– Dana Smith, Women’s Equipping Coordinator
Remember the year that summer break came March 13th? Just like that, senior year is over. And I wasn’t ready for it….. Not that I ever would have been! Let’s be honest – I cried on Meet the Teacher Day of Kindergarten as I put his little crayons in the box. The thought of this amazing journey coming to an end made me sentimental. But. Here we are and it feels too soon. It feels like I was just getting to the best part of the movie and the screen shut off. Malfunctioned. Done. No explanation. But you can get a voucher to see a different movie in the future. Only I don’t want a voucher or a different movie. I wanted the one I thought I was going to get to see.
“Just like that”
Just like that, I won’t see him grab his lunch and pile everyone in the car to take them to school. Just like that, I won’t clean the dirty soccer uniform anymore and complain about the stench and the annoying grass chips left in the washer. Just like that, he won’t strap on the brace that held his back in place for the last 2 years. Just like that, I won’t see him take the field, captain’s band around his arm, shoulder to shoulder with the boys that have become like brothers. Gone are the hopes of making it to State. Gone are the days of packing snacks and blankets and umbrellas and sunscreen to have on hand as we sit with the parents of these same boys… the friends who became more like family. Just like that.
It feels like I was just getting to the best part of the movie and the screen shut off.
There will be no “last day of school” picture in his uniform. The one he loathed but maybe loved because of the familiarity of it. Just like that, no video of the last time they all hop in the car together for that drive to school. Just like that, the teachers that shepherded his heart for the last 13 years won’t be welcoming him in every day or giving a high five when day is done. Just like that – it’s gone. No closure. No pomp and circumstance. No last walk through the halls. It’s over. And I’m not ok.
“I am grieving, but I am not alone”
I will be. But today I am grieving. I am grieving the series of “lasts” that I was expecting. The things that were meant to mark the completion of this journey. The things that would have helped me get ready to close this chapter and turn the page. I am grieving for my son and all that he has lost and memories he will never have.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;” – Isaiah 53:3-4a (ESV)
But, I believe with all my heart my sweet Heavenly Father grieves with me. He understands every emotion and every tear. There is no chastisement or rebuke. I believe the one acquainted with grief sits with me in my pain. And I believe He will be celebrating and cheering louder than I will when we are on the other side of this. But today, I wasn’t ready.
Two Scripture verses have felt like constant companions along with the grief. Colossians1:17 – “He is before all things and in him all things hold together” (Even me!) and Isaiah 42:3 – “A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” There are days when my faith feels like a smoldering wick – barely hanging on and vulnerable to any hint of breeze. Yet he is so gentle with me.
Brighter days are ahead. I have been blessed enough in this year alone to last a thousand lifetimes. I will count those blessings in the coming days. But today. I am sad. I’m not ok, and that’s ok.
Perhaps you find yourself in the same place. Know that you are not alone. Your Shepherd longs to carry your sorrows…to carry you. He longs to hold you together when you feel like you’re falling apart.
Will you let him?
One Step Further:
- What have you been asked to grieve during this season?
- How might God want to meet you in that grief?
- What happens in you when you think about this pandemic season and the uncertain future that lies ahead? Offer that to the Lord.