Sunday, February 10, 2008

Questions and Tears

Last night it hit me. The tears just kept coming uncontrollably. I really had no idea that one could cry so much! And, then they rolled down my cheeks all day today.
I have read and re-read every single comment and the words of encouragement that have been left have become a source of strength for this very weary heart.
I don't feel very strong at the moment but feel much more like a two year old who isn't getting her way. As I cry out to God in my agony I question why this had to happen to me. Why did he have to take Eric home when I need him so much down here? Why is Brown Sugar going to grow up without a daddy? Why will my girls have to walk down the aisle with their brother rather than their father? How could He think that I could handle mothering six children by myself? And yet my questions are already answered in the sweet peace of the Holy Spirit. On earth I will never know why He chose to take Eric home but He sure is getting a lot of glory out of it. Brown Sugar and the rest of our girls were never suppose to have Eric around to walk them down the aisle or any of the other things that daddy's do with their children. And, God has promised that He will be my husband and the father to my precious children. He loves us much more than we can ever imagine. All that being said, I don't understand but I trust His hand.
As I sit here writing I can't help but cry once more. Let me just say that this is, by far, the worst anguish that I have ever felt and my Savior knows such anguish. He is familiar with sorrow, pain, and death.
Such a paradox to be grieving on one hand and yet be rejoicing on the other. The pain seems unbearable at times but I continue to praise Him. I suppose I wanted to write this post not so you would understand my pain but that you would know that even in His strength I am feeling the pain. I am weak but He is strong. I am unable to handle this grief on my own but His strength is perfect.
Take courage by the reigns...don't let go. If you are going through a trial or a struggle in your life walk in His strength and courage. It will do your soul good (as it does mine) and also give Him glory.

48 comments:

TnFullQuiver said...

Heather,
I so apppreciate your honesty during this time. I have seen "super" Christians walk through trials and they act as if it doesn't even hurt. It is nothing more than living a lie which is against the Word of God. You on the other hand share your heart and in my opinion God gets way more glory from the honesty. Your children see the real deal too when they see you struggle, but still trusting God in the whole thing. I am sure you have already been directed to this passage in the Bible, but just in case take some time to read Isaiah 61:2-3. I believe that when our hearts are heavy that we need a "garment of praise". Praising the Lord takes our thoughts straight to Him. I have already seen so much praise of the Lord in all you write. I am amazed at how many times God brings you to my heart and mind throughout the day. I always pray for you when I am reminded by the Lord to do so. God is faithful even when your heart feels as if it will break in half.
grace and peace,
julie

Karen said...

Oh Heather, you are so much on my mind and in my heart. Although I cannot understand or even imagine the depth of your pain, just know that you are constantly in my prayers. Our Father loves you and is faithful and does have a plan even when we cannot see it or do not like it. Just know that I am praying for you and I wish that there were more that I could do.

All 8 of Us said...

Heather,
Continuing to lift you up before the throne of grace. I can't imagine the depth of your heart's sorrow and yet as you said, what a paradox that you can be "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing."
Praying for you and your precious ones~
Kathi baillie

Renee said...

(((((Heather))))

I have never posted before, but I have read your Blog since before your cuties came home from Liberia.

Your family is just so precious, and an inspiration. The love you and Eric shared is a gift and a beautiful testimony to the love of Christ. He has and is using you for His glory.

I am praying for you fervently. There have been several nights when the Lord has awoken me and I have prayed for you.

Words seem so futile during times like this..

Please just know you are loved.

Renee

Shanna said...

I have not posted recently because I feel so inadequate to say anything that could be worthy. But, you are truly an encouragement to me. I guess I wish I could encourage you but instead you continue to encourage me. Thank you for your honesty. You will continue to stay in our prayers.

fletch said...

Heath...
From Psalm 84: "Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion."
In our pursuit for heaven, we may have to pass through valleys of weeping and thirsty deserts; but wells of salvation will be opened for us in the midst of our suffering, He will sustain and provide for us while we are yet in the desert.
God will never grow weary of hearing your cries for help. He promises to add grace to the grace He has already provided...and He will not stop...until He calls you to glory.

Mrs. Jeannie Mitchell said...

Dearest Heather,
Oh, sweet sister, I am so sad with you, but know the paradox. I have seen it in some dear friends several times before, watched them struggle, praise, struggle, not be able to get out of bed some days. But God is faithful, He gave them the strength, peace, and fortitude to go on and bring Glory in their lives to Him. You and your family are being a living testimony of His grace, look at the posts, God is so real to you, even in your pain and sharing it with others strengthens all around you. A dear friend who had a heartbreak last year told me, as she was taking a meal a week after, to another sister in need, that it helped her to serve others to get her eyes off her own pain--as you are sharing on this post, you are doing the same!!! We will keep praying for you and yours.
Love in Christ,
Jeannie

Erin said...

I feel like I should introduce myself as this is the first time I am leaving a comment, but I have no words of significance in your situation.

I can tell you that I pray. And I remember you throughout my day. And I pray.

MommaofMany said...

Thanks for your transparency. As another commenter said, the "super-Christians" that act as though no trial hurts do not show the love and care of God. Those of us not suffering now, will at some point, probably soon,and need to have the experiences of you and other Christians who have suffered to encourage us.

We're still praying for you here in the Central Valley, CA.

Nick & Matthew said...

Heather,

There isn't an hour that goes by that I don't think of you, your children and your pain. "Why?" is the big question which none of us can answer. You and your family, however, are a living testimony for our Heavenly Father. My prayers are with you, my friend. I love you all dearly.

Jean

Kenj said...

Heath-

I have never seen such courage and strength in all my life.

Love you, friend-

Kenj

Cindy said...

Oh Heather, ((((((((((hugs)))))))))))
I wish, and I know others do to,we could hold your arms up and share this sorrow. We all do , but want you to know how much we care. You say you don't feel strong, but as you said, when we are weak, we ARE strong. Your brokenness before the Lord is strength and He will renew your strength.
Thank you for being transparent,and honest. I know my words are so inadequate, but you need to grieve like you are doing. What you are experiencing is so very painful, but good and healing and God will bring you through this pain.I know your faith is such an encouragement to me. You are being a faithful witness in the midst of your sorrow and God is working through your posts, touching others. Praying for you, Cindy

CristyLynn said...

Heather,

We're still praying for you over here in Russia. Thank you for your honesty about your pain. When we acknowledge our own weakness, God's strength is so much more clearly seen! I pray that you will continue to feel His strength and His presence with you because they are a reality. He is a God Who hears and keeps His promises and does not abandon His people.
We pray for you several times every day!

By grace,
Cristy (for Thomas and Isaiah, too!)

Laura B said...

We are praying, continually praying, for you and yours.

Meg said...

Heather,
Sometimes we as Christians feel like we must be "super Christians" and smile our way through pain, your honesty in posting shows us that we don't. Your transparency shows us that it is ok to openly grieve, cry and question. It is in questioning that we feel His presence and learn what it means to trust. Those are the times He draws closer and holds us in His arms as a Father holds a hurt child. It is an unexplainable knowing He is with us and feeling His presence carrying us through the deep waters. And yes even in His strength we still do feel the pain, but it is a pain with hope, hope in the resurection, hope and faith found only in our God and His promises.
You are constantly in my prayers day and night. Sometimes when I don't know what to say I just pray telling God that I really don't know what or how to pray but ask that He will be your strength and hold you in His arms and give you peace and comfort.
Meg

Meg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachel Marie said...

Heather-
I have prayed over the years that the Lord would prepare me to handle any trials or sorrows that He may allow. We just can't know before a trial how we will respond. I only hope that when pain comes my way I will respond as you have. You have allowed yourself to feel the pain, to grieve while maintaining such a beautiful trust in your heavenly father. I am sure this is not an example you would have EVER wished to be, but God will continue to be glorified in your life and the lives of your children. We continue to pray for you!

Judy said...

Heather- I do not know you personally but I am part of the AOH family that adopted from Liberia. 1 1/2 years ago my 20 yr old son died result of a car accident. You have been in my prayers & I feel your pain. Let yourself be unigue in your grief-the more you love this person the more intense the grief will be!Tears are a Gift from God.I feel my closet to God during my tearful times. I believd my tears, fears, my screams, my trembling rocking body on the bathroom floor, my depression,my hurt, my anger,my loneliness were & are still my prayers when I do not have words to my Rock,My Savior, & accepting God's boundless Love for me-He is the only One who can carry me through this trial.Heather- God has something good for you & your family-know you will continue to be in my prayers, Judy Schultz

Joy said...

We pray for you guys every day!
Love,
Joy

felmleyfam said...

your song that plays on your blog "oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus!" reminds us of your family and how God's love reaches to you during the tender and painful time. Wow, like the last comment said "the more you love the person the more intense your grief will be!" You had and still have a great love for Eric, your sweetheart, your confident, your friend, your blessing, your strength, your MAN.

Isa 12:1 And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.
Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 12:3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
Isa 12:4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
Isa 12:5
Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
Isa 12:6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
There is so much comfort in Isaiah and it isn't just for the Israelites but also us, those who have been grafted into God's family! And you have also grafted in two sweet children into your family because of your great love for them. And this love was yours and Erics (it is evident from your blog) and you get to continue this.
I am sure if Eric could have chose he would have grown old with you on Earth! Now you will have to wait until you both (don't) grow old together in Heaven. What a promise, what a hard, long wait...but, what a promise! There is a hymn called face to face with Christ my Savior! I know he is beholding you, his sweet child. Continue to look to him as you are.

We pray for each of your children as they mourn, and as they minister to you that they may continue to look to the Lord, that they wouldn't grow weary or despise Christ but that they would see their great need for Him in this time and see Christ suffering on the cross for them in a whole new and personal way. Praying for you keeps your family close to my heart even though we aren't even acquainted. My husband continues to pray for you as well. So please know that as husbands and wives pray differently, (and each person as well) you are covered in prayer in so many areas and aspects of your life and grief. We mourn with you and think of you as we know that the tears streaming down your face are hot and flowing and your heart pours forth with anguish and great sorrow yet you rejoice in Christ your Savior!! Oh the deep love of Jesus and the deep wells of Salvation. love to you and your family.

Laura Bloemsma said...

Dear Heather,
You don't know me, but we learned about your husband's death and have been reading your blog and lifting up your family before our loving Father in prayer. Eric must have been a wonderful man. Our hearts ache for you and your children. Your faith is in the only true Comforter out there and He will supply your every need. We will continue to pray for you. Thank you for opening up your lives for the glory of God. His grace shines through in your words.
- Tony & Laura Bloemsma
East Flat Rock, NC

Erin said...

Dearest Heather,
Know that others are crying with you...and that you are loved.

Michelle said...

Heather,
Even though I have never met you, I think of you often throughout the day. And while I may not dial your pager, please know I am praying. I wish I had some new words of comfort and encouragement for you, but I don't. I mostly feel inadequate in what I write. But there are two things I do know: God is Sovereign and God is good. And this is enough.

tenthstreetplace said...

I pray for your family everyday.
"He is our strength when we are weak".
-Yvette

Patricia said...

Dear Heather:
Oh, I thank God you know Him at this time. How senseless it all would seem without your knowing that God causes all things to work together for your good, because He is compassionate, merciful, and abounding in lovingkindness. My heart grieves with you. Thank you for sharing. Praying in Indiana.

Angela said...

We will not stop praying!

Angela

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/byourlove1

Texas Blessed said...

Dear Heather,
Thank you so much for sharing, for choosing to be vulnerable before us. It is in being willing to be "real" that the brethren can bear one anothers burdens. Our hearts continue to sorrow with you and you are in our prayers in secret and as a family. May reading and singing the Psalms give you an especial comfort. Our tender Shepherd carrying you when you cannot hold yourself up. Even though we have never met, there is a Christian bond between us, and if we are ever blessed to meet you in person, you will receive a warm and hearty, sisterly hug.

Jennifer Ervin (part of the sister church in Texas)

BelovedPeace said...

"Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong."

With lots of Love and prayers,
Amy

Kelly said...

Heather,

You don't know me. I'm from Washington State and got your blog from a friend of mine. I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your children, and I lift you up in daily prayer. When my mom was sick I would beg God to heal her and then begged him to release her from her pain. I didn't think I could get through the pain. But with his love, mercy and a lot of prayer I did. Before my mom passed away, she told me not to worry and that God was in the drivers seat. He is in the drivers seat. He promises to never leave you heather and will guard your heart and mind. There is a song that comes to mind. It says that in Christ there are no good byes, and in Christ there is no end, and if you hold onto him with all that you have, you will see Eric again. You have encouraged me and others with your faith and love for our Lord through this blog. May God Bless you and your children. May he wrap his loving arms around you and give you strength and courage to get through each day. May he speak to you through each of us.

In Jesus,
Kelly

Kristi said...

You will make it, dear one. Just take it one day at a time. God will be there for you. You will miss Eric in the big moments. You will miss him in the small moments. But God will always comfort you. I am a 36 year old woman whose wonderful, loving, Christian Daddy died when I was only 17. I was the youngest of five children. My big brother walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. We share a bond because of that. God provided. He still does. I am praying for you and your sweet family even though you do not know me.

S & C & C's Gram said...

Thank you for your raw honesty. I have no doubt your sharing will continue to give courage to others, and will serve as a cathartic to you. Anyone who doubts the expression of pain and doubt has only to read David's psalms.

We have not forgotten you. We continue to pray.

kymk99 said...

Heather,

You are constantly on my mind and always in my prayers. Kelsey even prayed today that God comforts you.

Yvonne :o)

Rebecca said...

You are truly an amazing women of God. Thank you for your honesty and courage to share with the world what you are going through. May God have the glory. I have and will continue to pray for you and your children.

Karenl. said...

Heather,

My daughter knows you. I live in Washington State. She told me about this blog. I know your pain, as I lost my husband of 47 years three months ago. I know that God is soverign and I hang onto him for dear life. I know that He hears me even if I have not the breath to speak. Oh, I pray for you, God is there. God Bless you. You are not alone.

Thomas said...

The strength and courage that your family has shown over the past 2 weeks has been an encouragement to our whole family. We continue to pray for you guys...

Love all of ya!

Thomas

Dawn said...

I love coming to your blog and reading all the strength and encouragment from readers and prayer warriors from around the world. You and your family are so blessed to be prayed for by so many. Many of whom are complete strangers (myself included :) ).

I do appreciate your honesty as you write on your blog.

Continue clinging to your Heavenly Father.

Prayers being said daily for you.

Dawn

RT in Training said...

Heather,

I don't even know where to start. I have been reading your blogs for the past week, and they bring tears running down my cheek. I have been wanting to leave a comment for a long time, but I never know just what to say.

You don't really know me, but we have met. I was doing my Respiratory internship at night in the hospital the weekend Eric was there.

I just want you to know that from the moment I stepped in to the room and saw you there by his side, I have not stopped praying for you and your family. Even though I probably seemed just like another person in the room doing my job, I was praying while I stood there in the corner waiting for the breathing treatments to finish. And I have not stopped praying for you and your family. You guys will always be in my heart. Your life changing experience, has also been a life changing one for me, and I will never forget you or your family. I just know God has a plan for all of us, it may not always make sense to us, but it does to Him. We may never understand it, even though we try.

I just thank you for being so encouraging in your blogs, even though I should have words to encourage you. I will continue to pray for you and your family!!

Christy

Mary said...

Julie wrote a comment and said that she appreciated you honesty during this time. I completely agree with her. I have never lost a husband but just last April I lost my Dad. Three months earlier we found out that he had cancer, but I just couldn't believe it. Now he's been gone for ten months and I still can't believe it. I still beg God to bring him back. I also think of my two small boys never knowing their grandfather. I learned soon after the death of my Dad that God is my Father now. When I pray I always refer to him as Father. That is such a comfort when I am not feeling my best. Again I have no idea what it's like to lose my husband, but I understand what you are saying in your blog. I am praying for you often, and I do admire your strenth.

red tin heart said...

Dearest Heather, I lost my beloved husband one week ago. He died suddenly. He had broke his neck in August of this past year and was paralized from the chest down but had made remarkable steps in recovering. He was scheduled to come home in one montth. I send prayers up for you in your loss as well. love nita zimmerman

Daisy Fields Basket Co. said...

Christy,
I do remember you at the Turlock hospital. We had the most incredible staff taking care of us but there were a few of you who just stood out. I remember having great conversations with you about the adoption of our little ones. I still pray that the Lord will bless you with a child whether through the womb or through adoption.
I am sooooo glad that you have visited our blog. I have often thought about the other nurses and r.t. that would be so sad to here about Eric's death. But, there is hope....eternal hope and I am thankful that you know this.

thetysonfamily said...

Dear Heather, you don't even know me, but I'm a friend of Kristin from GFA. I've kept up with your blog from time to time after she told me about some of your child training entries. You have no idea how much they've helped and encouraged me, especially "Sitting Quietly". Your beautiful family has been an encouragement to me to keep pressing on in His ways as well. I've prayed for you throughout this time of Eric's sickness and passing, and cry with you in the anguish of this time. I know that I can't possibly understand what you're going through, but being married with children of my own, I hurt with you imagining how much it would break me. I read a part of Hind's Feet on High Places for children with one of my little boys this morning, and it talked about how much pain Much-Afraid felt when she had to hold Sorrow and Suffering's hands to get up to the high places where the Shepherd was leading. They were her helpers, and she was upset at why the Shepherd couldn't give her Joy and Peace alone to help her up. Well, I've never read this before, but I can imagine where it's going. And I know where He'll take you, sister, because of His faithful promises. I could give you many scriptures, but instead of just listing them all I'll pray them over you. In writing, I don't mean to seem like I have any answers or want to give you something to make you better (because I know you've walked with Jesus longer than I have!), but I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your life/godly wisdom/counsel with this young sister who now would like to help lift you up in your time of need.
In Love, Lindsay Tyson

The Fitch Clan said...

From Someone who heard about your family through the momys digest - I completely agree with you about trusting in God and that being the only thing to carry you through. Five years ago, I had a daughter unexpectantly go to heaven. She was 2 1/2 and drowned at a family member's home in their pond while we were there visiting (we had 5 children at the time and they had 7 at the time). The last five years have been the hardest for me personally and spiritually at times. But, I always have to go back to leaning on the Lord for my strength and don't know what I would do without my Lord and Saviour. Now, losing a child (although whe isn't really lost, she's waiting for us in heaven), isn't exactly the same as a husband, but I wanted you to know that God is our comfort.

In Christ, Christine Fitch

Missy said...

You're never very far from my thoughts and prayers these days. I have no words of comfort only groanings on your behalf for you to receive much needed strength and comfort. Love, Missy

3rsandahug said...

Your struggles remind me of Habakkuk - a book I read a week or two before my pastor started preaching on it. He saw hard times ahead, and he chose to trust. I'm convinced that the Lord gives us "hinds feet to walk on high places" not after we finish the trials but to help us walk through them. I'm praying often for you.
Karen
www.homeschoolblogger.com/3rsandahug

Laurie said...

Heather,

I somehow found you today for the first time and have read back through your blog. I am so sorry for this happening to your family and the heartbreaking pain of losing your lifes love. I will be praying for you from this day forward. This will hurt for a very long time, even through His strength, and I ask Him to gently carry you through with His love.

Love, Laurie in So. Ca.

The Adoption Of William said...

I wish I was more like you. I wish I had such strength, courage, hope and faith. You are such an amazing person. I will never forget your words, they touch my soul. You are so honest, it is refreshing and heatbreaking. I will pray for your family, and your heart daily.

With much Love,

William's Mom

Gina said...

Heather,
We've never met before but we heard of you through some friends and we have been praying for you and your family daily. May the Lord strengthen and comfort you and your precious kids today and in the days ahead. We are an adoptive family too- what a beautiful family you have. We are praying fervently for you and your kids that the Lord would supply every need.
Love,
Gina

monica said...

Heather,

I really am touched by your willingness to share your sorrow with so many people. I know that this is a great sense of support also that God is providing for you and your family. I get teary everytime that I think of you and I just call out to God to give you peace, strength, encouragement and hope. What a wonderful reminder to call out in praise in the midst of sorrow. Only through Christ are we able to do anything. My heart aches as I think of the sorrow you are feeling and just how agonizing it is. I came across this scripture and wanted to share it with you. We are praying for you and your family constantly and like my sister-in-law said earlier what a great promise God has for all of us.

Isaiah 40:29,31
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak....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"

Our Love In Christ
Monica and Xavier