seems.
Then there are those whose roots are planted deep and strong – who don’t seem to be greatly affected by trouble or change – they “take it as it comes” and are by and large in control….or so it seems.
I think it would be fair to say I am of the second group – I don’t take a lot of credit for this, it’s just who I’ve always been. I am blessed with great reserves that are replenished readily by things such as music, prayer, beauty, helping others, authentic conversations……things I try to invite into my life regularly. So, even when spent – tired – frustrated – angry – sad……when it seems I’ve hit bottom emotionally, there has always been room for more. I’ve had a rich supply of “reserves” that have served me well. Had a particularly difficult day? Dip into the reserve. Worried about family….finances….health….relationships….commitments….work…etc; draw from the reserve. Then, when I sense the reserve it getting kinda low, I just become intentional about getting away or spending more time with God or seeking out just the right friend….whatever it takes to “fill the tank” and keep on running.
For the first time in my life I’ve discovered the last drop of reserve. And try as I might, I seem to be using up whatever grace is given me through the night by about 1:00 in the afternoon! I’m still refueling….just not over and above what it takes to get through the day. I don’t like it. It makes me feel vulnerable and exposed. I don’t have the depth of patience and understanding that I’ve come to expect from myself – and it occurs to me that this time of such great suffering in our lives has resulted in the emptying of the reserves…..
I had intended on my second post on mourning to begin with an introduction to the son we lost….it’s so important to me that you know something about him, that you know he lived and that he was loved, not only by his family but by so, so many! But tonight as I try to focus through tear-blurred eyes and a “been crying too long” headache, I know I would fail miserably. The story of Brett’s life deserves to be told with a heart of joy and fearless passion. But it’s ever so much past the afternoon…..and my reserves are dangerously low. I know I face a challenging day at work tomorrow and, though I will start it at 5:00 am with daily scriptures and a beautifully creamy cup of steaming coffee (thanks to the husband who loves me no matter what my reserves look like) I just don’t have the energy or the heart to go to such a tender place tonight.
Instead I offer my all-time favorite verse (and the inspiration for the name of this blog) from the book of Lamentations – 3:22,23
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Perhaps in time I will not only share who my beautiful boy was, but also the other events of the past year and a half that have led me down this path of mourning – but it’s important to share now that were it not for the daily replenishing of my reserves….though they may only last for that day – I would not have survived. I have never met a morning where new mercy wasn’t waiting for me. God – who knows me best and loves me most – is ever near…not to remove the suffering – but to hold me through it. It’s all I have for now. And it’s enough….