Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Elephant in the Room (12/05/13)
TITLE: Four Words
By Pamela Reed
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Eighteen months after the death of our oldest son, Bob, at the age of twenty three was not the favorite time of my life. I had actually convinced myself that no one on this planet had a worse life than my husband and I did. This particular morning shone brightly when I trudged into the master bathroom to begin my day. Another day to endure in my auto-pilot mode; smile when I’m supposed to smile, laugh when it’s appropriate to laugh. I’m an adult and I know how to be socially acceptable even when my heart has been ripped out of my chest and thrown onto the floor.
Sitting where I do my deepest thinking, I was going over the events of Bob’s twenty three years and where I might have done a better job of parenting. The life choice that he made which ended in his death might have been different if I had been more supportive mother was in my thoughts. We had placed him in a parochial school for a year and a half and he flourished. Unfortunately, because of finances, we had to pull him out and put him back in public school where he struggled. What could we have done to keep him there?
At one point in time, he was dating a girl that we really liked. He started dating another and wanted to introduce her to us. He brought the second one to my office. I refused to meet her until he broke the relationship with the first one. I never met the second one as the relationship fell apart. If I would not have been so stubborn, if I would have agreed to meet her, would all have worked out between them? Would life choices been different for him? Would he still be with us today?
“You did nothing wrong!”
I heard this loud voice that reverberated off of the bathroom walls, it bounced around the room, and my head jerked as I looked around for the source. What? What did I just hear?
That’s when I realized that a miracle had just happened to me. I had just been handed a gift from my Heavenly Father because He loved me so much that He intervened. He made the decision that I needed to be talked to. I needed His healing. I needed His love. I needed Him!
For eighteen months the elephant in the room was that I could have done things differently to change the events in our family. Beyond grieving, I was beating myself up continually for not being perfect. I was a good mother. Our other children verified it continually, but I would not accept it. I somehow thought that it was my fault.
That day …. four words from my Father changed everything in my life. That was the day that I allowed the weight on my shoulders to be lifted. It is, just like our sin, as far as the east is from the west. It was thrown away forever. Do I miss our oldest son? Of course I do. But, I miss him on a temporary basis only as I know that we will meet again. I have hope, and hope is powerful.
That was the beginning of a whole new journey. My life took a ninety degree turn as I totally put my life in His hands. Hands that are dependable and secure. Because He never left me nor forsook me in my time of trial and grief. Because He continued to surround me with His presence and healing, my focus is now on Him. Although I was a Christian before our son’s death, I was a “normal” American Christian. I went to church, read my Bible when it was convenient, put money in the offering plate if I had extra. My passion was in living the American life.
My priorities have changed and I now want to glorify His name. Psalm 71:17-18 says “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wonderous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”
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